Cecil Papers: April 1597, 1-15

Pages 139-159

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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April 1597, 1–15

Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 1. The letter you sent me by Captain Upcher sheweth that you both trust me and care for me, which with the honour I bear unto your own excellent parts make me in true respect and love prefer you before all men. Your endeavours and projects for the good of your country have been as well grounded as that containing yourself from entering into petty employments hath been wise and honourable, by which you keep not only your own reputation untouched, but that of your country, which would not be a little shaken if yourself were embarked in an action ill founded, the bad success whereof might give our enemies cause to imagine they had seen the uttermost of our force and counsel. Your lordship therefore hath chosen the better way to attend new occasions since they are likely every day to be offered, and that it is certain this quarrel cannot be ended without the ruin of the one side. And now the industry and prosperity of the enemy will constrain us to undertake something or make us guilty of not endeavouring sufficiently. By this time I do assure myself the siege of Calais is on foot again, for that advertisements are come hither out of France that Fouquerolles is sent to her Majesty to make offer of it in the manner she had desired of late; which I hope by your good furtherance will not be rejected. I would you were engaged in that action with 14,000 foot, and the loan of 1,500 or 2,000 horse from the King for one month, after which time I do think you would have no need of them. The taking of that place hath a gallant consequence, which in short time must ruinate the Spaniard in Flanders, and will largely requite the travail you take in framing her Majesty's mind to like of the enterprise. The States do hold their hands till they see what her Majesty and the King will do, so that if they were moved in time I do think her Majesty might draw from them for the exploit of Calais some assistance of men. Here are arrived the two princes of Portugal, as they give out, to follow the wars, but I am in doubt they will have less cause to like their entertainment with us than they had that of the King or her Majesty.—Hague, this first April 1596. (fn. 1)
Endorsed by Essex's Secretary : “1 April '97.”
Holograph. Seal. 2½ pp. (49. 93.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 2. Mons. Caron hath order from the Count Maurice and the States to beseech her Majesty that Sir Nich. Parker's company and mine may be made up to the full number again. I beseech your lordship to let us find you favourable and careful of us. For myself, I see except I willingly give over this place I am like to be kept here some time yet, and therefore would be glad that if nothing would be added unto me yet that after 7 years' continuance I may be thought worthy to have as much as I was the first day. My confidence must be in your lordship, because all men else are good husbands for the Queen, and what is bestowed upon men of war is perhaps thought as good as cast away. But ways may be taken that this may be done with little or no charge to the Queen, so as your lordship and some of your fellow councillors will but take it to heart. Rol. Whyte, if it shall please you to give him leave, shall wait upon you to solicit you, and to show you what ways I have thought upon how to have it done. I beseech you to hear him and to believe that I am ashamed and sorry to trouble you so often. But if this were once despatched I think I should not easily be a suitor again, if it be not in things concerning the garrison.—At Flushing, the 2 of April 1597.
Holograph. 1 p. (49. 95.)
Michael Stanhope to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 2. I steal out of town for a very short time. My business enforceth me to look a little into it myself or to hazard more loss than my estate will endure. My absence shall not be beyond the bounds of a week, in which time my hope is I shall not be missed; and in truth the estate of my body requires a longer time to recover my health.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (49. 96.)
Jean Castol to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 2. Jamais les esprits de ceste nation ne furent plus esbranlez qu'ilz sont maintenant, et semble que grands coups d'en hault leur ont esteruez (?) pour les eslourdir. Aujourdhuy j'ai veu le Roy disner à son retour de Picardie et n'a tenu aultre propos tout ce temps à Mons. le Conestable que du peu d'apparence qu'il y a qu'Amiens demeure à l'ennemy. Mais j'estime que cela se dit et fait expressement à ce que le bruit respandu asseure le peuple qui en ses pensées sent de grandes secousses tant à cause du succes et avancement des affaires de l'Espagnol que pour les menées secrettes d'un grand nombre de traistres. On craint fort que la trainée de ceuxcy ne soit fort longue par la propre confession des derniers qui ont esté dernierement executez. On a accordé à Mercure tout ce qu'il demandoit, le petit prince de Condé mesme pour sa fille; cependant il ne fait qu'amuser le Conseil et poursuit ses conspirations. On a advis que la flotte qui est en la Groine doit prendre terre en Poitou et qu'en ceste province il a deliberé de donner entrée à l'ennemy. Ceux de Reins ont chassé de leur ville les Cappuchins; neantmoins il n'y a ordre qui gouverne mieux le duc de Montpensier. Ilz ont voulu se retirer à Sentlis par le moyen de M. Rose, evesque du lieu, lequel, pour leur acquerir plus d'authorité ou plustost couvrir mieux les entreprises contre l'estat, a fait ce dernier Quaresme desfence de se confesser à aultres qu'aux susdits; qui a esté la cause que par juste soubcon les habitans de la ville les ont mis hors. L'Ambassadeur de Savoye a son congé sans avoir rien fait, car on demande ou bien la restitution du Marquisat de Saluces, ou bien la province de Bresse. On ne croiroit pas les faveurs que ceste homme a receu du Conestable, Duc de Nemours et altres. Moyennant que ceste resolution de ne faire point d'accord sans vous continuast avec quelque bonne conduite les miseres seroyent plus tolerables. Mons. Deleguidieres (sic) a conclud de faire la guerre pour sa part et à cest effect a esté garni de quelque assignations. Le mal est qu'il y a une infinité de vents qui soufflent contre luy. Monsieur de Bouillon, apres avoir espuisé les bourgeois de Esdan et laissé un gouverneur au chasteau, a emmené sa femme a Tureine ou il fait rigueurs pareilles qui ne luy apportent point de louange.—De Paris ce 2 d'Avril, vieux style, 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (49. 97.)
Humphrey Founes, Mayor of Plymouth, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 3. Hill of Stonehouse, whom you directed to be sent to you, hath begun his journey already. The ship of St. John de Luz being also stayed, the master and company of the same, for that they stay upon great charge, would know upon what terms to stand, either to be dismissed or retained, also what shall be farther done with the Portingale likewise stayed, that came over in the same ship.—From Plymouth, the third of April 1597.
Signed. ½ p. (49. 99.)
Pierre de Regemortes to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 3. In my last letter I gave you my opinion of the state of affairs and my doubts concerning the new league, and the constancy of one member of it. I also added my views as to the conduct of the war in the coming summer. However, we succeeded in nothing but what was undertaken at sea, to which kind of operations, I see, men mean to confine themselves in future. And yet the capture of Calais, which the King of France now meditates, would be a very useful thing for us and all others in general. We might then be able to give you some assistance, as the enemy would be entirely diverted from us. If you wish I will do what I can in this matter.—Giminges, 3 April 1597, styl. vet.
Holograph. French. 1 p. (175. 28.)
