Cecil Papers: March 1596, 16-25

Pages 99-117

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 6, 1596. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1895.

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March 1596, 16–25

Richard Cole, an Examiner at York, to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 16. Her Majesty's Council here, upon receipt of your letters, let me know that your lordship had been informed that I went about to get a patent for myself of both the Examiners' offices here. If you vouchsafe the remembrance of my humble suit unto you, upon the death of my late lord and master, for my continuance in my poor office, the favour I received from this Council who by their letters recommended my cause to you, and the honourable answer I had from you in dislike of his suit who sought to unite them, my fault were exceeding great to you and them if I were guilty of that unhonest suggested practice. But I protest before the living God I never attempted or once purposed any such matter.—From York, 16 March, 1595.
Holograph. 1 p. (31. 13.)
Sir John Gilbert to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 16. Has received his letter by Adrian Gilbert, which seems very strange to him, that her Majesty should like a parrot of his, and Cecil having heretofore written of it; and till now protests he never heard of it. Her Majesty is to have his life and all else whatsoever, and Cecil to command anything he likes of. The parrot shall be delivered to whom he appoints.—Greenway, 16 March, 1595.
[P.S.] Beseeches Cecil not to take any occasion of offence undeservedly against him.
Signed. Seal, broken. ½ p. (31. 16.)
Sir Edward Norreys to the Earl of Essex.
1595/6, March 16. I should be exceedingly to blame if, having received so great demonstration of your favour and most honourable speeches in my behalf, I should not advertise you of the success of my journey into Zealand, and of the event of this my unfortunate and unlucky business. The deputies of the States General and Council of State together of Zealand, having heard and examined all allegations and circumstances, concluded upon this resolution that whereas those things which I alleged were well probable, yet not so confirmed by production of witnesses requisite in such cases that the laws of the country would permit them to proceed to the actual punishment of the Bailly, as was requisite for so foul and villanous an offence, which they would have prosecuted to the highest degree; yet to give convenient satisfaction to my reputation and witness of their assurance of my loyalty, they did banish him the town of Ostend, wherewith they desired me to be contented, and to pardon the faults of all other which ignorantly must have dealt in the justification of the Bailly. With this satisfaction, which indeed I found to be sufficient testimony of their conceit of me, I am returned to Ostend, whence I would not fail presently to advertise your lordship, and withal to make an offer of my service, the thanks which I hold myself bound to yield unto you, and farther to advertise what I find here at my coming. The enemy makes his uttermost preparation for a camp which is assembled not past 10 leagues hence, drawing out of all garrisons the old soldiers. Where he will fall is very doubtful; the States fear Ostend, and I stand upon good guard, yet if I were asked my opinion I could hardly tell what to say, for to say he would not come hither were not safe, and if he should, not answerable. But to say also that he will come methinks carries no great likelihood, all things considered; yet I hope you will advise of it and have such consideration that if he should come we shall not fail due succours. I hear much of your lordship's voyage, which I will follow my[self] with hearty wishing and if I might with my heart's blood; but since not, I most humbly beseech you among the many others which are recommended unto your favour to reserve some places of preferment for half-a-dozen which I will recommend unto you, which by their service shall shew themselves worthy of your favour and my recommendation.—From Ostend in great haste, 16 March, 1595.
Holograph. 3 pp. (31. 17, 18.)
The Countess of Bedford to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 16. This bearer my servant hath this morning apprehended a couple of very suspicious persons, whereof one hath already confessed himself a Jesuit, the other seems a desperate villain, denying he had any acquaintance with the said Jesuit, yet a great likelihood he came over with him. The particulars I leave to the further report of the said bearer.—Willoughby House in Barbican, March 16.
Endorsed :—1595.
Holograph. ½ p. (31. 19.)
Giovanni Basadonna to Lord Burghley.
[1595/6, March 16]. The justice which your honour hath ever used and the affection which you have always borne towards the right excellent Signory of Venice, have emboldened me to advertise you that yesternight I received letters from Venice that the next post that comes shall bring letters from the Signory to her most excellent Majesty to desire that sith she will not suffer the argosy now at Portsmouth to depart with the corn, whereof there is great want at Venice, she will yet vouchsafe to have regard to the sale thereof because they paid very dear for it; willing me particularly to use all diligence in this behalf. I do therefore beseech your Lordship that, besides the 1,500 quarters which her Majesty will take for her own use, none may be granted to any other, but that I may be permitted to sell it at the best price I can, craving herein such privilege as all other merchants have which sell their own goods for their most profit; beseeching also that order may be taken to recover the loss caused by those that sold part of the corn at Portsmouth against all equity and the good orders set down by your lordship.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (39. 19.)
Thomas Windebank, Clerk of the Signet, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 17. According to your direction I desired to have access unto her Majesty, unto whom (asking of herself if I had not brought the commissions) I answered that I had no other matter, and that I had received them this morning from you, with order only to make her Majesty acquainted that I had brought them, referring the signing of them to her Majesty's choice of best time. Whereupon she asked me if the two lords had seen them. I answered that I knew not, but I thought yes. And so being ready to read the dockets to her Majesty she said it was no matter, for she knew them already, and so signed the bills, which I keep, not making known to anybody that they are signed, though I have been questioned thereof by some. As for speeding of them to the Great Seal, surely, Sir, I know not how that can be done by us, for that all things passing under the Great Seal are usually written in a Chancery hand, which we have no skill of. And I have seen very often the Great Seal set to the bill signed, even in matters of this nature of commission, as I think my lord can tell, howsoever my Lord Keeper may do, which is the surest way of secrecy. I do therefore reserve all secret till your coming or your further order.—This 17 March, 1595.
[P.S.] I would have read the letter, but she said it needed not, and [I] told her Majesty of your footman's report of an ill night that my lord had, whereof she was sorry.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (31. 21.)
