Cecil Papers: January 1597, 1-10

Pages 1-16

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 7, 1597. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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January 1597, 1–10

Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
[1596-7, Jan. 1. I have delivered your letters to his Excellency the Count Hollock and Mons. de Barneveldt, who thought themselves greatly bound unto you, and with large protestations made speech of their desire to do you service. The Count Hollock is now gone into Germany under colour of visiting certain princes, and so to return in three months, but it is thought that, if he be fairly offered, he will try his future in the wars against the Turk. The Count Ludovyck was gone to his father, to whom I will send your letter by the first; his return is expected very shortly for that he is to go into France with the succours the States granted unto the King at the Duke of Bouillon's being here. Now to let your honour understand how the State is busied. I find them very far engaged in reforming the discipline of their men of war and in giving them a better allowance than they have had hitherto; their horsemen be armed after the French manner so that we all conceive hope to see fair troops and to be in some good action this summer. On the other side the Cardinal reinforceth himself all he may, making new levies in Italy of 3,000 men and in Germany of some good number, so that in all he maketh account to put an army into the field of 25 or 26,000 men, which he holdeth sufficient to answer if need be the forces of France and the Low Countries. Howbeit it is given out by the French that even now he offereth peace unto their King. Mons. de Busenwall hath received advertisements that a gentleman should be sent presently into England from the King to invite her Majesty to a conference how their forces and those of these parts may be best united and employed to the good of the common course; the King offering himself to be at Dieppe and there to treat if her Majesty be pleased to send, whither these men are also summoned. It is hoped, if the proposition be liked, that your honour will be there, the rather for that the King desireth it exceedingly. This motion seemed very strange to me who thought at my coming out of England that the enterprise of Callis was in a manner agreed on. But upon some speech had with Mons. Busenvall I do find that they are not over forward in that matter; he told me that in France many great ones would oppose themselves; and besides, if that point were granted, to be doubted whether it were fit to assail a place, so weak provided, likely to hold out long, to consume and waste a flourishing army, during which siege the enemy might harm us soundly in another quarter. This much I perceived, that they had rather we should begin with any other parts of Flanders. I made the siege of Callis necessary by all the arguments I could and left him somewhat better satisfied of it, and my purpose is to deal with Mons. Barneveldt to strengthen him that way, which will not a little advance the matter. In that I am persuaded no action can be of more honour and profit to the crown of England or of more advantage to the common cause, I have and will endeavour all I may to make it be liked here, and do most humbly desire your honour to stick firmly to it, for that I know there is no other but yourself that can bring it to pass, no man having credit to bring so many and so good stuff of the nation, without which no good in that enterprise can be effected. Herein if it will please your honour to give me any directions, I will employ myself to the uttermost, as in every other of your commandments.—The Hague, this first January 1596.
Holograph. 2¼ pp. (37. 30.)
P. Tourner to Archibald Douglas.
1596-7, Jan. 1. Has no refuge but unto Douglas, without whom he is lost, as no countryman of his will do anything for him. Beseeches him to consider his misery and danger to his life. If by Douglas's means he be discharged and employed in service, he will shew himself a changed man.—From Marshalsea, this first day of January 1596.
Holograph. Part of Seal. 1 p. (37. 32.)
John Danyell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 1. Beseeching his resolute answer touching George Freman's offer for ransoming Thomas Geffrey, whose ransom being 400l. his offer is a good help, which will be lost if present order be not taken.
Mr. Grafton, an English gentleman who married his cousin german, delivered to Cecil yesterday a petition to the Queen. Prays that, in regard of his losses, as witnessed by the testimonial of the mayor and others of Galway, and of his inability to continue a suitor here, he may have Cecil's aid in furthering his despatch. It will be no small credit to Danyell among his kinsmen and cousins if Grafton taste of his honour's speedy furtherance therein.
There is a young gentleman come out of Ireland of late, a very fit instrument for the service of Gruyne or any other part of Spain. He shall put her Majesty to small charges till his return, at which time he is to receive reward according to his deserts. Is well assured he will accomplish any service commanded, speedily and faithfully.—This first of January 1596.
Holograph. 1 p. (37. 33.)
Sir Griffin Markham to The Lord Chamberlain, Sir Robert Cecil and Sir John Fortescue.
[1596-7], Jan. 2. Has been now almost a month in the Fleet and in that time, as they know, accidents have happened to make him endeavour to hasten his release, as the death of the Lord Mayor (wherein he might have assisted his brother at least to back the malicious reports of those by whose means he is much worse off than the world expected or his father promised); also his father is sick, and if he should die the world would accuse him as faulty considering the discomfort his father has had by his absence.
Protests that he has concealed nothing from their lordships that he can remember, and therefore prays them to assist him in obtaining the Queen's mercy and regaining her good opinion.—From the Fleet, this 2 of January.
Endorsed :—“1596.”
Seals. 1 p. (37. 37.)