Louis, Count of Nassau to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 4. The postponement of my journey into Germany, where I received your letters, has caused this delay in paying my duty to you. My French journey is still very uncertain. The Estates wait upon the King's will. I should be very glad to serve your Excellency in any voyage where you may be employed, unless the Estates should forbid, which I do not expect.—Gruningen, this 4th of April, old style.
Holograph. French. 1½ pp. (175. 30.)
Sir John Aldryche to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 4. Pardon my not coming to offer my service. The King is presently going about the recovering of Amiens, and I seek to get what experience I can, to be the fitter to do you service. I trust that I shall not, through being here, be further from your thoughts when occasion shall arise.—Pickane, the 4th of April, 1597.
Signed. Seal. ¾ p. (175. 31.)
John, Earl of Cassilis to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 4. Being determined to stay some time in England and having occasion of despatching some domestical affairs in Scotland, I have thought best to direct two of my servants, Hugh Kennedy and William Leviston, into that country. My request therefore is you would grant them your passport and commission for hiring of post horses for their more speedy journey.—4 April, 1597.
Signed. Seal. ⅓ p. (49. 100.)
Sir Thomas Sherley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 4. My adversity is accompanied with all manner of afflictions that unhappy men may have and especially retaineth no friends. I am offered a strange and most extraordinary course of handling, and such as I never heard to be offered to any man in this world, which is that before my accounts be determined or any certain debt known upon me, I should make over all my lands into the hands of feoffees to be sold by them when my accounts shall be ended, and to be returned to me when the Queen's Majesty is satisfied; and in the meantime no provision of livelihood for me, my wife and children. Now, Sir, what haste there will be made either to do the one or the other when all my land is thus put out of my possession and others possessed therewith, God doth know; but I have cause to think that it will be doomsday first, though there shall be no default in me. For it is above five years past since I made up an account which hath been viewed and reviewed by four of her Majesty's auditors, and yet could never have the same heard by the commissioners, though I sued often and earnestly for the same, until within these 20 days; and now I understand there is order given for a third review thereof. If in the time of my friends and prosperity I found so great difficulty and delays to pass it, what shall I hope for in this my adversity? Sir, I will ever assure myself that you will be pleased not to forsake me. I do therefore most humbly beseech you to move my lord your father to deal favourably with me and not to impose upon me this so hard a course which no man would yield unto, but that I may be proceeded with as others have been in my case, which is thus. The Queen's Majesty was moved to disburse for me about 8,000l. which I had formerly received and was stayed by Beecke for other debts which he pretended I should owe him; but, as I am informed, there is disbursed by her Highness little more than 4,000l. If for such a sum it be reason that I should make over all my lands let all men judge and let former experience be examined. I am very well contented to sell any lands I have for the satisfaction of this debt and very willing it should be put to sale, but to put my whole lands into other men's hands without offer of sale methinks is strange. And, Sir, to my great grief I understand that my lord your father is the man that doth urge most hardly against me and in this point especially. Alas! Sir, have I done anything to my lord that should cause him to take a course for the utter ruin of me, my poor house and all my posterity? I have ever honoured and truly loved his lordship and his whole house, intending ever to depend upon the same; in which regard I humbly beseech you to have honourable consideration of me.—This 4 of April 1597.
Holograph. 2 pp. (49. 101.)
Arthur Gorges to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 5. Requests a passport for France for bearer, where he desires to serve amongst her Majesty's troops. Is his kinsman and has served three years in Ireland and desires to follow the wars, though his friends, who are of good substance, had rather keep him at home. He would embark at Rye; his name is George Blundell.—This 5 of April.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (49. 102.)
Juano de Aguira y Vergara to the French King.
1597, April 5/15. Is, like others whom various causes compel to leave their own countries, forced by ill treatment to leave his country and king and to come into this laud, purposing to pass into England to serve the Queen there. In this town of Rochelle the mayor and captains have taken him prisoner until they can acquaint the King. Is glad of it seeing the amity between him and the Queen. Greater men than he have on lighter occasions gone to serve other lords “y quando sali de España fue para que demi aya grandes memorias, y no sali para a rinconarme sino para ser mucho silo meresieren mis obras. Verdad es que e sido frayle de S. Francisco y estoy con al abito mientras se me acaba una ropa para quitar me el abito. Si vuestra Magd fuere servido admitire para su real servisio, aqui estoy mi ynclinasion es la mar y se muchas partes de Yndias asi los puertos de mar como las tierras que en ellas estan; onde podre hazer muy grandes servisios que, si vuestra Magd no estuviera tan ocupado con las continuas guerras que tiene, le seriande mucho efecto; y a esta cauza me parese la serenisima Reyna de Ynglaterra le estara muy bien mi pretension.” In serving England will serve him also; and if he is a friar, the King of Spain makes use of Cardinals of Rome even in his wars.—Rochelle, 15 April 1597.
Spanish. Holograph. 2 pp. (50. 15.)
Captain Thomas Horde to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 6. It pleased you last year to promise me employment, and now hearing that there are present forces to be employed, I beseech that by your means I may be disposed therein, having endeavoured to deserve as well as any of my calling. I presume upon you whom I have chosen for my patron, which maketh me so bold as to discover my wants, enforcing my importunacy to be employed in my old days.—April 6, '97.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (49. 103.)
Sir Anthony Mildmay to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 6. After the King's retreat from Arras he came to Pickeny and from thence went to Beauvois, thinking to have taken the diet there; but hearing of some removing in Paris, he was constrained to come hither and give speedy order in a matter of so great consequence. At his coming he caused many of the conspirators to be apprehended, and some to be executed, and so the matter for this time is appeased. From hence he is now gone to St. Germains, there to take his course of physic. He thinketh himself much bound to her Majesty for her care of him; he saith that he never stood in more need of her help than now, he hopeth she will not abandon him now in his necessity. He prepareth great forces against the 25th of May; he meaneth to besiege Amiens therewith and to batter it with 30 cannons, wherewith he doubteth not but to regain the town again. I wish it may so fall out; if otherwise he shall, in my poor opinion, put his whole estate in hazard thereby. The minds of his people are so aliened from him, what for the poverty and penury they endure and their avarice and ambition to advance and enrich themselves, that these two being considered with the inconstancy of their dispositions, are sufficient causes to make me mistrust a general declining from him if he be not speedily relieved with some extraordinary good fortune. Marshall Biron continueth with his troops about Amiens, which he looketh so narrowly to that they within dare scarce open the gates at any time. Our Englishmen are very weak and had need to be supplied if it be meant that they shall stay here any longer. Their want of money is so great at this time that I fear they will disband themselves if there be not speedy order taken therein by your good means. The King is advertised that there is a great pestilence in the Spanish fleet lying at Ferrol : it is said that they have unshipped most of their men and lodged them scatteringly in villages. If it be true then would a few of her Majesty's ships distress them, take and turn them all; surely it were a notable enterprise, and easy to be done so that secrecy and expedition be used therein. I leave it to your consideration. The town of Grolle is reported to be taken by the Count Maurice; by that means he stayeth the Cardinal at home; otherwise, if he had followed the taking of Amiens with an army, he had undoubtedly possessed all Picardy before this time and put many other great towns in all places in great hazard, as may appear by the many conspiracies discovered almost in all the principal towns of France.—From Paris, the 6th of April 1597.