Thomas Windebank, Clerk of the Signet, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 17. Since the sending to you of my other letter, her Majesty in the midst of the sermon sent a message unto me by Mr. Conway, the gentleman usher, that I should stay those things which her Majesty had signed. After the sermon my lord of Essex met me and told me the Queen had acquainted him with the signing of them, which I was sorry she had done, for that myself kept it close. Now, since dinner, her Majesty hath sent me word that I should write to you to be here this night, myself having let her know that it would be night before you could come, for some business of hers there. Which her commandment I must perform though it be now almost four, and therefore am forced to write. There is much enquiry of this matter, but I refer them all to my Lord of Essex.—17 March, 1595.
P.S. As I was closing my letter her Majesty sent for me and made me read the commission; and coming to the point of 'Invading the realms & dominions,' &c., her Majesty would have it reformed thus, viz. 'to invade such parts of the realms & dominions of,' &c., as the Commissioners should think convenient, but hath willed me to stay the reforming of that point till your coming this night, which her Majesty hath willed me to write that she expecteth, though it be now past four.
Endorsed by Cecil : “This letter I met from Mr. Windebank upon the way.”
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (31. 20.)
Lord Admiral Howard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 17. I thank you for your good news. My Lord Thomas Howard and the Earl of Southampton was with me when your letter came. There came to us, being aboard of the Due Repulse, the Earl of Co. [Cumberland], and he seemed to me to be much grieved with that he is stayed, but I dealt so with him as he knoweth how it must be. He seemed that now he would not seek for anything to supplant my Lord Thomas. He made request unto me which I will tell you at our meeting, but such as I did not like, and so for necessity, having no remedy, he seemed to be satisfied. You wish me to be at the Court on Saturday; it will hinder more than you will think, for I must be again at the Court on Our Lady day which is the Thursday after, so as in going, coming, and being at the Court the week will be spent. Every hour is a day now, yet if I can I will.
Endorsed : 17 March, 1595.
Holograph. 1 p. (31. 22.)
William Moys to Henry Maynard.
1595/6, March 17. I have thought meet to put you in remembrance about the payments here in the office, for that the quarter payments at Lady Day next, as well as the month past for the guard, &c., will grow due to divers her Majesty's servants and others who dwell far hence and will then send of purpose, as heretofore, for their wages; which will be a great hindrance unto them, being poor men many of them, to be disappointed thereof, and will make them much discontented and clamorous. Besides, her Majesty's Maundy is not far off, which will require money beforehand to change into pence, and then afterwards will ask some time to make up in purses according to the usual manner. Therefore in regard of the necessity hereof, move my lord for order for money for satisfying the foresaid payments, lest if he should not understand how needful money is to be had here in the office it might be offensive to his lordship.—At the Court at Richmond, this 17 March, 1595.
Addressed :—“Henry Maynard, esquire, attending upon the right honourable the Lord Treasurer of England, or in his absence to Mr. Hicks.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p.
Sir Henry Unton to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 17. On the subject of his sickness; and giving an account of his interview with the King of France, who “although dissuaded by his own physicians that do attend me, for the danger of contagion,” on Unton's wishing it, came to him, saying that “he had not hitherto feared the harquebuse shot and did not now apprehend the purples;” and other particulars.—Coussye, 17 March, 1595.
Endorsed : “Copy of Sir H. Unton's letter to the Lord Treasurer.”
Unsigned. 3½ pp. [See Murdin's State Papers, pp. 730–733, where the letter is given in extenso.]
Sir Henry Unton to the Earl of Essex.
1595/6, March 17. I am sorry that by reason of the extremity of my present sickness I am not able to make that answer to your letters which I desire; but your lordship will excuse so remedyless a necessity; and by my next by Mr. Edmondes I hope (God favouring me in my health) to supply this defect. In the meantime you will perceive, by this enclosed copy of my letter to my Lord Treasurer, the scope of the course we hold here, to make appear judicious difficulties before the accepting of the conference, whereof Mr. Edmondes shall forthwith bring the resolution and consent, for the time, persons, and place. They have yet no liking to send thither M. de Sancy, saying that seeing it is resolved to come to a conference his presence there will be to no purpose, but rather they fear her Majesty will take occasion by his being there to draw things to more length. Besides, they allege to have great use of him for the King's special services here, from which they can hardly spare him, and therefore do rather desire to stay his journey both thither and into the Low Countries; but hereof it is determined to take a more full resolution within a few days. The King was in expectation that your lordship would have been one of the commissioners, and thereupon determined to have drawn down to the place of meeting to have seen you, but they do greatly allow of your weighty considerations and reasons to forbear to be of the number. They mean the Constable shall be one of their elect, to give the more authority to the negotiation, and to move her Majesty's like respect to it. They desire to have it held at Abbeville, for that they like not our resort to Calais; at Boulogne they have no power, and after them do judge the other the most commodious place.—From Coucy, 17th of March 1595.
Signed. Two seals. 1 p. (171. 114.)
Underwritten :—“We have been forced for the authority of this dispatch to make my lord ambassador act more the whole man than truly he is; but I assure your lordship he is yet in very great peril, having his fever continually upon him, which hath brought him to great weakness, and doth not suffer him to take any kind of rest. I hope notwithstanding that within six or seven days, above which time his extremity cannot last, he will be able to despatch me. Meantime your lordship knoweth by his letters all that occurreth here of worth. I have dealt with the King about Mr. Smyth and will continually further solicit him therein during my stay here, as I am bound. Tho. Edmondes.”
Holograph. ½ p.
(2.) Modern copy of the above. 2¼ pp. (31. 23.)
The Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 18. We have of late received letters from the Earl of Essex in behalf of his servant, Mr. Wotton, about a grant of that which now it hath pleased you to write unto us for. The commendations that he brought unto us from so honourable a personage and the love we have still borne him (being a man brought up amongst us in our College) hath made us all unitedly very willing to grant his request, so that Mr. Heyton being prevented by our former promise we hope will not inforce anything against us which may hinder that which we have already done; which we the rather think because in Mr. Noel's lifetime he had full trial of our unwillingness to receive him to be our tenant, having by common consent denied him. Neither were we ignorant how much it would endanger the state of our college if our livings thould be sold from hand to hand and other reap the profit of that which of right belongeth unto us for our poor relief. And we made the less danger in passing our promise to Mr. Wotton because we had before made a grant to Mr. Noel without any mention of his assigns, which if we had been willing to have done we could not, inasmuch as if we had we should not have known who should be our tenant, unto which we were tied by our private statutes. These are the things which hinder us from accomplishing your desire, which we should most carefully satisfy were we not prevented therein.—From our College, 18 March, 1595.