Officers of the Port of Ipswich to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Jan. 3. Have received his letter touching delivery of 49 barrels of red herrings, the goods of one Stephen Shevan, a merchant stranger of Dieppe, seized by their searcher; notwithstanding there was neither entry made or custom paid, they have at his lordship's command caused the goods to be delivered to one John Ladd of Yarmouth, factor to the merchant, to the great discontent and discouragement of the searcher.
They have taken sufficient bond for the value of the goods if recovered, the trouble and charge of which suit will be so heavy unto the searcher as the moiety will not answer his expenses, for his adversaries in these cases regard not what they expend to prevail in their unjust proceedings. His service for the stay of the butter and cheese in November last, which he delivered to the cheesemongers of London, also upon Burghley's letter, was 600l.; and his charge in landing the goods and keeping them from perishing while in sequestration, journeys to London, charges in the Exchequer and otherwise, stood him in 30l. of his own goods, to his great impoverishment. Also in August last, by Burghley's command, he delivered to the servant of Elizabeth Folyer 2 pockets of wool, worth 50l., laden in the bottom of a woodhoy to be put on board a ship lying in the port. They are, therefore, humbly to entreat his lordship to protect the said searcher in all his just and honest services, wherein he has ready willingness every way to obey his commandment. They are also entreated by the merchants of Ipswich to pray that they may be free from paying custom for corn brought into their port for this year, London having obtained the like, as they affirm. These merchants have sustained great losses, one ship cast away, and the corn in another greatly perished by taking salt water; but upon consent hereto they promise to sell their corn at a lower rate than now the market doth afford, which would be a great relief to the poor and a general content to the people who in this time of dearth are very apt to take mislike.—Ipswich, the third of January 1596.
Signed :—Edmond Jenney, collector; He. Goldingham, controller; A. Worlich, surveyor.
Seal broken. 1 p. (37. 38.)
Thos. Fane to The Lords of the Council.
1596-7, Jan. 3. Whereas their Lordships wrote on the 27 December last touching six ships of the East countries laden with corn which they had caused to be stayed in Dover Harbour, that the lading of one should be sold to the use of the inhabitants of Dover for their ready money, and the other five conducted to the port of Waterford or Dublin in Ireland; before the date of their letter the five ships were gone from Dover, putting out of the harbour in a very dark and tempestuous night, and only one was with difficulty detained, which being laden with other commodities besides corn, the corn was unshipped and stayed by the mayor; who hath undertaken to agree for the same with the merchants at prices reasonable for the use of the inhabitants.—Dover Castle, this third of January 1596.
Endorsed :—“Lieutenant of Dover Castle.”
1 p. (37. 39.)
Sir Horatio Palavicino to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 3. Spiring has returned and reports that there is no preparation for the armada of Spain, which has never been expected in Calais or Dunkirk. It was indeed said that it had arrived in Ireland or Scotland, but since the news of the shipwreck it is much less talked about. The Spaniards are in garrison, as was understood; only, some forces are collecting in Brabant for the war of the country, and from Zealand I have letters that an attack was feared upon Zillo or Liftenzook, The Cardinal's Court is occupied in continual councils, and colonels have been sent to levy soldiers. A Scotchman of quality had arrived from Spain and was immediately despatched back thither. In Brussels there are many English, and apparently busy enough. To confirm these news I send you Spiring himself.
From Teobast I have the letter herewith, and he writes to me that he would embark for Porto Porto in Portugal and asks for 25 crs., being six months' pay, two months in advance, which I will pay. A friend writes that by letters from Lisbon of 2 Dec., and from Madrid of the 7th, the King had ordered the Adelantado to repair the ships and continue the voyage. There are still forces enough to make up 12,000 foot and 400 horse; and doubtless the armada comes against the Queen our sovereign, but if Duke Mercurio has really agreed with the King of France and declared against Spain it may make for Brittany instead of Ireland or England. I have received the decree of Philip about the suspension of payments, which I think my lord your father would like to see. It is written in such characters that it must be copied to be understood. The suspension is general and he has detained the money of private persons which has come from the Indies, to make sure of funds until the next year's fleet [arrives].—From my house, 3 Jan. 1596.
Italian. Holograph. 2 pp. (173. 2.)
The Vidame of Chartres to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 5. Introducing Monsieur du Loie who comes to England to see the country.
Endorsed :—“Vidame de Chartres, vme Jan. 96.”
Holograph. Undated. 1 p. (37. 41.)
Sir Anthony Ashley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 5. Because I would shew my desire and willing endeavour every way to recover your honourable good opinion if possible, I have sent this my servant purposely herewith unto your honour to let you understand that if you please to undertake to procure the gift and benefit of a lunatic of the age of twenty-two years, I have presently the disposition of such a one, whose living is by common report 1500l. per annum, but I dare assure will be de claro to your purse some thousand pounds per annum during the life of the idiot or lunatic; or if you please not to undertake this matter for yourself, his younger brother (who will give all furtherance to this suit) will put you in good security to give you 2,000l. to obtain it for him, or in some other body's name to his use. This matter with the party is kept close and from company until I receive your resolution, whereupon I will in haste repair unto you with all particularities. I most humbly beseech you be pleased to take this in good part and at last to remit all hard conceit, protesting that if I knew any ways in the world to regain your good favour I would most carefully attempt the same.—From Okeover in Staffordshire this 5th day of January 1596.