Holograph. 1 p. (49. 104.)
Captain Edward Wilton to the Earl of Essex.
1597 April 6/16. Since the King retired himself to Paris, the army is thus bestowed; M. de Vicq, with certain troops of horse, diverse bands, of French, and the English, lieth at Picard on the west side of Amiene. The Marechal Biron, with the regiments of Picard, de la Gard, the Swiss and certain other troops of horse, lieth about Corbie on the east side, having always abroad many chevaux legers ['chevalizers'] that beat the country between Amiens and Dorlens. The nearest quarter I take to be three leagues from the town. The enemy expecting a siege have burnt a large faubourg. The King useth his best means to draw his nobility with all their forces together. The towns and country in general are very willing to contribute to this charge; and within 15 days the King is expected. But yet I cannot understand how the siege is to be maintained, except the Queen assist him, for this nobility are fickle and his means uncertain.
It is hard to judge whether the captains or soldiers of the troops are in greater misery, these having had very small relief all this month, and the former none at all, having engaged their means both for the soldier and themselves, and now utterly without credit to serve either. Our chief trust is in your lordship who knows what may be expected in so desperate a country as France is.—From the army, 16 April 1597, stilo novo.
Holograph. Seal. 1½ pp. (175. 37.)
John Danyell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 7. Mr. Francis Smaleman, the merchant that has my patent, notwithstanding that he received 40l. of my pension hitherto, for that I cannot pay him presently, is (as I am informed) procuring some means about the Court to procure my annuity in his own name, which shall be to my utter undoing. There will be three executions against me this term which I fear, notwithstanding my security, will take effect. To prevent all these inconveniences I most humbly beseech you, seeing Dr. Herbert is at the Court, to pursuade him to yield to the passing of the warrant for an attorney in the Court of Requests, for which he shall have of the party nominated in the same 40l. to himself only or to be divided betwixt him and Dr. Cæsar; and accordingly your honour to be a mean to her Majesty for signing the warrant, which shall quit my patent and make me able to content my creditors.
Holograph. 1 p. (49. 105.)
Sir Anthony Mildmay to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 7. This day I received this letter enclosed by the hands of a Florentine, to be conveyed to your lordship. I was glad to lay hold on any such occasion whereby I might remember my service unto you. The King is entering into his diet at St. Germain, to whom the Duke of Bouillon hath lately made offer to bring to serve him a thousand gentlemen on horseback and 6000 foot, whensoever he shall please to call for them. This offer greatly pleased the King, though it offended some other about him, who will rather envy him for it than in his fidelity follow his dutiful example, which of the King himself and all honest men is highly esteemed. Great preparation is in making for the army which I certified you of in my last letters, but the holding them together (if ever they come together) will cause a great difficulty. I fear the means will be wanting, which I cannot perceive how it can be supplied, the poverty of the country and the division of the people considered. There is great hope conceived that the King will grant them of the religion their reasonable requests; if he take that course he is likely to be better assisted by them than by all the rest of his country besides, both in respect of their faith towards him and their ability in every respect.—From Paris, the 7th of April 1597.
Holograph. 1 p. (49. 106.)
Anthony [Watson], Bishop of Chichester, to Sir John Stanhope, Treasurer of the Chamber.
1597, April 7. I must ever acknowledge myself greatly indebted for many favours received, and not forget your late motion for my first fruits to be remitted by her Majesty's wonted bounty, albeit the success is not yet answerable to the good fortune of my predecessors nor to the urgent occasions of my own necessity. Let me remember without offence the equity of my petition, est I may seem unadvisedly troublesome. The bishopric of Chichester, which her Highness in a gracious regard hath bestowed upon me, standeth valued in her Majesty's offices about one thousand marks. Now, in King Edward [VI.]'s time, and since, a great part of the lands and living was alienated and exchanged, so that the whole revenues are this day no more than 515l. 10s.d., and yet the former valuation not altered, but according to that I must pay first fruits. The ordinary bonds exact 300l. per annum, the ordinary fees which are claimed by patents are 45l.; the subsidies were 120l.; so that these sums being deducted out of 515l. leaveth me but 50l. 10s. to maintain the estate of a poor bishop. The woods were spoiled by Bishop Curtis, no benefit to be expected by demises; and I hope it will be neither hurt nor prejudice if her Majesty would once more pardon the first fruits to her poor almoner, who is already bound, and will be always ready, to spend himself and all in her Majesty's service.—April 7.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (49. 107.)
The Archbishop of Canterbury to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 7. You have bound me unto you in this action for ever, neither by God's grace shall you at any time have cause to repent you of this your most faithful and kind dealing with me. And as for Dr. Bancroft, you shall find him an honest, sure and faithful man. I have written to my Lord Treasurer by my man and do pray his lordship to let me know when I may come to speak with him.—From Croydon, the 7 of April 1597.
Holograph. Seal. ⅓ p. (49. 108.)
Henry Locke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 17. My petition to her Majesty which was left with my Lady of Warwick, and by her, on her going from Court, left with Sir John Stanhope, has not yet been delivered. I beseech you move him to expedition. Never was man more hardly pressed to importunacy than I, either by daily and mere wants, or public and violent practices of a few, and they no great, creditors.—The 7 of April 1597.
Holograph. 1 p. (175. 29.)
Sir Michael Molyns to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 8. Lady Willoughby received this day a letter directed unto her and me from Mr. Justice Owen and Mr. Dr. Cæsar, commanding us to appear before them to-morrow in the afternoon to answer the complaint of three of Sir Francis Willoughby's men, such as are devoted to her adversary and plotters to annoy her. It seemeth that this proceedeth from a complaint by them made against us to her Majesty's Privy Council, the copy whereof we have not, nor do know how to instruct our counsel for that we know not the matter; and we know less how, upon this sudden, we can be provided to answer that we yet know not, only we heard that they made a complaint and that by their honours it was committed to the hearing of Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor, which our adversaries misliking have procured the same to be committed to such as themselves would nominate. Which manner of proceeding, for the strangeness of it, maketh the poor lady stand in doubt of hard measure in the certificate, she being in truth (by reason of their continual plots to vex her and being near her time) not able to travel to Mr. Justice Owen's house without peril of her life. Her suit therefore is that Mr. Attorney or some such other as we shall name may join in the hearing of it.—8th of April 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (49. 109.)