Holograph, signed, “The Warden and fellows of New College.” ¼ p. (31. 26.)
E. Lady Ralegh to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 20. Amongst many virtues it is not your least to be a comfort to the grieved, and so are you to me with your honourable and kind letter, whereby you fulfil the desire of your absent friend, as also bind me for ever to honour you. Sir Walter's remembrance of me to you at his last departure shall add and increase, if it were possible, in me more love and dear respect to him. I am in hope ere it be long to hear of him; though not of long time to see him; in which time I shall fly to you in all my cumbars as to the surest staff I trust to in Sir Walter's absence. I thank my honourable mistress for wishing me near her to do her service and to enjoy both your companies; I oft wish it with her, else is an hermit's cell most fit for me and my mind at this time, being for a time dissevered from him that I am. I must entreat your favourable word to my Lord Keeper that he will suffer me to follow the course of law to my lord of Huntingdon. I desire no favour therein but only sufferance. This bearer can tell you the matter. I rather choose this time to follow it, in Sir Walter's absence, that myself may bear the unkindness and not he, the money being long time past due to me.—Sherborne Lodge, 20 March.
Endorsed :—“20 March 1595.”
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (31. 29.)
Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of York, to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 20. I received letters 16th inst., dated the 2nd of the same, from your lordship and others of the Privy Council, to cause the clergy of the likeliest sort to have in readiness horsemen and footmen with furniture, as they are in that province of Canterbury. The morrow after I wrote my earnest letters to the three bishops of this province, Dunelm, Carlisle and Chester, and to every one of them a copy of the lords' letters. But whereas your lordships do refer us to a levy made in 1588, the truth is there was no such thing heard of in this province. It is like that such direction came down to Archbishop Sandys, whom God did call at Southwell the 10 July the same year; but nothing was done, nothing heard of in this province. Therefore I have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury to send me some instructions de modo et forma procedendi in that province, which I hope he will do by post; and I make no doubt but that we of this province will be as ready as others are in this necessary and dutiful service, albeit the common sort of the clergy here are very poor.—From York, 20 March, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (31. 30.)
Captain Ma. Bredgate to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 20. May it please you to be the mean unto my Lord Treasurer for the signing of this poor bill enclosed. I protest it did not stand me in above 20l., and twice was I in great danger of my life. I made known to my Lord Admiral and your honour in what sort Calais was furnished both with men, munition, corn, wine, &c.; likewise those provisions of all instruments of war for the besieging of any city or town which hath been aproviding this three or four years in Flanders. Also I will assure you I am so perfect of the strength of the town of Calais as whensoever any Spanish forces beleaguer it, I will undertake upon my life that her Majesty may have at her pleasure the said town, both from the Spaniard and French.—March 20, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (31. 31.)
Thomas Arundel to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 20. The end is it that gives the praise to whatsoever well intended action, wherefore, good cousin, though my bond to you for your goodwill will ever be very great, yet your honour in helping me in my distress will greatly increase by the good conclusion which by your means my business may be brought unto. I have sent two letters, one shewing my best thoughts of her Majesty's great worth, with a great grief for her displeasure; the other more directly tending to my disgrace in a less plausible manner, for the giving of great praises with the acknowledging of great indignities do not well suit together. Again[st] this latter I will set down a few reasons, of which yourself, when you shew it to the Queen after she hath refused the acceptance of the first, may allege what you think best.
First, her Majesty's promise, who sent me word she would not deal so harshly with me as she had with Sir Anthony Sherley, is very much straited; first, for that he with his honour took an oath, which I did not, and therefore my punishment ought to be many degrees less; and next, though he made a recantation yet he retained the honour.
Secondly, that this will be a slender satisfaction to the Emperor's letter, and a certain breaking off of all well hoped-for proceedings of amity between them, for no man can but judge that whatsoever I write again myself is enforced, and in that kind the more the worse.
Thirdly, when the princes of Germany shall see the Queen attempt to infringe their privileges by taking on her (though to no end) the unmaking of an Earl Imperial (I mean in the Empire), they cannot, as yourself may judge, but take it very ill.
Fourthly, what all Italy and Germany will think of this attempt, who think her not willing to offend the Turk, let other judge.
Fifthly, it is opposite to her letter to the Emperor, wherein she imputes much of this proceeding to her nobility, as who should say her nobility would offer to unmake an Earl of the Empire in the Empire.
Lastly, which is most to be considered, it is to no effect at all, for all the world knows that the Earls Imperial have far stronger privileges and far surer ties to their earldoms than any other Earls have; and yet I think that an English Earl cannot be put out of his honour in England unless he be attainted in blood, tried by his peers, and condemned by order of law. Then judge you if any of our former kings, not having just cause to condemn an Earl by law, would notwithstanding of malice make him renounce his earldom by writing, and take that as sufficient to degrade him and his posterity, judge, I say, what would be the sequel of it. You know that though a King can make an Earl, yet cannot an Earl be unmade but being tried and convinced by his peers. Much less can the Emperor unmake an Earl Imperial; and if he could, yet you cannot but guess that he would not easily undo opus manuum suarum. Let it be sufficient that the Queen hath exercised her authority herein as far forth as the authority of any prince can extend, I mean in their own dominions. Let it suffice that I am the first example of this new disgrace clean against the custom of former ages; that I am the first Earl Imperial who in England must not be allowed for an Earl; and that against all this I have neither in effect nor word any way repined; but let not her Majesty give strange themes of slander against herself by attempting impossible disgraces against her kinsman, against one that in this action hath deserved well of her, against one that to do her a service has lately passed extreme danger of death, with the loss of whatsoever I had.