(37. 43.)
The Queen to the King of Scotland.
[1596-7, Jan. 5.] If a rare accident and an ill-welcomed news had not broken my long silence, I had not now used my pen's speech; being too careful of your quiet and mindful of your safety to omit the expressing of both, by letting you know how untimely I take this new begun frenzy that may urge you to take such a course as may bring into opinion the verifying of such slander as you have vowed to me to be far from your thought. In this sort I mean it. Some members of the church, with their companies, have over audaciously emboldened themselves to redress some injurious Acts that they feared might overthrow their profession; which, though I grant no king for the manner ought hear the same, yet at the instant when the new-come banished lords be returned, and they seemed winked at without restraint, and spring growing on when promised succour was attended, together with many letters from Rome and elsewhere sent abroad to tell the names of men authorised from you (as they say, though, I hope, falsely) to assure your conformity, as time may serve you, to establish the dangerous party and fail your own, I wail in unfeigned sort that any just cause should be given you to call in doubt so disguised an act, and hope that you will so try out this cause as that it harm not you though it ruin them. You may of this be sure, that if you make your strength of so sandy a foundation as to call to your aid such aiders as be not of your flock; whereas the one side be foolish, rash, headlong and brainsick, yet such as must defend you for themselves having no sure anchorage if you fail them, and the other who have other props to sustain them, though they lack you, yea, such as, though your private love to their persons may inveigle your eyes not to pierce too deep into their treason, yet it is well known what their many petitions for foreign aid might have intended to your peril and country's wrack. For seldom comes a stronger to a weaker soil that thralls not the possessor, or dangers at least. I trust you think no less, or else they must justify themselves to condemn you, for without your displeasure not feared for such a fact, no answer can shield them from blame. Now to utter you my folly in being busy in another's affair, I suppose you will not mislike, since the source of all is care of your good, with desire that nought be done that may embolden the enemy, decrease your love and endanger your surety. This is, in sum, the fine whereto I tend, and God I beseech to direct your heart in such sort as you please not your worst subjects, but make all know in a measure what is fit for them, and make difference between error and malice. So God bless you with a true thought of your most affectionate sister that meaneth your best.
Another copy of the above.
Endorsed :—“5 Jan. 1596.”
Copy of her Majesty's letter to the King of Scots.”
pp. (133. 142.)
[Printed. Camden Society. Ed. Bruce. p. 120.]
Sir Horatio Palavicino to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 5. Desires that, according to the first order, Mr. Wedel may arrest Waring; which will move Master Bicher to pay the writer and will also move Mr. Scarley who is reported to owe 20,000l. to Bicher. Cecil wrote that he was sending a letter and requested the writer to prepare a sum of money, but no letter came with the other. Spiring need not be paid more than before, that is 4l. Francesco Rizzo shall carry the account to Cecil's steward. Prays God to inspire the best resolution whether for the defensive or the offensive.—From my house, 5 Jan., 1596.
Italian. Holograph. 1 p. (173. 3.)
Capt. John Legatt to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 6. I departed from Portsmouth the Wednesday before Christmas Day, and I arrived at the Groyne on Christmas Day in the morning, where I lay becalmed all that day. The next day being Sunday, I took a small barque laden with pipe staves and hoops, which was not sufficient to come home, the which made me upon their news to use this mighty great diligence, both with man of war and shollop, to get a sufficient barque to come home : in which I praise God, I did accomplish before day; hard by Sizarke, I took a small gallego of the Moors in Galicia; whom I found in the same tale that I found the first company in that I took; which made me with all expedition give over my ship and embark myself in the same gallego. In which I have been so extremely weather-beaten that I did never think to have seen England again. But yet, I thank God, I arrived in Plymouth the 4th of this present. So I was, from the day I set sail from Portsmouth, to the Groyne and home again in fourteen days, but I protest so extremely weather-beaten and ill that I could not possibly come up to your honour, which grieveth me extremely. I have brought two Spaniards which I have delivered unto Sir Ferdinando Gorge, Mr. Haris and Mr. Stallenge, who have taken their examinations in particular, and detain them till they hear your pleasure whether they shall be sent up or no. I doubt not that your honour will remember my great charge in this journey besides my extreme pains taken, which I protest I would not abide the like continual torment if I might be sure to get a India's ship with great wealth.
There was cast away between Lisbon and Faroll, near about the Cape, twenty-four sail of the Adelantado his fleet, and in them about 3,000 men, besides 2,000 that had died of sickness in the rest of his fleet. There is now at Faroll the Adelantado and Captain Suriago with 130 sail of shipping, the most part of them Flemings which are taken to serve perforce.
The soldiers are lodged abroad in the country in three parts. The one in the Sturias, one other in Castilla Lavieia and the other part of Galizia. The sickness among them at Farroll is very great.
The general report goeth that this fleet, if they had not been so spoiled, should have gone for the Isle of Wight.—vith of Januarie, 1596.