Charles, Lord Mountjoy to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 8. The corn off the argosy that is left unsold, being already very bad, will grow the worse the longer it is kept, and this country, I can assure you, is extraordinarily distressed in many places with scarcity. I beseech you that some part at the least may be ordered for these parts, and to be distributed by such as may only intend the relief of the poor people, for that which hath been already sold hath been done with more gain to the ministers than in such a time and so good a purpose should be.—Portsmouth, 8 April 1597.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (49. 110.)
“Bishoprics void to be supplied.”
1597, April 8.
To London.—Mr. Bancroft.
To Winchester.—Bishop of Worcester.
To Chester.—Dean of Westminster.
To Sarum.—Yonge of Rochester, and the D. of Westminster.
Westph. (Westfaling) of Hereford to rest(?) thither.
D. Vaughan of Bangor.
To Worcester.—Bishop of Peterborough, or Babington Bishop of Exeter.
Void. Deanery of Worcester.—Dr. Edes.
Deanery of Bristol.—Mr. Grant.
Undersigned :—“Jo. Cantuar.” “W. Burghley.”
Holograph by Burghley. 2/3 p. (49. 111.)
Richard Carmarden to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 8. According to your letters in the behalf of Francis le Forte and his bearer Daniel Gerard, for the delivery of the bill of James Bagg, of Plymouth, for the sweet oils sold there by myself and the rest then in commission for those causes, I have delivered the same this day unto Gerard. It may therefore please you and Sir John Fortescue to procure my Lord Treasurer's letters to Bagg to pay unto him the money due by the said bill for the oils, which will amount unto 750l. or thereabouts.—London, the 8th of April 1597.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (49. 112.)
Ordnance for the States General.
1597, April 9. Warrant to Lord Burghley.
Upon request made us by the States General and Count Maurice, who find themselves unprovided of a sufficient store of ordinance by reason of their loss through the taking of the town of Hulst, and disfurnishing of their land forts to supply the ships of war they joined with our army lately sent to the coast of Spain; we hereby authorise you to give order to the officers of our ordinance to permit the agent of the States to provide for them here three score and ten demi-culverins. But that it may the better appear that the said pieces are to be employed for their proper service and not to be carried into other parts, take order that their agent (according to their offer) do cause the arms of Zealand to be set upon the said several pieces here, or with such other addition of double rings or other invention as by our Admiral of England and the Master of our Ordinance shall be prescribed, whereby they cannot be sent unknown to the use of our enemies, for the which both the States and Count Maurice have so firmly engaged their word : and after suffer them to transport them over without paying any extraordinary custom or such as we have granted by our letters patents to be yielded to some of our subjects that have taken the transportation of ordinance in farm at our own hands.—Palace of Westminster, 9th of April, 39 Eliz.
Endorsed by H. Maynard :—“70 demiculverins of iron ordinance for the States.
“7 Maii 1597.—Letters written to the port of London for the transportation of six demiculverins, parcel of this licence.
“7 No. 1597.—Letters written to the port of Chichester and the members thereof for the transportation of twenty-six demiculverins, parcel of the said licence.
“4 Jan. 1597[/8].—Letters to the port of Rochester for the transporting of 40 pieces, the remain of this licence, with 2 allowed for so many that brake, of the former number, upon their trial in the Low Countries, as was certified.”
Sign manual. Signet. 1 p. (49. 113.)
Marmaduke Darell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 9. As to the direction to be given to Mr. Lake for adding the Truelove to the rest of the ships in the great warrant, having perused the reckoning made of the victualling of the Truelove I find her time to be for six months, whereas all the ships in the great warrant are to receive allowance thereby but for three months. Wherefore I think it fit, if it shall so please you, that her number of men to be set down in the warrant may be doubled and so made 120.—From her Majesty's store house at Tower Hill, this 9th of April 1597.
Holograph. ½ p. (49. 114.)
Captain Dawtrey to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 9. Sir John Stanhope hath moved her Majesty for the lease in reversion I sue for, which her Highness promised and by the mouth of Mr. Killigrew signified. Sir John hath found her Highness very graciously inclined towards me, both in conceit of my services past as to come, and it is her high pleasure that I shall not only have good charge but some special office of the war; and further her Highness will take some present course that either I shall have the same lease, or somewhat as good and more readier to make money of, because the now chosen Lord Deputy is presently to depart into his journey. But Sir John did stand for the lease, alleging that as soon as her Majesty had passed a warrant for it, I might be furnished with money to serve my turn, and leave the lease to be passed with some of my friends to the satisfying of my creditors; which I protest is my greatest care. Sir John doth assure himself that if you would second him he doubteth not but her Majesty will presently give order for me.—This 9th of April 1597.
Signed. ½ p. (49. 115.)
Henry Billingsley, [Lord Mayor of London,] to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 9. Has received his letters for licensing of 200 quarters of wheat to be shipped out of this port by Mr. Angell, her Majesty's fishmonger, unto the West country. Would gladly have satisfied his request, if the present great dearth of corn, specially of wheat, being now at 9s. the bushel, and the great discontentment and murmuring of the people that is like to follow, specially of the poorer sort whom he desires to keep in all obedience and peaceable behaviour, would permit the same. Whereof there ought to be a more special care, for that the wind if it happen to hold in that quarter where now it is, it will be very long ere any new supply be received out of the East parts. When it pleaseth God to send more store, Cecil shall command a greater quantity.—From London, the 9th of April 1597.
½ p. (50. 1.)
Coolinge and Cliffe.
1597, April 9. Receipts for certain lands in Coolinge and Cliffe, Kent.
1 p. (145. 72.)
William Lyllé to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 10. Yesterday news were here that the Spaniard had assembled some 6000 foot and 1500 horse to have put more forces into Amiens, and were either upon the way or in Dorlens. It is since discovered to be some 2000 foot and 500 horse, which were on the way, but understanding all our army attended them, led by the Marshals de Bouillon and Biron, made a fair retreat to Dorlens. Hereupon our said commanders lodged all our forces nearer Amiens, the better to attend the K. return and avoid the enemy's succour. The K. is infinitely inflamed upon revenge. All his nobility of Picardy offer him great matters towards the same, but his great councillors without doubt yet counsel him to a peace, and my simple opinion is it were the fairest for him, if he have not better helpers than yet is seen or may be hoped for. His country is already spoiled and eaten and hardly can he there maintain an army. I have often seen that this people will not long endure any charge although they have commodity; they will at the first so spend their means and courages. If he come to a place upon some probabilities yet unattempted, the Spaniard may peradventure yield to it, for that he himself yet standeth ill furnished with victuals in these parts; but if the K. make an effort upon the town and fail, the Spaniard that easily giveth not over a town will so heighten his pride that he will hearken to nothing, and the French will be so base that they will quit the K and become easily Spanish. If your lordship do not counsel her Majesty to help him and make those of the religion to join with the rest to the strengthening of this attempt, you shall see all this part of France gone suddenly. There is nothing that so cooleth the Spaniard's heat as his great want of victuals through all his countries, and that occasioned altogether by his taking of Calles; which heretofore was open to all the traffick of the world and did dispense that through all these countries; now being theirs and so excluded from others, it starveth itself and so all the rest. The need there is apparent, as is the fear of surprise, insomuch that before the taking of Amiens they changed guards and companies continually. Since they have better assurance, being assured that the K. hath enough to do about Amiens all this summer, in which time they hope to be assuredly fortified, they make their ditches broader and deeper; they make a ravelin before Bullin gate; they fortify against Risebank and all towards the sea; so as, if it be not taken ere it come to perfection, in time it will become invincible. It is assured me that there are not in it at this time 500 men and that there were many means at this time to surprise it. There is one now sent over that is said hath seen it and Amiens. He may better inform your lordship of these particularities. As I was ending, news are come that, while the alarm of these Spaniards was, the governor of Amiens sortied under the safety of 6 foot and 3 cornets of norse and hath burnt all the nearest villages round about. This the French did neither foresee in time nor at the time defend.—St. Valeries, this 10 of April 1597.