I know your wisdom and honourable mind cannot but know the truth and pity the wrong; yet if you doubt that these allegations, coming from yourself, my kinsman, will be less forcible by the suspicion of partiality, I hope my Lord Treasurer will vouchsafe by letter or message to her Majesty to undertake the protection of such a cause.
[P.S.] If the Queen should motion to have me write to cause this honour to be put out of the records, you are to know that the records are in the custody of the Archbishop of Mens (Mayence), Chancellor of the Empire and Prince Elector, in which there can be nothing altered without the consent of a Diet. If this truth will not suffice I can but thank you for favours past, and resolve, Est locus in carcere quod Arundellianum appellatur. I am pursuaded that when the Queen shall be informed of the truth of these things, she will not cause me to write anything whereby this state must needs [be] convinced of so gross an ignorance in a matter so palpable.
Endorsed : “20 March 1595. Mr. Thos. Arundell to my master.”
Unsigned. 2 pp. (31. 32.)
William, Earl of Derby to Sir Robert Cecil, his uncle.
1595/6, March 20. I gave order long since to Ireland to discharge your debt; but seeing by reason of many other payments he hath failed, I have given him special charge to send it hither with all speed out of the country upon his coming thither, who, for that and other like provision, is now upon departure hence.—Russel House, 20 March, 1595.
Holograph. ½ pp. (31. 33.)
Sir Henry Unton to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 20. Relative to further negotiations with the King through Mr. Edmondes, and other matters, and his own state.—Coussy, 20 March, 1595. [See Murdin's State Papers, pp. 733–4, where the letter is given in extenso.]
Unsigned. Copy. 2 pp. (171. 115.)
Robert Godfrey to his brother, Thomas Bel.
1595/6, March 20/30. Has been negligent because he had nothing to write. “I doubt not of your hearing by others than me of my brother's still detaining where I writ to you last, although his pains were . . . kin, to show my right dutiful affection to serve R. P. (Huntley, Errol) (fn. 1) whose travails have not been hitherto much essayed in seeking his release, although they know very well what power they have; it is true they were stayed of their honest meaning, I mean P (Erroll) (fn. 1), by Malchus who gave him counsel first to send for me and cause me undertake a small piece of service, which he assured P (Erroll) (fn. 1) I would not refuse, being commanded so by him and R (Huntley) (fn. 1) which P (Erroll) (fn. 1) did agree with so and, so moved, by Malchus (Bishop of Rosse) (fn. 1) sent me this answer to my letter, which I had sent him for the said effect by a messenger of mine. I sent likewise at that time another letter to an assured friend of mine, desiring from him to be advertised of what his credit might compass in the going of matters with them. From whom I received no answer with that bearer, except a cipher, which I received with P (Erroll) (fn. 1), his letter, which he, my friend, delivered to my bearer the second of this instant. Now, since, I have received this other, whereto the cipher answereth, which you may receive and consider of with the cipher and P (Erroll) (fn. 1) his letter, all contained herein. I am assured to hear from both R and P (Huntley, Erroll) (fn. 1) in two three days, for I have sent a messenger yet to them and unto Samsone (James Gordon) (fn. 1) who at R (Huntley) (fn. 1) his command hath done my brother all honourable courtesy, except that he was prayed to excuse the fault which, they said, came of his own rash advisement in not making Samsone (James Gordon) (fn. 1) Malchus (B. of Rosse) or any of their friendship advertised.” Has more to say if he had sufficient warrant. Is bound “to pray God Almighty and t' exhort you and all David's (the Queen's) (fn. 1) friends to have a careful regard to him, for it hath been said that, since the example of his last neighbour of Edinburgh (France) is not able to teach him, his 'awm' as dear experience shall, and content others.” Would like the letters back which he sent to be given to “your friend,” for “if they who detained the writer of them had seen and considered them they might easily thereby have been cured of their jealousy of him and my brother.”—At Foy (Camphere) (fn. 1), 30 March, 1596, stilo novo.
In Scotch dialect. Holograph. 2 pp. (39. 66.)
The Same to James Hudsone, Agent of the King of Scotland in London.
1596, March 30. Desires to hear of his welfare and that of his bed-fellow and sweet children. Asks if he has the cipher the writer delivered to him; for he hopes shortly to have things to say which require “some mask for the paper.” Wrote to his brother Thomas to send back the letters which were to be given to Hudsone. “The effect of that I have now written to my brother or his locum tenens is contained in a letter or two sent to me from the other side, only a warning more, by which I wiss David (the Queen) (fn. 1) your master to be cared for in his person, whom I pray God save.” Asks for news of “our homeward estate,” and to be informed who receives what he writes to his brother. Signed : “Ye knaw quaha.”
In Scotch dialect. Holograph. 1 p. (39. 67.)
The Council of the North to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 21. In answer of letters of the 16th of this month. The gaol delivery which Lord Eure hath required to be holden for Northumberland is appointed to be upon April 5 at Hexham; and for the execution thereof we have determined that Mr. Humfrey Purefoy and Mr. John Ferne, two of this Council, and also Mr. Cuthbert Pepper, learned in the laws, shall attend his lordship, and have given him advertisement thereof about a fortnight sithens, who hath caused the same to be proclaimed accordingly. And we think there will be also at that gaol delivery the bishop of Durham, Lord Ogle, Mr. Edward Talbot, Sir William Reade, Sir William Bowes, Thomas Calverley, Henry Anderson, and others, because they are in the commission of Oyer and Terminer, and remain in those parts.
We have given warning to the late Earl his servants to depart at Ladyday, who pitifully complain themselves to be in great distress for want of their wages, being owing to many of them above a year, and without which they say they know not how to provide for themselves; and for the weekly charges of this diet since his lordship's death until the 25th inst. we will upon the end of this week send you advertisement. The Receiver hath sent no order to his man here for disbursing any money to discharge this debt, and his man answereth that his master hath now written to him that he hath not yet received any warrant for payment thereof, and therefore he will disburse none; whereby the steward hath been enforced to borrow a great part of the charge heretofore laid out.