1 p. (37. 44.)
The Commissioners at Plymouth to the Lords of the Council.
1596-7, Jan. 6. Information as in the preceding letter.
Before Captain Legatt's going forth they gave him 10l. towards his charges, with their Lordships' instructions, but as he has left his own barque and hazarded himself to return with these advertisements, his hope is, by their Lordships' favours, to obtain of her Majesty some better reward.—Plymouth, 6 January 1596.
Signed :—Humphrey Founes, maior; Fard : Gorges; Chr : Harris; Wm. Stallenge.
½ p. (37. 46.)
Spanish News.
[1596-7, Jan. 6.] Deposition of Pedro Ramus, of the town of Moores in Galizia, being one of the company of the bark Good Jhesus.
That ten days past, he and his company on their way from Moores to Bilbao with “conger dowes and pilchard,” were taken by Captain Legatt, 3 leagues from Sezark. Ten weeks past, the Delantado left Lisborne with 100 ships to join Suriago's fleet at Vigo and thence come for England, intending to land in the Isle of Wight; but, through extreme foul weather, he was constrained to put in to Farroll, having lost off Cape Finisterre 24 ships with 3,000 men, besides 2,000 that died of sickness. Captain Suriago arrived 3 months ago at Vigo with 40 ships and pinnaces from Biskey, and 20 days since departed for Farroll, having lost many men at Vigo by sickness. Of the 15,000 men in the two fleets 6,000 had died before they had come to Farroll, and many, it is thought, since, “by reason of the sickness that is amongst them.” The soldiers are lodged around Farroll, having 6d. a day each, and the mariners remain at Farroll. Captain Suriago was going to Biskey to bring eight galleons from the Passage.
Deposition of Pedro Ramus, a kinsman of the preceding. To similar effect. The galleon Santiago was among those lost. The Delantado is at Pontadema near Farroll.
Endorsed :—“Examination of two Spanish mariners taken and brought into Plymouth by Captain Legatt.”
1 p. (48. 51.)
The Commissioners at Plymouth to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 6. Understand by his letters that Philip Cursin has complained of them concerning wheat landed at Plymouth out of the Dutch ship, wherein he hath abused Cecil and done them wrong, forsomuch as the wheat was neither received or measured by any of them, but by Mr. Bagg his servant, as was appointed, he being Cursin's factor. Neither have they set him any price; he may sell the wheat to whom and how he list for his most advantage so it be not carried out of the realm.
By Cecil's first letters they were appointed to unlade one or two hundred quarters of the said wheat (Winchester measure) and for so much they gave orders unto Mr. Bagg his servant, as by letters herewith he certifies Cursin, as also that they have had no further to do therewith.—Plymouth, 6 January 1596.
Signed as in the letter from the same above.
Seal. ½ p. (37. 45.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges and James Bagg to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 6. On the same subject as the preceding letter.—From the Fort, Plymouth, the 6th of January.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (37. 47.)
Sir Griffin Markham to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1596-7], Jan. 6. Apologising if he has too impudently presumed or too unmannerly pressed Cecil more than others. Knows his credit sufficient to procure this favour and desires to bind himself only to him to whom for forepassed favours and alliance he has already vowed his best endeavours. Finds also, besides the necessities of his estate, that an aguish indisposition begins to trouble him which in his last imprisonment left him not until the extremity of danger; these made him fear and fear enforced his earnestness.—From the Fleet this 6 of January.
Endorsed :—“1596.”
Holograph. Seals. ½ p. (37. 48.)
John Danyell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 6. Mr. Wade's words used towards me immediately after my coming from your honour, in asking me what I had to do at your chamber door and willing me to go down, was no small grief unto me. Since your honour told me you would wish to have one or two Irishmen for the Groyne I was careful thereof, and finding that young man, whose father and mother I have known, and understanding that he served Mr. Comerforde, her Majesty's Attorney at law in Connaught, and perceiving that he could write Latin and English and that one coming out of Ireland presently might live with less suspicion among the Spaniards than any of continuance here, I thought him fit for the service; for being directed (although he hath not the language) he mought, among the priests and the English, Scotch and Irish soldiers, learn of all the secrets current there, and so advertise as long as you were pleased he should remain among them, his brother having dwelt in Vienna these fourteen or fifteen years and being a hard merchant, howbeit he would not furnish him with any store of money, yet he would by his word or letter prefer him to some good service and credit among them; which gave me farther cause to hold him the fitter for that service, wherein I hope I have not offended. As I have lived here these four years and a half, ready to do her Majesty any service I could like a dutiful subject, so I will henceforth continue. Yet notwithstanding all this, if your honour will not have me come toward your chamber door I will observe your commandment, praying your honour to continue your favour, and that I may receive your pleasure by Mr. Wylles for the quieting of my mind.—6 January 1596.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (37. 49.)
Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 7. In my last I gave some taste that the enterprise of Calais was not desired in all parts with like affection, whereof having been more ascertained since, I can do no less than to confirm your honour in the belief thereof. They allege the hardness of the exploit by reason of the strong garrison, the necessity of dividing the army of the besiegers, and consequently the advantage the Cardinal shall have thereby in assailing us to succour the place. On the other side, if he bend his forces to work a diversion on the frontiers of Picardy, the harm he may do in that quarter is to be feared. To this effect letters intercepted (said to be of the Cardinal's) are sent abroad, and the talk of peace between the King and them is not concealed. But why the King should not condescend that her Majesty in taking should enjoy Calais, they can allege nothing but that the great ones of France do oppose themselves, and yet they do not seem to dislike that her Majesty should put a royal army into the field under the conduct of her own lieutenants, which, notwithstanding, I should judge is that which most troubleth them. Howbeit to men of sound understanding no one thing ought more to be desired. In the mean time they propound a meeting at Dieppe to confer of matters, when we have it here about the streets that the project is already layed to make an army to enter by Artoys and Hainault into the enemy's country. This savoureth so much of the particular ends of some great one that hath much laboured in knitting affections together, that I am eased from searching into any further drift, being out of doubt for the common good that course cannot but prove harmful unless a mastering army could be maintained for new enemies. In this disposition of humours I have gone as far as I thought fit in a matter wherein I knew so much of her Majesty's inclination as she was pleased to impart unto me when I kissed her hands, dealing very roundly with Monsieur de Buzenvall and Monsieur de Barnevelt, and alleging the best arguments I could think of to shew both the weightiness of the enterprise for the general good of us all, and the inconveniences likely to ensue by the crossing of her Majesty's good purpose. Herein to be short, they both gave me their words to set matters in the best way they could. Monsieur de Barnevelt dealt likewise with Buzenvall, who is now departed for France to let the King know that it was greatly desired of the States. For these countries he gave hope of forces and commodities to the furthering of the service to the uttermost of their power, and said moreover to me, “what needeth her Majesty ask the King's hand when she hath his word and forces to go through the enterprise.” Thus I trouble your honour with many lines of a matter which I doubt will take no effect on a sudden, being afeared that her Majesty will have so much to do in Ireland, whither it is held for certain the Spanish fleet is bound, that this shall be laid aside. Howbeit some are of opinion it were now the fittest time, and hold the taking of that place would break the violent course of their proceedings, and therefore judge that with the more expedition the attempt should be given. From them I should not swerve much, considering the present weakness and unreadiness of the Cardinal, whose troops are greatly decayed so that he is not much to be feared till his new levies arrive, as also that the siege of this place may make the Spaniard stagger in his intended exploit with his fleet. But better it were not attempted at all than not in such sort as may procure a good event. With less than 20,000 men it may not be undertaken. Out of France none can be expected worth the reckoning but her Majesty's alone, unless some horsemen here, not above 4,000 at the most. The rest, which seem many to our State, will, I hope, in good part be supplied by the willingness of the people, who are hereunto exceedingly affected, and gentlemen volunteers. If her Majesty resolve it I beseech you to hasten the execution with all possible speed as the only sure way to make you prevail. I shall attend what shall be agreed on with devotion, and will as devotedly do you service if it go forward, and with the like willingness desire to wait upon you wheresoever you are employed. But I most humbly entreat, upon any other occasion let me not be removed, for I have no mind to follow any but yourself, and I doubt if by your good means I be not maintained here my great enemies will loosen me hence as from my surest retreat. I most humbly beseech your honour therefore to care for me as one that wholly dependeth on your favour and that you may wholly dispose of.—Haghe, this 7 January 1596.
P.S.—The 12 of this month Count Maurice mindeth to seek the enemy at Tornhowlt in Brabant where there lyeth 3,000 of them. If they be not well on their guard and retire in time, which is all the fear we have, I hope to send your Lordship word of the defeating them.
Holograph. 3½ pp. (37. 54.)
Sir Horatio Palavicino to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Jan. 7. I have thought it would be to the Queen's service if I could place (intromettere) an agent (negotiatore) in the Court of France who, by contract with the King, should undertake the payment to the Queen of what she shall have disbursed for the pay of the 2,000 foot sent into France since the conclusion of the league; but without first knowing your pleasure I dare not write to a friend who I hope will undertake it. If you approve it, you should write a letter to Mr. Milmay for my friend to deliver.—From my house, 7 Jan. 1596.
Italian. Holograph. 1 p. (173. 4.)
[Sir Thomas Chaloner] to the Earl of Essex.
[1596-7,] Jan. 8. Complimentary phrases.
An Englishman named Williamson, one of the exiles among those who boast that they have preferred the freedom of an unsullied conscience to the delights of parents and country, being about to start for Rome, he conceived a suspicion that he had letters concealed about his person. Such proved to be the case, the six letters sent herewith having been taken from him, while Williamsom himself tore up or burned three others which were stitched in his doublet, doubtless as being of more importance.
Those who have charge of the sea coast of England must be either negligent or slothful. Every week fugitives from that country arrive in vast numbers, so as it is no longer true, as Lucan says, Penitus divisos orbe Britannos; while such a rabble of English roam now in Italy that it would seem as though the English laws did not forbid the voyage.—Pisæ, Jan. 8.