Signed, William Lyllé.
Endorsed, William Lillye.
Holograph. 1½ pp. (50. 2.)
Th. Phelippes to Archibald Douglas.
1597, April 10. Your letter being somewhat longer than agrees with the Q. humour to peruse, it was thought good this extract should be made thereof and of that I remembered your Lo. found defective in this report made by me of her Majesty's answer to your propositions; which extract is to be shewed her Majesty as my report upon conference with your L. touching the matters therein specified. Mr. Secretary, therefore, prays your Lo. to peruse it, and where you think good to alter, retaining the brevity. That done, it may please you to send me the same back again by this bearer.
Touching your motion of redeeming the Mr. of Grayes jewels, Mr. Secretary hath special commandment to move her Majesty in no matter of love or charge during these wars, and therefore dare not meddle with propounding the same; but advises your Lo. to move the Q. yourself, either at an audience or by letter. And for that I signified unto him that the day of payment was very shortly, he said he would take order that the day should be prolonged, for avoiding your danger and loss, upon intelligence from you of the particularity of the persons and time to deal with therein.—The Court, this 10th of April 1597.
Addressed. “To the right Honorable Mr. Archibald Douglas, ambassador from the K. of Scotland to her Matye.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (50. 4.)
Sir Robert Cecil to the Duke of Holstein.
1597, April 10. Acknowledging receipt of the Duke's letter of 15 February, which was the more welcome in that it signified approval of what Cecil had done to further his affairs.
Has taken care that all that the Duke asked of the Queen in his previous letter should be fully performed, save only in the matter of the forging of engines, wherein his Excellency must not take it ill if, in the present disturbed state, when rumours of war resound on all sides, the Queen (who would do more for him if her own affairs would allow of this) be compelled to defer that to a more fitting season.
As for the falcons, has procured those recommended by those most experienced in fowling. Sends also a fowler of good birth, highly recommended by honourable men, and doubts not that he will find his life and stipend with the Duke such that he will never regret coming. At any rate, if his Excellency will be guided by his skill and advice, he will find as great enjoyment as many of the highest nobles in England have already done.
Whatever delay there has been in these matters, is due to the unfavourable time, not to want of care or neglect on the part of Cecil, whom the Duke will ever find most forward in his service.
With the last letter Cecil has received from the Duke's proctor a silver vase, which, even had it been of far less value, would have been welcome, as sent by such a prince.—Palace of Westminster, 10 April 1597.
Endorsed :—“A copy of my Master's letter to the D. of Holstein.”
Latin. Draft with corrections. 1 p. (50. 5.)
The Queen to the King of France.
[1597, April 10.] Il n'eût été possible que ma plume eût demeurée si long temps tarie sans vous écrire, n'eût été un relâche de nerf en une de mes mains que me contraignît à la refrenir de tel office. Quand j'entendis quelle mauvaise impression vous teniez en l'endroit de mon ambassadeur je n'eusse failli à vous témoigner les grandes injures qu'on lui fit tout au rebours de ses mérites; que, si par ses écrits je n'eusse entendu que vous seul vous opposâtes au alléchements de vos conseillers constant de mon coté, je me fusse douté de telles réveries, et n'aurais garde de garder un si malconvenable instrument en lieu de telle importance. Mais espérant que déja il a assez bien répondu pour vous en satisfaire, je laisserai ce sujet, me tournant à la négociation que M. Fuquerolles m'a communiquée de votre part, à laquelle combien qu'avec luim#ecime j'ai discouru de mes affaires, en lui participant mes occasions très urgentes qui grandement me touchent en matière d'état, avec les pressantes injures qui de tous cotés notre ennemi me prépare avec une déclaration de mes dévotes et intimes affections en votre endroit, que je pense très nécessaire par mon ambassadeur vous déduire plus amplement de mes résolutions fondées sur aussi nécessiteux points que quelque prince pourra avoir. Car la vie ne doit étre plus recommandée à un bon prince que la conservation de ses royaumes, esquelles pour en recevoir un affront (non que me prise) je m'assure qu'il m'accompagneroit au tombeau. N'ayant été (grâce à, Dieu) jamais encore irritée de telle tentation, et d'une persuasion de vous aider, je ne serai jamais surprise de si mauvaise impression, pour croire que quelque nécessité vous contraignît fausser la foi, se montrer ingrat, se faire hair de plus aimants et fuir de plus indifférents. Ja à Dieu ne plaise que je respirasse à vous faire si injurieux acte très loin de ma confiance, loger de vous si inique pensée! Seulement vous supplierai pour le present vous habiller de ma personne, et jugez alors ce que feriez à un autre prince, et m'assure que votre mûr jugement confessera que ce ne sont chimères cu fantasies faibles, ainsi telles raisons qui tiennent racines attachés à très piquantes nécessités. Et pour ne vous facher les yeux de mes égratignments je finirai ces linges avec la sincére requ#ecite à Dieu pour votre longue conservation, comme vous souhaite votre très affectionnée bonne sœur Elizabeth.
Endorsed :—“10 April 1597. Copy of her Majesty's letter to the French King.” 1½ pp. (133. 168.)