For the fourscore light horse appointed by her Majesty's letters to be levied in the county of York and part of the bishopric of Durham and to be sent to Lord Eure, we did charge the bishopric with ten and the residue upon Yorkshire, and those levied in the West and East Ridings were delivered on the 15th inst. at York to Mr. Raffe Mansfield, captain of Harbottle Castle, whom his lordship appointed to take charge of them, except only two horses and a half not yet set forth because the Justices of the West Riding affirm that out of their proportion they are to be levied upon the liberty of the 'Ancietie' of York, the Lord Mayor denying that the same is to be charged with that Riding, being within the county of the city of York; and for that the county of the city is not within her Majesty's letters, therefore we have no warrant to impose that charge upon that 'Ancietie.' Those for the North Riding we appointed to be delivered to the said captain at Topcliffe the 17th inst. by Sir Wm. Fairfax, Sir John Dawny, and Mr. Henry Bellasis, and for anything we know yet they were delivered accordingly. The sitting here did end the 20th inst., and the next sitting is adjourned to 10 May, to endure for three weeks, being the usual continuance of each sitting. The country, God be thanked, is in good quietness.—At York, 21 March, 1595.
Signed by six of the Council. 2 pp. (31. 34.)
Thomas Bodley to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 21. The remises and disputes upon the points of my overture have been so many and long and so intricate unto me, by reason of the number and diversity of Deputies of divers Provinces and humours, as it would weary you overmuch to hear the whole discourse. For it hath chanced very often that when the matter hath proceeded as well as I could wish, and gone currently forward to the point of knitting up, it hath been cast further backward with one little scruple than could after be recovered in many consultations; which continual expectation of their final resolution hath been a stop unto my writing to you. But yet yesterday they came to a kind of conclusion, and sent presently unto me to let me know to what effect, and how they had resolved to present their offer to her Majesty by delegates of purpose, and with petition to her Highness to receive it with good liking, as the greatest satisfaction the country can afford. So much was accorded as my overture contained, a full release to her Highness of her auxiliary charge, 20,000l. sterling for an annual payment till the end of the wars, and then immediately after for four years together the sum of 400,000l., to be paid by equal portions : as also for the rest of the points of that project they have varied very little in any article of substance. But where I was of opinion that their grant should have passed for the foresaid sums to be paid her Majesty without words of restriction, as in the treaty [of] '85, wherein I understand that in the name of her Majesty are included her successors; their intention is only, and therein they concur with very great earnestness as if they would not be removed (and that for infinite occasions which they say they have debated and find very weighty) to condescend to no other but a personal payment, to her Majesty only, and that for as long as her Highness will require it, so there may be words allowed to exclude the claim of others. And this they urge as if it were not to be doubted that her Highness will accept it, sith all their treating was with her, and they can challenge of no other the performance of that whereunto she was bound : whereby they argue that another can take no benefit of those debts. But yet their own common law, as far as I can learn by others, doth make against them altogether; and I have pressed them besides with other special arguments, to which they answer by alleging how great a benefit they lose by releasing her Majesty of her treaty with the country. This hath held us together in a long disputation, insomuch as not agreeing on a point of such consequence I have signified unto them, having thought it expedient for discharge of my duty and for their satisfaction, that I would write about it into England with all expediton to some about her Majesty, and that according to their answer I would deal with them further. For which I am to beseech you most earnestly to let me know by this bearer (whom I send of set purpose to win the more time) how her Highness is affected : and that so fully, if you please, as I may not be enforced to reply thereunto and so attend some further letter; nor they to pick a quarrel to start from their offers or to deny or delay me by taking new occasions to repair unto their Provinces. And to show you what I think; they have framed in their fancies so many dangerous inconveniences that may fall upon their State by binding themselves to her Majesty's heirs as they will give no way to any motion that may tend to such a purpose. They enquire very often of me whether her Highness be privy to any part of my overture, but I endeavour what I can to keep it from their knowledge. And I am told by Mr. Barnevelt, and do otherwise perceive it, that it is not yet imagined in the meeting of the States, though it may be some few somewhat surmise it, For I have ever so carried the course of my dealing as all that I have done or said in these affairs hath seemed still unto the multitude to proceed of myself and from my private advice and care of their prosperity. For so I did conceive it would stand best with her Highness's contentation, not to seem to understand that they do her any pleasure in making such an offer, but that they should repute it for a singular grace if their offer be accepted. And in this negotiation, to yield Mr. Barnevelt his due commendation, he hath managed all his matters so advisedly and with such special regard to her Majesty's good liking, dignity, and state, as I cannot but signify that, although for myself had never doubt of his careful proceeding, yet now by proof I find it more than I had reason to expect. He hath protested notwithstanding, and I have cause to believe him because I have been very inward to his painful course of dealing, and therein sundry great hazards of his credit with the country, that were it integrum unto him, a very great offer should not draw him again to engage himself farther than the rest of his fellows. It should seem by your last that his delays in this pursuit have discontented her Majesty, but it was not possible for him to effect it any sooner; which I can manifest in his behalf with so clear a demonstration as her Highness I am certain will conceive it very readily. For the weight of the matter with every circumstance considered, as well in respect of the persons and humours as of their doubts and other obstacles, it is thought in this place very great expedition to begin and end it in 8 or 9 weeks, in so much as all men here affirm that they never knew the like so soon brought about. Were the nature of the suit in some other kind, though it were to put the country to a matter of further charge, they would pass it, peradventure, at the instance of her Majesty without any contradiction. As in that which I required about their sending to her Highness certain ships of assistance for the voyage now in hand, it was no sooner by me proposed but they granted it willingly, albeit they are not tied to do it by the treaty but in cases when the enemy shall come with a fleet in the channels between England and France or England and these countries; whereas it is an expense as they have made their computation of 50,000l. sterling, which with their offer towards of 20,000l. and the charge they