Signed :—“Tho : Bentivolus.”
Endorsed :—“1596. Sir Thos. Challoner.”
Latin. Seal. 2 pp. (37. 56.)
The Earl of Essex to the Ministers of Scotland.
1596-7, Jan. 8. You shall deliver for answer unto the letters you brought thus much. That first, I knowing how carefully mine enemies lie in wait to carp at all my actions, and how many things are therefore censured to be ill done because they are done by me, I durst not, I say, without warrant from her Majesty, resolve anything or do anything in the matter moved unto me. Secondly, That having acquainted her Majesty with it and used the best motives I could to draw on her princely and christian compassion, I received this answer, that I should by no means yield to the motion, but wish the parties for a time to retire into some other country till the storm were blown over, for their receiving into England would not only offend the King to the prejudice of the amity between their Majesties, but would breed great suspicion that her Majesty's direction and her Majesty's Ministers had stirred up these troubles in Scotland. Lastly, you may as from me assure the gentlemen that as I am grieved that I cannot stand them in more stead, so I would advise them, if they know any Councillor in this place that hath been more used in the causes that concern them, or hath given them cause to presume of favour, that then they would address their letters unto him, for perhaps such a man shall be able to do them more good than I that am a stranger to their former proceedings.
Endorsed :—“My L. Essex's answer to the Ministers of Scotland, sent by Wharton to be delivered by message, 8 Jan. '96.”
Draft. Undated. 1 p. (37. 57.)
Sir Horatio Palavicino to Sir Robert Cecil, Secretary.
1596-7, Jan. 8. A French friend recently offered to me to undertake the payment in France of the English soldiers, receiving his own payment here. I replied that our treasurer of war had means enough to pay them, but that if he would negotiate with the King for the payment to the Queen at the end of the six months, I would move the acceptance of his offer here. He answers me by letters from Rouen of the 9th inst., new style, that he will willingly undertake this, and asks for the means of learning particulars from our ambassador. Whether he has spoken to any of the Court I know not, but I know him to be a prudent and capable person, and, once introduced, could do good service. There is no fear of seeming to distrust the King, as he will speak as in his own interest. In France it often happens that for want of means and of good government “non si fanno le cose che da Francesi sono etiandio molto desiderate; percio e buono d' ajutare la loro incuria et negligenza.” I do not move this for any private gain, and will do nothing without my lord your father's direction.—From my house, 8 Jan. 1596.
Italian. Holograph. 1 p. (173. 5.)
Sir Horatio Palavicino to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 8. My intention is that Edward shall serve, and not trouble you; and therefore he shall in the mean time study English law to fit him for the service which he aspires to. Had I known in time that you wished him to go to France I would have given him to the duke of Bouillon, where he could have done better service. In my own affair I have little hope, because I am left in the hands of him who placed me in my present difficulty, whose bitterness I try in vain to soften. When the commissioners from Holland come I will come to London, and meanwhile it would be a great comfort to have “quell' argenteria dell' Exceker che non fa nulla.”
The Armada has still a good wind. I pray God that the assault may be better than the enemy's defence. Meanwhile we must prepare for whatever the event may be.—Baburham, 8 Jan. 1596.
P.S.—Teobast asks for 10l. more, saying he spent it because of the length of the journey.
Italian. Holograph. 1 p. (173. 6.)
Thomas Alabaster to Sir Robert Cecil, Chief Secretary.
1596-7, Jan. 8. Yesterday, was both at Cecil's house and at the Court but could not see him, and to-day is unable to attend him. “The party whom I presented unto your honour maketh not that haste away that I wish, which discontenteth me much. He wanted not calling upon and encouragement; he promiseth still from day to day, and this is it which, he saith, shall stand without fail, if it so do your honour shall be advertised.
“I send hereinclosed such as hath comen to my hands out of Spain, wherein amongst your most important and serious business you may recreate yourself in seeing the folly of that too too proud and tyrannical nation.”—From my house, this Saturday.
Endorsed :—“12 Jan. 1596.”
Holograph. 1 p. (37. 68.)
Edmund Uvedale to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 9. His governor, Sir Robert Sidney, by letters by this bearer, hath made known what he desires to do for him, and therefore he will not trouble his lordship with the circumstance, but only crave that he may enjoy those fifty men which Sir Robert desires to bestow on him. Although not yet so fortunate as at any time to follow Essex in the wars, his desire has been no less than theirs who have most attended his lordship, as his governor can witness, the doing of whom service in this place hath kept him from Essex. By this service to Sidney, assures himself he has rather gained his lordship's favour than otherwise.—Vlishing, the 9th of January 1596.
Holograph. Part of Seal. 1 p. (37. 40.)