Walter Travers and James Fullerton to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1597, April 11.] It pleased her Majesty for the maintenance of Trinity College by Develyn to bestow a royal grant of 100l. by year of lands only concealed in that country, and in the same commanded the certifying her of the several parcels before they should be passed there under the Great Seal. The College having found by office parcels of such lands, as they supposed, to the value of 18l. or thereabouts, was constrained for want of means otherwise to continue together, to send hither some of the society to make suit for the said parcels to be passed to the College and a lease procured of the certificate before mentioned. This suit was earnestly recommended by letters of the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland to the Lords of Her Majesty's Privy Council; and by these favoured and thought convenient to proceed and take effect. But because the parcels certified were of lands sometime of persons attainted, which were thought could not be passed by virtue of a grant of lands concealed, it was thought needful that a new letter should be drawn for enlarging the former grant in these two points : which being done by direction of the Lord Treasurer, your most noble father and our most worthy chancellor, and your honour having liked and allowed of the draft, as we understood by Sir Robert Gardiner by whom it was shewn to his Lordship : now we do come in all duty to your honour, to be a means to make our most humble suit known to Her Majesty, hoping that the regard of God's Glory, of Her Highness's own foundation (being our most noble founder), of the patronage of our most worthy Chancellor, of the judgment and favour of Her Highness's Council in both Kingdoms, of your mediation, and of the danger of dissolution of that society for want of such means, to the great disappointment of former favours and benefits and the heavy discomfort of all well-affected subjects there, will move Her Highness to sign the said letter so drawn.
Signed, Walter Travers, James Fullerton.
Endorsed :—“11 Apr. 1597.”
Undated. ½ p. (50. 6.)
Charles, Lord Mountjoye to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 11. There arrive here many times, and of late, men of Aldersey that come from Sherbrough [Cherbourg] and other parts of the coast of France, that tell me the common report there is that in Spain there is great preparations, and in such readiness as some sevenscore sail were once (not long since) put to sea and driven in again.
Their fear is for St. Mallowe or Newhaven, with the which they seem to doubt that the Spaniard hath intelligence; but this being the report of simple men from the common rumour there, I leave to your judgement. This day there came in a pinnace of Gosforth that hath been on the coast of Spain ever since Michaelmas last. They speak of a great fleet at the Groyne, of some at Pharoll, and of a certain expectation of seventy sail out of the Straits, and of three gallies coming for the Groyne, whereof two were cast away and one laden with treasure saved. I have talked with many mariners that landed in sundry places of the West out of several ships [who] much concur with the same.—Portsmouth, this xi April 1597.
P.S.—Sir, I further hear of a general stay of all ships in Spain and in the Islands, which, they say, hath not been heretofore used.
Signed : Charles Mountioye.
Endorsed :—L. Mountjoye to my Mr.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (50. 7.)
Sir Jo. Smyth to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 11. Requesting a warrant of the Council to the lieutenant of the Tower for four parties named in the enclosed petition to have free access to him, as in the petition to the Lords of the Council is contained. As for three of the parties, viz., Roger Bramstone, gent., Matthew Rudd, attorney, and Richard Payton, his wife's and his bailie, their resorting to him doth so much import as to save him from half-undoing.—From the Tower this 11th of April.
Signed :—Jo. Smythe.
Countersigned :—“Ry. Barkely, Lyeutenant of the Tower.”½ p. (50. 9.)
The Enclosure :
Petition to the Lords of the Council for a warrant for the Lady Susan Boucher, his wife's half-sister, with her waiting woman, Roger Brampstone of London, gent. (concerning certain debts of his and Matthew Rudd, gent., attorney at the Common Pleas for suits twixt him and others depending), and Richard Payton, to have free access to him from time to time at the allowable hours of the Tower.
½ p. (50. 8.)
Monsieur Fouquerolles to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 11/21. The return of Captain Ray reminds him of a command which he received from the King that, if her Majesty should aid the King with succours, he wished that Essex should cause the said Captain Ray to be provided with a company.—A Gravesinde, ce 21 Avril '97.
Endorsed by Essex :—“11 April '97, in favour of Capt. Rand.”
French. Holograph. ½ p. (50. 10.)
Captain Edw. Wylton to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 11/21. Marshal de Biron having (as signified in my last letter) lodged the troops as near Amiens as he could, thinks this course should be held for breaking the enemy's designs, that there be a rendezvous of the third part of the force within less than an English mile of the town every night, for he had intelligence of the arrival of 2,000 horse and foot at Dorlens, which mean to make their entry in the night. The first time we sent our men to the rendezvous they were afoot, but upon intelligence that our troops attended them, they retired again. The second time, Sir John Aldridg and myself, with some 250 and 60 French arquebuziers only, having with us Monsieur de Vicq, held the guard. The Marshal kept his guard a league and a half off. The Swish and regiment of Picardy, which are the chiefest part of the infantry kept their quarter also, I think further off than he by half a league. The Marshal had not with him above 30 horse, which were his followers, and in all the army to be at all passages not above 350. Order was given that, if the enemy should be discovered, we should give the alarm by drum, shot and some signals of fire. Upon the point of day, the sentinels discovering four gross of horse launciers, gave the alarm very orderly. Monsieur de Vicq and Sir John rode to discover if they had any foot, commanding me at the same time to draw forth all our pikes and shot into the field. They found them in some confusion, without foot, and riding more than a pace towards the town. Presently we were commanded to march after them. The Marshal having the alarm almost an hour before us and yet not giving us any notice, with some 300 or 400 of the regiment of Picardy, marched to intercept them, and met with them hard by the port. The Marshal alighting put himself in the head of some 50 foot with a pike, for then there were not more arrived. The enemy offering a charge and seeing them ready to receive them, wheeled about and fled to the port. We were commanded to make a stand some musket shot or less off, there to be ready for a second if any salley should be made out of the town. A mr. of the camp, with some 30 arquebuziers of those French that were with us, seeing them in disorder at the port, apprehended the occasion and gave upon them to the very ditch. Many of them very safely quit their [hor]ses and leaped down from the counter scarf. The rest fled under a raveling, when they of the town gave the cannon and many volleys of small shot very freely in their favour, who durst not notwithstanding so much as offer a charge, neither durst they of the town open the gate until they saw us make our retreat. They lost very near 100 horses, but yet in show I think some 250 entered the town. So as now they are stronger at least 800 horse and some 1,400 or 1,500 foot, and yet the foot do daily steal in by 30, 40 and 50 in a company in the night, and will do until they have as many in as they desire. The Marshal now understanding his error would gladly have laid it upon any other, and as the manner of the French is, putteth it upon us, demanding of Monsieur de Vicq why we followed them no faster, and why we suffered them to pass by us. To the former he answered that we followed before we had reason, having discovered four gross of horse, thinking them at least an hundred in a gross, and not knowing of any seconds, or whether they had sallied out of the town with any other troops to receive them or not, which they had surely done but that the messenger that brought that direction was intercepted in the night by the Marshal's scouts. To the latter, that it was impossible for foot to stay horse in a champion. But indeed the Marshal committed a double fault; the one that he had not drawn the forces out of every quarter as well as out of ours to a general rendezvous near the town where they could not have passed us : the other that leaving us divided, at least he left out 100 horse with us, which if he had done, upon their disorder at the first alarm, we had without all question broken them and I think cut the most of them in pieces. This much we told Monsieur Vicq, who answered that the Marshal had now but 350 horse in the army, and that we might think it strange that we should go about to besiege a town with 350 horse that had in it almost 1,000. My Lord, in my poor opinion Monsieur de Vicq is one of the most discreet, valiant and honest men of France. If it please you to visit him sometimes with your letters I think he will hold himself much honoured by it and be glad to have a correspondence with you, neither do I think you will dislike his judgement either for the offices of peace or war.—From the Army, xxio Aprilis 1597. Stilo Novo.