must bear in entertaining other new companies in lieu of the English auxiliaries, will amount for this year above 100,000l. But this opinion, among others, hath gone current in their College, and is still the assertion of the most, that the aforesaid disbursement is not so hurtful to her Majesty, although they make it very burdensome, as is the very bruit of the breach of the contract, although it should be but maintained in word and show, and they should not be relieved by any means of her Majesty. So much they think it doth import to use her countenance and name, and that this people and the enemy should not alter their conceit of her continuance of her succours. And in that respect they have thought it good not to break the matter plainly to the people of the Provinces, but to proceed with the privity and liking of the chiefs, and so by virtue of their instructions, which are commonly sufficient for the purpose, to take a resolution. Again, to note by one example how hard a passage I have found to arrive to my design. Fifteen days ago they had set down in articles the heads of their offer and were purposely assembled to finish all in one day before they would depart; when one or two of the Deputies not acquainted with the matter, for that they were very newly arrived, stood stiffly upon it against them all, that they ought not to determine a cause of that moment without some special communication with every several Province, wherein they took occasion to be much more vehement upon the message delivered by Sir Francis Vere. For to pay her Majesty an annual sum of money, to forego 2,200 soldiers, considering what troops they have presently in France, and withal to charge themselves with such a number of ships as they have promised to arm, they held it very stoutly too great a resolution to be taken among themselves without the generality. And these were only two Deputies of one of the lesser Provinces, whose refusal hath impeached their proceeding for so many days and caused almost their colleagues to come to terms of protestation. For they do not in these cases proceed by plurality but must have every single suffrage. This I thought fit to be signified unto you to give you some notice of the steps and thwarts that have been offered in this action. As for my endeavours, the respect I carry to her Majesty's commandments shall ever make me think there is nothing too hard or too heavy where my poor labours may be pleasing to her Highness; but otherwise in truth, to speak of myself and mine own contentation (wherein God is my witness I speak unfeignedly unto you), if it were in my option to endure a year's imprisonment or two such other months' toil, my mind would account it a far better bargain to lose a year's liberty with some further discommodity. I could say somewhat more upon this subject but that I write unto your lordship, who will both perfitly consider the quality of my service and also recommend it as occasion shall be offered; whereunto I have good cause to interest you more instantly, for that in this place I can take no fit witness of my industry and care, and at home no other hath so understood my service as your lordship. As far as I conjecture of men's inclinations, here is nothing to be feared touching that point your lordship recommendeth, for their not giving ear to any truce with the enemy; albeit it is perceived he hath many secret instruments, and doth omit to that end no practice in this country, and, which is worst, doth find more fautors at this present than have been noted or suspected at any time these ten years. If Mons. Sancy shall come hither to move his suit for further aid, that condition which her Highness doth require to be remembered, for the King to give assurance that he will yield no accord or peace with the Spaniard, is so welcome and plausible to all that I have sounded (which are divers of the principal) as they make no question of it. But to countenance the matter with more authority and grace they wish it were concluded by some solemn ratification between her Majesty, him, and them. For other matters, I have not known heretofore we were ever so unfurnished as we have been here of late, for half a year together. For the States are now at a stand for any action of importance, and all we can hear of the enemy's doings is the gathering of his forces in the several places to rescue La Fere. Howbeit we have no certainty he is yet in his march, or what numbers he hath raised, though most men gave out they are not so few as 15,000 foot and 3,000 horse, and many are persuaded he hath neither the means to succour La Fere nor doth intend it; but under colour of that enterprise will be doing on the sudden with some other place, which many imagine will be Calais, which is also so reported by letters from Antwerp.—From the Hague, 21 March, '95.
Endorsed :—“Copy of my letter to my L. Treasurer.”
Unsigned. 6¼ pp. (31. 35.)
Hugh Morgan to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595/6, March 21. One Alexander, a watchman in Battersea, affirmeth that one Mr. Brooke the younger, of Tooting in Surrey, giveth out in speech that of late there are 700 English sailors, mariners and others, which in traitorous manner are fled away from Plymouth unto the King of Spain, and have carried away with them one fair English ship, with much store of great ordnance and other answerable furniture. Knows not Mr. Brooke, nor did never see him to his knowledge, but the hearing this rumour did not a little grieve him, and thought it his duty to advertise Cecil.—21 March, 1595.
Holograph. 1 p. (31. 39.)
William Paule to the Earl of Essex.
1595/6, March 21. I came hither to Couey on Friday last, the 19th of March, according to the English account, not without some dangers escaped as well by sea as land. But the worst of ills is that I found my lord ambassador in such miserable weak estate that all men despaired of an hour's longer life. His sickness (a malignant hot fever) began with extremity of pain in his head, and about the seventh day his utterance failed him; but this accident was no sooner cured by the careful learned skill of the King's physician (De Lorrayne, doctor of Montepellier), but certain purple spots appeared about his heart, whereupon, with the advice of La Ryviere, the other physician, they gave him Confectio Alcarmas compounded of musk, amber, gold, pearl and unicorn's horn, with pigeons applied to his side, and all other means that art could devise, sufficient to expel the strongest poison and he be not bewitcht withal. These accidents being holpen, which arose of the malignity of his disease, yet his grief increased worse and worse; but the 17th day of his sickness, and the 20th of March, being his last critical day, was worst of all, so that in the accidents of sickness his sickness is cured, and yet he is extremely sick still. This present Monday is the one and twentieth day of his disease, in which space he hath not slept, to their seeming which watch about him; his food is only jelly and such nutritive extracted matter, and albeit his body be brought so low that nature seemeth altogether spent, yet his memory and speech serve him perfectly though to little use. God is Almighty and may do much to restore him contrary to man's expectation, and therefore I purpose to expect the end.
Signior Antonio his letter I gave into his own hands; the other Mr. Edmondes reserves in the privy closet among the rest of your lordship's. I could wish your lordship to write betimes to Mr. Edmondes to reserve his writings and papers, to prevent others from seizing of them.—From Coucy, 21 [sic. 22] March, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (171. 116.)