Francis Cherry to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 9. Emboldened by former favourable regard both in his own particular as also to the company of Merchants Adventurers trading to Russia, presumes to acquaint his lordship that, about three months past on the arrival of their ships, the officers of Her Majesty's Navy took for her service and use in her ships cordage to the value of 9,254l. 8s., according to the rate set thereof, although the same be better than our home made cordage, or that which is brought from Danske, by 6s. 8d. in every hundred. Also there resteth unpaid for cordage taken last year 658l. 11s. 8d. The directors of the trade beseech him to move the Queen for a privy seal to the Lord Treasurer for payment of these sums, for that most part belongs to young men and others that hardly can forbear the use of their stock so long, having already been constrained through want thereof to take up money.—London, 9th January 1596.
1 p. (37. 58.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 9. By Boord I have received your letter and in it the warning to expect an employment from her Majesty. I had knowledge of it before from Mr. Gilpin, to whom it was written from the Court, but could not believe it because at the same very time I received a letter from Mr. Secretary touching my return, with no one word of the other matter; after, I understood from Ro. Whyte that your lordship had given him to know as much. Whereupon I wrote to your lordship at large from the Haghe of what I thought fit to advertise you therein. I hope you have already received my letters, neither can I now say any more than then I did, but still to sing the same song, that the time and manner of this employment brings small encouragement with it. But I cannot change my creation. I am a servant, and therefore I must not fly from the commandments which are laid upon me. God send there be no more looked for at my hands than is in me to do and then I doubt not of a safe conscience that I will have proceeded without turning to the right hand or to the left. But many times endeavours are construed by the events and business as easily imagined to be brought to effect as they are projected. I cannot sail against wind and tide, neither hath the Queen truer here to command. I will do as the barque that when it is guided makes way according to the sufficiency of her building. For other than I am I will not make myself, nor promise to make a better viage than they which have run the course before me. Though if for mine own respect nothing might prevail, her Majesty's own service should move somewhat which will rather be hindered at this time than advanced, the States being neither assembled nor yet resolved of the necessary estate of their own causes. Neither indeed can I work so boldly upon the ground of a piece of paper only as if I were where I might know from her Majesty the centre (as it were) and the circumference of her will; how far I mought proceed and within what bounds hold myself which out of mine instructions I cannot learn which hear neither answers nor replies. And if I have instructions cast in the same mould I and other men have been used to receive, I know I shall find corners which will hardly without help be made smooth; and on the other side I do look for nothing but wringing of my proceedings to any hard construction and disavowing of my actions according as either myself or the matter shall give cause of advantage, wherein I must expect to be protected by you, not only out of favour unto me but as a councillor and a just man. For my confidence is very small in some other men. For already I had experience of them upon the return of my first employment into France. But, my Lord, I hold you too long. I will expect her Majesty's pleasure : only I beseech you that you will have care of my allowance. For I cannot follow her Majesty's business if I have it not. The title of ambassador, as Mr. Bodeley had, I do not affect, neither indeed shall I do her Majesty so good service if I be so notified as if I only deal as Governor of Flushing, and extraordinarily authorised by her for this action at this time. One matter more I have wherein I beseech your lordship to hear Rd. Whyte and to let me have your favour and furtherance fully. The matter is not great, yet since I see I am married to these counties I do exceedingly desire it. It is about the reinforcing of my company of horse, which may be done without charging of her Majesty. I have given instructions to Ro. Whyte. I beseech your Lordship to give him audience as your leisure will serve, and to hold him in your favour who will ever be your most affectionate servant, R. Sydney.—Flushing, the 9 of January 1596.
Holograph. 3 pp. (37. 59.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 9. In the gift of the company which was Sir Coniers Clifford's my lieutenant Governor, Sir Edmond Uvedale, challengeth of me that I should have respect of him, and that, the 150 going to Sir John Skelton, the other 50 might be given unto him. Truly he hath great reason to require it of me, for having served the Queen so long and in so good places as he hath done, if there be any difference of companies, he may challenge it, especially in the garrison where himself is lieutenant governor, and where it is in his hands to bestow under whom he hath served so long. I would not make question of it but in respect of my promise unto you, and I would think Sir John Skelton might think himself satisfied from me with such a company as other captains have, and Sir Ed. Uvedale having an extraordinary place to have an extraordinary company. I shall think your lordship doth me a favour if I may in this sort dispose of this company.—Flushing, 9 of January 1596.
Holograph. Seal. 1¼ p. (37. 61.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 9. This last day arrived Captain Croftes in a ship of about 250 tons which he with others took eight days past near the Isles of Bayon. The ship, as most of the company affirm, belonged to St. John Deluse, her lading to men of St. Sebastians, and is (as by report of some of the company) about 20 tons iron in bars, iron bars and some chests of nails, and so many pipe staves as will serve for seven or eight hundred pipes and butts, about 40 kintalls of black rozen and 20 dozen of small oars for boats. The ship departed from the Passage thirteen days past, where, as some of the company report, there were twelve new galleons launched and masted; which may be ready to set sail about three months hence for Ferrall to join the rest of the King's fleet. Of other preparation of shipping and men for the King's service they say there is none in the ports of Biskeie, only there was a general report that the King intended to levy a great army at Feroll and Lisbon, to what intent they knew not, but, as some suppose, part of them to keep his own coast and the rest to guard his West India's fleet being to the number of 80 sail, now in the river of Seville and bay of Cales, and will be ready to depart towards the New Spain next May. And that fleet being gone, they mean to send another for the “firme land” about September next.