Holograph. 3 pp. (50. 32.)
Sir Edward Norreys to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 11. Understanding that there were great store of wagons and pioneers taken up round about, I sent out to beat all the highways to learn news and intercept letters, whereof I send your lordship herewith, and extract of such things as I found most worth noting. In my last I promised to send you a list of the great armado, but I cannot get it though I hear it be in print. It was suddenly called in. A certain fear is here grown amongst them of her Majesty's navy, which they hear to be 60 ships of war besides the merchants, so that they are in great amaze and in fear of the safe coming of their armado which they look for. Above their fame, upon that doth depend all their state, and, assuredly, if it pass, it will work us great trouble, for, besides their men, their chief treasure comes withal.
Out of Italy also comes 7,000 Jatiens and Sicilians and of the other islands. The Commissaries are already gone to Luxembourg to provide for their passage.
They speak of great levies of other nations, all which are destined for the enterprise of England as soon as their armado hath freed the passage. I know you are well advertised of these things yet would I not fail also to send what I hear.—This xi April 1597.
Endorsed :—“At Ostend.”
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (175. 33.)
The Enclosure.
Extracts from Intercepted Letters.
The Vice-Admiral of Calais, 9 April, 1597.
Three of our ships of war have plundered two ships and sunk a third, and brought in here five others, worth 50,000 “livres de gros,” laden with oranges, sugar, log-wood, &c.; this will encourage us to arm more ships, and make the enemy tremble, especially as Captain Mienke burned the ships and killed all on board. His highness orders us to be booted and spurred, ready to join him if he sends for us.
Letter of the 12th of April. The French are strong in cavalry and infantry, and mean to attack Amiens, which is hard on the peasantry. There are many soldiers round Lille eating up the country.
Letter of April 13 from Courtray. On April 10 I left Brussels for Arras to make ready the Court of his highness there.
Letter of April 13, from Cambrai. I have no news for you except that Cardinal goes very soon to Arras.
Letter of April 10, from Brussels. [“Marke this”—margin.] On our side the preparations are very small, for the news that comes from Spain makes us hope that this summer we shall see fine forces sent to our help, and yet this good prince is still without money or men.
Letter of April 13, from Lille. The country is full of men-at-arms who illtreat the peasants.
[No date.] Two days ago M. de Sancerre arrived here from France, and left immediately for Brussels. Four or five days ago he was in Amiens, and has come through the French camp; he says that between Amiens and Doullens there were six thousand men; that some Flemish tried to mutiny in Amiens, but were not condemned. He saw the King at Picquigny, who was on his way to Beauvais. He says that the nobility are preparing to take the field to the number of at least six thousand.
Extracts from a French translation of a Spanish letter, of April 12, from Lille :
Le Navarrois ayant faict nire [? vire] de la Campaigne despuis Arras jusques Amiens esperant de prendre quelque place, mais nous entendons que partout il y a bonne garde, principalement en Amiens, ayant bonne esperance que les bourgeois luy remetteront es mains la dite ville, et il tient ferme le passage en cettes maniere que personne de ceste coste ne peult entrer. Les notres se rassemblent par tous villaiges et le bruit court que pour le fin de ceste mois on pretend se mettre en Amiens mil chevauls et trois mil pietons affin qu'ls aillent faire la guerre en France, et que l'ennemi soit contrainct de se retirer en son pais.”
[Same date and place.] Touchant les choses de la guerre le François vat journellement avec ses troupes en la contree d'Amiens cherchant aulcun moyen pour prendre quelque place; mais par tout on faict tres bonne garde, principalement ceulx d'Amiens, pour la crainte qu'ils ont d'estre trahies par les bourgois, et ils ont escrit a son Altesse affin qu'il leur secourre d'aulcune infanterie et cavaillerie pour pouvoir faire de sorties a la coste de France, a cause que le Roy de France leur presse de tous costes.
French. 3 pp. (175. 34.)
Sir R. Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 12. Thanking him for his favour in the matter of the Cinque Ports : if it be obtained, he will by Essex's means come to one of the things which most in England he affects. Considering that the managing of all matters of war, both by land and sea, are almost all in his Lordship's hands, does not doubt but in them to be of use to him. If it cannot be obtained, trusts Essex will not be blamed for having recommended an unworthy man. Thanks him also for his travail to procure a warrant for his return for a few days, but finds the violent opposition from some which he expects from them while any place he has been named unto and they desire for some friend of theirs doth remain unbestowed. Resolves therefore, that he must stay there while those that have a will to cross him have the power, and beseeches his Lordship that if anything may fall out of his good there, he may not therein also find malice to have effect against him.
Recommends therefore to his Lordship, first, his suit touching his horse company, which will be some commodity, although he desires it more for reputation's sake, that his company be not the least in the land and in the field such as he should be ashamed to be in the head of it.
Hopes Caron hath made the States' request herein known unto his Lordship and that he hath let Rol. Whyte wait upon him about it.
Another matter he has in hand with all in these countries.
The Count of Solms has been cashiered and the regiment he had Sydney's brother also had, and the command of this he now desires. It may be said it is not fit for the Governor of her Majesty's cautionary town to be in the service of the States, but what could be more profitable for the Queen's service in these parts than that the Governor of Flushing should command the Zealand regiment, since thereby he is almost assured of those troops which are most dangerous for the town.
Lastly, now that Essex is established in the Office of the Ordnance, beseeches that he will favour him with the six pieces so necessary there which he has so long been suitor for. There are no doubt store of pieces in England of those were brought from Cales, which for length and weight are only fit for a town.—Flushing, the 12 of April 1597.
P.S.—The Admiral Nassau is gone upon a suprise of Graveling by promise of some within. God send a bait be not laid for him as was for Sydney's brother! Hopes by the next to send news out of Spain, for there are ships arrived.
Holograph. 3 pp. (50. 11.)
The Mayor and Jurats of Dover to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 12. Having presumed, considering the present dearth of corn and greediness of the neighbouring farmers, without respect had either of the late orders and proclamation by her Majesty or directions set down by the Justices of the Peace, to write by way of complaint to the Lords of the Privy Council for remedy therein and in other causes in their letters expressed, they have thought it their duty to impart the contents of their letter to his honour and to beseech his furtherance of their suit.