Thomas Ferrers, deputy-governor of the Merchants Adventurers at Stade, to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 23. Repeats the contents of his last, dated 15th inst. Has sent Widoson aboard Robert Ducke's ship, master, dwelling at Lee, with charge to deliver him to Burghley, to be examined if he think good : he doth not acknowledge to belong to any, nor will he be known to have anything to do in these parts.
“The day before this instant the Duke of Harborcke sent for me, imparting he had understood that the King of Spain with his confederates do intend to invade Ireland and so England if they can; herewith is his grace's letter to her Majesty, which he willed me to send you with his commendations. This noble gentleman is very kind to all Englishmen and is ready to help them in anything he can. The ship Joachim Showmaker, of Hamburgh, is now lading for England; about that time he will go hence I will certify you. The Hamburghers do prepare shipping to go for Spain; some are also preparing at Lubec. Two days past I received a letter from Robert Smith, who doth write he will be here within this twelve days, now here is no shipping to go for England. He coming, I will keep him until shipping come or that I may know your pleasure.”—Stod, 23 March, 1595.
Signed :—“Tho. Ferrers, her Majesty's agent here.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (31. 40.)
Thomas Bodley to Lord Burghley.
1595/6, March 24. Upon the writing of my last of the 21st and 22nd hereof, to your lordship and to Sir Robert Cecil, I was presently informed that the States had a meaning to intreat me to repair with their offer to her Majesty, to the end they might be told whereunto they must trust. For although I had written to understand her Highness's pleasure about the point of their intention not to tie themselves by this treaty to her Highness's heirs and successors, yet they thought it very requisite to deal effectually and clearly in every other point by delivering unto me their articles in writing, to be wholly and particularly imparted unto her; that when their Deputies shall be in England there may be no exception against any one article, whereby they should be forced to return as they came; whereof they apprehend that so great inconvenience may presently ensue as they will not give the adventure without some certainty before. If her Majesty presuppose that their Deputies shall come with such sufficient commission as it will be left to their discretions to treat of anything there as occasion is ministered, or in any other sort than is precisely prescribed before they depart, it is told me very flatly that it will not be permitted, and no man here will be willing to go with such commission. He that made me thus privy to the purpose of the States is the party known to your lordship from whom the project came at first, who when he had found me nothing willing to depart from the Hague till I had heard out of England, for that her Majesty might happily, upon that which I had written, enjoin me to do somewhat that would ask my presence here, he told me very earnestly it was needful I should do it to draw the States by that means to exhibit unto me their agreement in writing, which otherwise he was sure they would keep unto themselves till I were ready to depart, and might be moved then the while to make some further alterations. Finding his advice concur with the opinion of others, and having proved by experience that some one new device of some one ticklish Deputy might suffice to mar as much as had been hitherto determined, and that also other accidents might engender among them some backward discourses, I fell to take this resolution, that I would take my leave here and go presently for Zealand, and there attend the return of the messenger I sent; and if any new charge were imposed upon me by order from her Majesty, that were of importance and should require my presence here, I would return upon it out of hand; but if it might be performed by Mr. Gilpin alone, I would repair unto her Majesty with all convenient speed. I shall hereupon receive their offer in writing, with some letter of petition that her Majesty would accept it, which when they have delivered I will from hence into Zealand, knowing no better way to negotiate herein, and finding it behoofull, for sundry weighty considerations, before the Deputies go from hence, to inform her Majesty very throughly of such specialties and points in which there may be some use of my knowledge and report.—From the Hague, March 24, '95.
[P.S.] Your lordship will remember her Majesty, as I have formerly advertised, that there hath nothing been delivered by me to the States in all my treaty with them as if her Highness were acquainted with the course of my dealing; I give no approbation to any part of their offer in her behalf, but will only take it as exhibited to be presented first by me and after by their Deputies if she will accept it. And in that respect I thought it fit, whether her Highness like it or dislike it, to nave it in my custody, to prevent such further change as might happily come between. By communication there with some I find they could wish the garrison of Flushing were not left overweak by drawing away so many men, not for any fear they have of the enemy, but to take away occasion from the inhabitants of the town of seeking further liberty; which if it should happen (whereof they say, notwithstanding, they have no manner of suspicion) it might perhaps be impossible for the State to recover the place for her Majesty again. And for the Brille they say the same.
Endorsed :—“Copy of my letter to the L. Treasurer, Mar. 24, '95.”
Unsigned. 2½ pp. (31. 41, 42.)
Sir Edward Norreys to the Earl of Essex.
1595/6, March 24. Although I have already troubled you with an overlong letter and am myself also wearied with writing, yet could I not deny the request of this very tall soldier, Lieutenant Digs, who desired my letter to you in his favour. I assure you he is a very tall man and one whom you may put in trust with any great piece of service. If it shall please your lordship to bestow any place of preferment upon him you shall not be deceived in your choice, nor I be held careless to prefer those which have so well deserved unto me.—From Ostend, this 24 March, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (171. 117.)
1595/6, before March 25. (1.) “The form of Sir Tho. Gerrard's commission for the levying of men.” Commission of Robert, Earl of Essex and Charles, Lord Howard, Lord High Admiral, to Sir Thomas Gerrard, knight, to levy 1,000 men in the counties of North Wales, Lancaster, Chester and Derby, with the assistance of the six captains named, to be at the general rendezvous at Plymouth by the 28 April.—. . . March, 1595.
Draft. 1¼ pp. (31. 56.)
(2.) Another draft of the same, with marginal notes, for a similar commission for Sir Mathew Morgan, knight, to levy 1,000 men in the counties of Hereford and South Wales. 1 p. (31. 62.)
(3.) Commission of Robert, Earl of Essex to Sir F[rancis] V[ere] to be Marshal “of her Majesty's whole army, for this present employment.” With marginal alterations for a commission for a colonel of a regiment of foot.
Draft. (31. 57.)
(4.) Similar commission to Sir G[eorge] C[arew] to be Master of the Ordinance or General of the Artillery.
Draft with corrections by the Earl of Essex. 1 p. (31. 58.)
(5.) Similar commission of the Earl of Essex and the Lord High Admiral to the same.