It was reported that the Adelantado had lost near the Cape Fenister thirteen sail of his fleet, with 4,000 men, and is now at Farroll with the rest. It may be supposed the King's intent at first was to have some service done either upon England or Ireland and so his ships to have returned for guarding of his India's Fleet; which now the time being so far spent and his army in such unreadiness as it is can hardly be done; and considering (as is generally reported) his army doth rather diminish than increase, for many of his men die by sickness, other some are licensed to depart, and a number of the mariners which were taken up in Biskei are gone without leave, it may be they are not minded to attempt anything in these parts this year, but will with some reasonable strength defend their own coasts and guard their fleets as well for the East as the West Indias, which may in a short time be better understood, for if they mean so to do, it is very likely they will dismiss the Flemings and their ships which they have taken up perforce. As far as I can understand they are more afraid of us there than [we of] them here, and I would to God they might have more cause to fear us than as yet they have. It is thought their shipping doth not lie in such strength, but that some service might be done upon them, being undertaken in time. Their provision of victuals, coming as it doth from St. Lukers and Cales, might be easily intercepted, besides many other good services might be done, if it would please Her Majesty to keep a reasonable number of shipping upon his coast. And so should our mariners be employed abroad, and not rob and steal, as many of them do at this present at home for want of maintenance.
Captain Croftes, as it appeareth by writing, had in company with him at the taking of the ship a barque of Hampton and another of this town, which are to have their parts proportionally of that he hath brought home; and as he saith it pleased your Honours himself should enjoy all that he did take in the voyage. Notwithstanding, my determination is (which I doubt not but the rest of the Commissioners will like well of) to cause the goods to be landed and an inventory taken thereof with the privity of those that pretend interest therein, and the ship with her furniture to be in safe keeping until your pleasure be further known, which I humbly crave with all convenient speed, as well for this as for anything else that shall be brought in hereafter by Captain Croftes his barque or Captain Harper.
Before and since their going forth I have disbursed towards their charges about 80l. and have given my word to satisfy most part of the rest due for their victuals, the customer being unprovided of money and the rest of the Commissioners unwilling to disburse anything at all. Wherefore I beseech your Honour to move my Lords that out of these goods I may have what I have laid out of my own purse and what I have given my word for.
The abovesaid being written, here arrived a small barque from Captain Harper, which he took thwart of the town of Moores, laden with walnuts, hasel nuts and a small quantity of walnut tree boards, with the which he was bound from Xixon in Galizia to Lisborne. The company of the barque report that of the Adelantado's fleet were cast away twenty-five sail of great ships with 8,000 men; and that there remained in Farroll of both the fleets not above sixty sail, many of them unrigged. That the Flemish ships and such others as were taken up to serve are released. That a great number of the mariners taken up to serve in the King's ships are run away. That the soldiers are lodged abroad in the country in divers places, some of them about sixty leagues from Farroll along the sea coast towards Biskie, being in all about 7,000 men. One of them doth also report that the Adelantado, being sent for by the King in some displeasure, took such an inward grief therewith that he died at Farroll about fifteen or twenty days past. Some letters were taken in this barque but none that do report anything concerning the army. There is one letter in Dutch which Sir Ferdinando Gorges hath thought meet should be sent, for that there is something written concerning Callis. It will be very requisite that present order be given what shall be done with the ship brought home by Captain Croftes, for that the mariners will be very ready to make spoil of her; and, as one of the Biskens telleth me, the owner of the ship hath a kinsman now in London, named Martin Saris de Sarrio, which no doubt will be suitor unto your Honour for her. There are men appointed to look unto her as well by Sir Ferdinando Gorges and the mayor of this town as by Captain Croftes and the rest that pretend interest in her. Captain Croftes himself intendeth to depart from hence unto the Court on Monday next.—Plymouth, the 9th of January 1596.
Holograph. 2 pp. (173. 7.)
Sir Ralph Bossevile to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan 10. Praying he may have a longer stay in England for despatch of his business.
As he wrote from Rouen, his coming over was for seeing his wife and children, but it hath pleased God to visit him with much sickness since his return, and he has not been able to carry out his purpose. Writes by the good servant of the house where he lies, who has already been sent to Cecil upon causes of importance. Has been used with much care at the house, coming by chance thither in distress; if Cecil, on return of letters to Mr. Richers, gave a little thanks too on his account, it might exceedingly grace him.—From Rotham in Kent, the tenth of January 1596.
Endorsed :—“Captain Bosvylle to my Master.”
Holograph. Seal broken. 1 p. (37. 62.)
Captain John Chamberlain to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 10. Although I have no means to advertise you of any news, yet I must thank you for your late grace in advancing me when I was hopeless. I have found this company in bad order by the abuses of the officers after Captain Smith's departure, which has cost me with other expences 100l. Whenever you undertake any action I hope I may attend you therein.—Delft, tenth of the new month of January '96.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (58. 99.)