First, touching the farmers, they of the hundreds of Bewsborough and Cornilo have been rated by the justices to bring into Dover market weekly, on the Saturday, 12 quarters of wheat, besides barley, but since the death of the Lord Warden they do not bring 4 bushels of wheat, one week with another.
Further, the town standeth burdened with great charges by receiving and relieving a great number of poor sick and lame soldiers lately returned out of France, whereof they do succour for the space of one se'night; some they bury and others they furnish with money towards their travel into their several countries.
Beseech him that he will be a means to the Lords aforesaid for remedy in the furnishing of their market with corn, and for order to be taken to relieve the said poor soldiers and ease the town of the burden.—“Dovor, under the seal of office of Mayraltie there, the twelfth daye of Aprill 1597.”
Unsigned. 1 p. (50. 13.)
William Lyllé to the [Earl of Essex.]
1597, April 13. Prays pardon that he now so late troubles Essex with these letters made long since to be sent by Lieutenant Blunket, but he would not stay the fetching of them. Now they serve for nothing but to show his endeavour of duty, but he sends them finding this bearer presently parting.
Since these were written, nothing has chanced but 400 horse of the enemy are entered Amiens : the French give out that they have cut off many of them. The troops suffer much by the fault of the treasurers; and if that want be not quickly supplied, cannot stand for many days, for here is no money but that the general findeth on his own credit, and that very hardly and but little. If Essex have no commiseration on them, knows not who shall consider those wants.—St. Valeries, this 13 of April 1597.
Holograph. Without address. 1 p. (50. 14.)
P. Van Heile to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1597, April 13.] I have not troubled you for some time, hearing that you had handed over to the Judge of the Admiralty Court the matter I mentioned to you on behalf of the Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg. This judge has not yet found time to look at the papers, and because of the delay the poor Lunebergers are daily in danger of arrest for the debt they have been compelled to incur during this long suit. My indisposition prevents my coming to you in person, and obliges me to write to request you to order (in accordance with the Queen's will declared to M. le Duc Frederic, brother to the Duke of Brunswick and Luneberg) that these Lunebergers be not molested by arrests or otherwise until the conclusion of their suit. They are now ruined all three, and dying of hunger, because of the delay; and desire that they may be enabled to finish their suit and earn their living as they did before. The Duke, if this is done, will be ready to show favours to the English merchants, of whom many trade with his country, and allow them the privileges of his own subjects.
French. Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (175. 36.)
William Robinson and Others.
1597, April 13. Petition to the Queen for lease in reversion of their several farms, promised them in satisfaction of a debt due by the Queen to Richard Madox.
Note by J. Herbert, that the Queen grants the petition upon terms.—Court at Whitehall, 13 April 1597.
1 p. (545.)
Sir R. Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1597, April 14. The particulars out of Spain are divers as coming from sundry parties. A master of a ship of this town coming lately out of Biskaie reports that the King hath given order for the building of twenty-six or twenty-eight great ships of 800 tons apiece, and hath already sent 50,000 ducats to begin the work.
From Lisbon came letters, written in March, that there were parted thence for Ferrol 10 galleys with about 1000 soldiers, thence to be taken the way of Bleuvet, and there joining with other ships of war to come to Callis, and to make the war this summer in these narrow seas. But for the rest of the flotte, the said letters say that there was no appearance that it could set forth this summer, in respect of the dearth of the mariners and soldiers and of the wants of all other necessaries. From St. Lucas also it is written, and from Sivil the 14th of the last month, that at that time there was no stay of ships nor any preparations of an army, only that some galleys were come hither out of the Straits, but that the Prince Doria was not yet arrived. One also that came from St. Lucas reports that the K. of Spain, fearing lest his navy do not lie safe in Ferrol in respect of the attempts which may be made upon it out of England and these countries, will retire it to Lisbone till it be in better readiness : but St. Lucas is far from these parts, and therefore no great trust to be given to that advertisement except it be from other places confirmed. Has not indeed spoken with any, nor heard of any coming from any place nearer than threescore leagues from Ferrol, so as he sees not what certainty may be reposed upon any of their reports : and sure it is that ships of late have gone to Ferrol to the inforcing of the enemy, and therefore the best way is not to be secure. That of the galleys Sydney believes, knowing the man who had the letters of it from Lisbone to be honest and wise.
The news out of France shew that matters go but ill there : as well the letters of Buzenval as of Calewart. It seems the K. is ill and has men about him that rejoice in his losses. There hath been also sermons in some towns made in the praise of the King of Spain and the disadvantage of the other. Neither doth it seem that the K. of France hath any army to the purpose, and he is likely to have great assaults this summer.
These men, it seems, expect what England and France will do, for he hears of no preparations by them to go into the field. The Cardinal is still at Brussels but doth not anything but prepare himself.—Flushing, the 14 of April 1597.
Holograph. 2½ pp. (50. 15.)
A. Douglas to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 15. These three young men, Mr. Alex. Haye, Mr. Alexander Gibson and John Kennedye, (of the which the first two are clerks to the Lords of the Session), within this month came from Scotland into this realm recommended to the Governor of Berwick, whose passport they have, only to see the country. Being now to return home they are desirous to have Cecil's commission to ride post for their safe return. Prays that his accustomed courtesy to all strangers may be extended to them.—This 15th of April 1597.
Signed. ½ p. (50. 18.)
Joseph Maye to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597, April 15. Signifying their arrival at Saphea this 9 April. Where it was ordered by Cecil that they should coast along by the harbours of the Groyne and Ferrol and there spend some time for his advertisement, they were contraried of their desire by a sudden storm, whereby they were enforced so far to leeward as the southward Capp; where they lay six days to and fro, hoping to satisfy his expectations. But in this time they saw neither carvell or other ship until they come to this harbour, where was riding two ships of London, of which one took a carvell from the Groyne, which doth report of a hundred ships in the Groyne, and threescore more to come from the Straits, to come for England, in regard of the losses and greater disgraces they have received of our English nation with the death of the “Lantatho,” of Spain.
They have intelligence that the Spaniards do “hall” directly ever from their own coast to the coast of Barbary; wherefore, by God's assistance, they mean to spend some of their time there. Hope the next letters shall bring Cecil more good liking of their adventures.—15 of April 1597.
P.S.—“A Fleming arriving here credibly reporteth the Spanish Fleet to be for the island of Zeland and that the Viceroy of the Indies on his oath.”
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Sir Anthony Sherley to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1597], April 15. Your Honour will please to receive the report of my unhappy journey and of my further determination by this gentleman, my cousin Michellmore; whose worthiness in all parts deserves to be known to your Honour, whose noble disposition is ever ready to embrace the knowledge of all such as are of his deservings. I need recommend him to no more favour than I know your Honour of yourself will shew him, nor myself to a better opinion in your conceit than I will for ever truly deserve.—From the Golfo Dulce this 15 of April.
Endorsed :—“1597.”
Holograph. ½ p. (50. 20.)


  • 1. An error.