Draft with corrections by the Earl of Essex. ¾ p. (31. 60.)
(6.) Draft of portion of a commission, directing all mayors, sheriffs and other officers to provide such post horses as are required for her Majesty's service [by some person not named].
9 lines. (31. 61.)
Antony Poulett, Governor of Jersey, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596, March 25. Received this afternoon a letter from my brother, my lieutenant in Jersey, and immediately signified it to the Lord Treasurer, who commanded me to acquaint someone of her Majesty's Council now at the Court with it, that she might be informed of it. Being not able by reason of some infirmity to, wait upon you with the latter, enclose it herein.—“Scribled, London, this Thursday night.”
Endorsed :—“25 March, 1595 [sic. : 1596]. Mr. Pawlet to my master. With a letter from his brother of the arrival of certain galleys at Blavet.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (31. 43.)
The enclosure :
G. Poulett, bailiff and lieutenant of Jersey, to his brother.
1595/6, March 18.— I have received your letters written from London the 7th inst. and most heartily thank you for the news therein, but I perceive you had not then received from me any letters either by Dumaresque or Watson, but I trust by the next to have answer of them. Meantime I have despatched this bearer in all haste to give you advertisement that yesterday Solomon Blondel and Place came from St. Malo, and Solomon hath assured me there are within this sennight a ii galleys come to Blavet and some 2,500 Spaniards in them, or thereabouts. Solomon spake now at St. Malo with some that came from Spain very lately that confirm that they saw them and met them at sea coming for Britaine, and since that the news of their arrival is come from Blavet to St. Malo by land and held for very certain. This is as much as I have heard as yet, which I fear is too true. They report also that sithens their coming to Blavet they were going by land to St. Brien to spoil it, but that they have accorded with them and have given them 3,000 crowns or thereabouts and so have stayed them. I received also now a letter from Collins by Solomon wherein is some news, and therefore I send it you. He did not write unto me about these galleys, because Solomon telleth me his letters were seated up before this news came to St. Malo. I find M. de la Conterie very well affected towards us here and very willing to do us all the service he may, and now he hath sent me word by Solomon that if I will he will send a spy to Blavet to learn out there their proceedings and purposes thoroughly, especially concerning these Islands, if I will defray the messenger's charges. Which considered how necessary it is to have certain intelligence of these things and how much it importeth us here, I have written to Conterie praying him to send away one out of hand and the party shall be well paid for his pains, so I doubt not but very shortly you shall receive from me more certain advice of all the Spaniard's doings. I would willingly send one also from hence to the same purpose if I knew of your liking and allowance of it. Money is well spent this way and I do not know but that the Queen will be very glad to bear the charges of such spies, as in times past she hath, to have good intelligence out of Britaine, seeing these Spanish forces may in likelihood as well annoy England as endanger us here. I pray you, considering the likelihood of our danger this spring, to provide for it out of hand and to procure us aid of men and munitions, and your presence withal if possible. Meanwhile assure yourself that what is to be provided or done here for our defence shall be put in readiness out of hand. I have a fortnight since made a progress about the Island and viewed all the coasts and taken order for such things as I found amiss, and I will not be idle to order other things also, both in the castles and in the country.—Jersey, 18 Mar., 1595.
Holograph. 2 pp. (31. 28.)
Enclosed :
“The report of Mr. Place.”—Spoke a fortnight agone with certain merchants of Granville that came from Rochelle with salt and had been taken by those of Blavet and carried thither, who reported for certain that they saw there 4 galleys well appointed and full of men. Since which time he spake also with the master of a boat of Rosco that came to St. Malo, with whom he had good acquaintance, who told him that the day before there came a ship of Rosco from St. Lucques, who coming homeward met 7 galleys 18 leagues from Belle Isle going to Blavet, and spake with them. Place hath not heard certainly what number of soldiers they have brought. Before the arrival of these galleys there were some 3,000 Spaniards in Britaine living upon the country, and of late, being at Pont Deni, have made St. Brien compound with them for 3,000 crowns, it is said. Duke Mercury is now coming to Dinam to make his Pasques there, and all things are already provided for him in the town. They of St. Malo are in great jealousy thereof, and marvel what business he hath in those quarters, suspecting the worst. One of the presidents of Rennes is lately gone to Duke Mercury to negotiate the prolonging of the “treves” until 1 August next, and it is thought generally he will yield unto it. If so, our danger, as you know, will be the greater, for the Spaniards will not be idle. This truce that is now endeth the latter end of April according to the French account, which is ten days before our month ends.
pp. (31. 28.)
William Bocher to Lord Burghley, Lord Buckhurst, and Sir John Fortescue.
1596, March 25. Hears there are letters come this morning from Sir R. Sydney complaining much of their want of money, which may well be, for he has heard and partly knows that notwithstanding their lordship's letters came to Middleburgh before Mr. Kennell had received any great part of these monies which they writ to have stayed in the merchants' hands, yet Mr. Kennell, hearing how matters stood here with Sir Thomas Sherley, did presently give assignation to strangers of the whole money to his own use, and such bills of exchange as were not due he sold away immediately at extraordinary loss, and so hath drawn the whole into his own hands and keepeth it to his own use and Sir Thomas Sherley's, without disposing it to the companies as appertaineth. Thinks it his duty for her Majesty's service to let them know this.—This 25th March, 1596.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (39. 57.)
John [Whitgift], Archbishop of Canterbury, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596, March 25. Upon Wednesday last it pleased her Majesty to signify unto me her resolution for the Bishopric of Worcester and for the Deanery of Durham, which was that Dr. Bilson should have Worcester and Dr. James, Durham.
I heartily pray you that when you shall present to her Majesty the bill for Worcester you would likewise present unto her the other for Durham, lest Dr. James might be disappointed of them both, to his utter discredit, being a very worthy man, and to my grief, who in respect of his worthiness only have been a long and an earnest suitor for him for the better place.—From Lambeth the 25th of March, 1596.
Holograph. ½ p. (39. 52.)


  • 1. These explanations of the symbols are written in in another hand.