Cecil Papers: January 1597, 21-31

Pages 31-52

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, 21–31

Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 21. Since coming from the journey to Turnhaut, has received a letter from Mr. Secretary announcing that the employment he was appointed to is deferred. Is glad of it, hoping the easier to get his leave to return into England; but rather grudges that others are entrusted with negociations with the States that are easy and wherein, therefore, they are likely to content the Queen, whereas he seems to be reserved for such as are likely to fail. Asks Essex to get him leave to return for a short time. Hears he is “about another journey.” Wishes him success and proffers service.—Flushing, 21 Jan. 1596.
Holograph. 2 pp. (37. 83.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 21. “The 12 of this month was the day appointed for the assembly of our small army at Gertrudenberg. Thither came, by order order from Count Morris, the counts of Holloc and Solms, Sir Fr. Vere, with his regiment and some other English troops, Mouray, with his regiment of Scots, Broderode and Broghiere with some troops of the garrisons in those quarters, and some companies of the Zealand regiment. Myself also brought 300 men from Flushing, which marched with the rest of the English. In all there were 45 ensigns, making towards 5,000 men and 27 cornets of horse which were scarce 850 strong.” His Excellency explained that he purposed to attempt the enemy's camp in Turnhaut, which is not walled but has a castle in it. The 13th, after marching all day and most of the night, reached the village of Rauell two hours' march from Turnhaut. The enemy did not detect our fires until towards morning. “The 14, which was Friday, we rose very early and, having recovered an ill-favoured passage of a water where we thought that perhaps the enemy would have staid our coming, we put our men in battle and marched towards the town, but, by the way, understood that the enemy was dislodged that morning towards Herentales. Hereupon the Count made haste up with the horse, and when we were once at the townsend we might see the rearguard of the enemy, which had not fully passed a bridge, and now were breaking of it down and had left only one piece of timber that one man might go over, when Sir Fr. Vere coming down with some musketeers of the van guard began in the meadows where we were to pass a skirmidge with them. The Count Hollox went down with some horse but there was no way to pass but a long narrow lane where the tallest horse almost went up to the skirts of the saddle in water.” Count Holloc staid to collect the horse while Vere and a few musketeers followed skirmishing with the retreating enemy some three English miles. This kept them in play and led to their final overthrow, “of which truly Sir Fr. Vere is to have the reputation for the fastening upon them at the bridge.” This had lasted two or three hours, and the enemy were like to reach a strait and escape, when Holloc appeared with half the horse. Sydney urged him to charge, and his Excellency coming up, with the rest, sent Vere three cornets of horse under Captain Edmonds, the Scotsman, with orders to charge. “The manner of the enemy's retreat was this, the Marquis of Trenico's regiment of Neapolitans had the rear guard, the regiments of La Burlotte and Achicourt, which was La Mote's old regiment, were in the battle, the regiments of the Count of Sultz of Almains had the van guard, and the horsemen, which were five companies, Nicolo Basta, the most esteemed captain of horse, on (sic) of them which the King of Spain hath, and was there in person, Don Juan de Cordua, Alonso de Mondragon, Gusman and Grobendonck were in the head of all but somewhat on the right hand. The baggage was gone before conducted by 500 Almains.” Describes the attack. In less than a quarter of an hour the rout was complete. On the field were slain 2,200, among them the Count of Waras, who commanded, and was a general of the artillery, “slain by a private soldier not knowing who he was.” 225 died of their wounds before reaching Herentales, where only 400 arrived, disarmed and mostly wounded. The Almains who escaped took their way to the Maze and will not look behind them till they come unto Germany. The horsemen mostly escaped; only Mondragon's cornet was taken by Sir Henry Parker's company. There are 500 or 600 prisoners, 15 or 16 of them captains; none of the colonels were with their regiments. Lost only 8 or 10 and no officer hurt, “only Sir Francis Vere had a blow of a musket upon the leg but it entered not.” This is the fairest day the States have yet had in the field. Under 850 horse did it, for the foot could not come up; and they which came upon the heath were only the guards of his Excellency and Count Hollock with 3 companies of Dutches which had the vanguard, and the two English troops, i.e., the band of Flushing and the companies in the Queen's pay of Captains Brown, Throckmorton, and Morgan, and the band from the Briel with Vere's regiment. In all 2,400 or 2,500 men. Next day the castle of Turnhaut surrendered and they returned homewards, lodging the first night at Chame and the next at Gertrudenberg.—Flushing, 21 Jan. 1596. P.S. Prisoners say they were 3,500 or 4,000 in all.
Holograph. 6 pp. (37. 84.)
1596-7, Jan. 21. The examination of John Lane and Henry Heath, taken by Mr. Auditor (Walter) Tooke, touching John Girton, late servant to Richard Mercer and now abiding with William Norries, keeper of the walk sometime called Bulls Walk, relative to the killing of the “great fat buck” in Lady Warwick's little park at Northall.—Dated 21 January, 1596.
1 p. (139. 64.)
W. Waad to Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary.
1596-7, Jan. 22. “There is a priest taken this morning by means of a notable fellow of late that I have retained, who hath discovered divers matters unto me. Because I would not be seen in it myself, Mr. Skeffington searched the house where the party left him yesternight and hath apprehended both him and others very lewd persons.” The “party” informs of another at Chingford in Essex, who, if you sign the enclosed warrant, will doubtless be taken. The bearer was at the taking of this priest in Holborn and has done well. There is 100l. in money in a bag, collected of Papists, to be used as you think good and partly to relieve the “party that informeth.” “The priest hath confessed unto me that his name is Harbert and that he is a seminary. It may please your honour to give order for his commitment unto some private house in London as I know he cannot be kept secret in any prison; and already he doth suspect the party who is cause of his apprehension, by whose means 3 or 4 others more about London will be taken within these few days.”
Endorsed :—22 Jan. 1596.
Signed. 1 p. (37. 88.)
P., Lord Dunsany to Sir Robert Cecil, Principal Secretary.
1596-7, Jan. 22. Understands that a servant of his, named James Boyle, is this day apprehended by Mr. Skevyngton. Knows not for what cause. He had a trunk containing 100l. of the writer's in his keeping, which is seized. Begs that the money may be kept safely until the truth of this is proved, and that himself may not be prejudiced by any default of his servant.—“From my lodging at one Gubbyns house near the Abbey in Westminster this present Saturday.”
Endorsed :—22 Jan. 1596.
Signed. 1 p. (37. 89.)
Spanish Preparations.
1596-7, Jan. 22. Plymouth, 22 Jan. 1596. George Rosett, of St. Malo, examined, says he left St. Malo seven days ago, where were arrived divers ships of the place from St. Lucar and Malaga, which reported that at St. Lucar, Sheris, and thereabouts, were 15,000 men ready, and 10 galliasses and 30 galleys had come out of the Straits to convey them to Ferroll; also that at Malaga were 3,000 men, and great provision made for the army at Ferroll, which would be ready about the end of April. The shipping at St. Lucar being stayed, three ships of St. Malo “stole away leaving their sails behind them, and furnishing themselves again with such canvasses as they had in their ships.”
Endorsed :—“Concerning Spanish preparations.”
1 p. (37. 90.)
Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 22. Since he wrote five days ago of the fight with the enemy has no other especial matter to trouble Essex with, these serving only to accompany the messenger he has despatched with his Excellency's letters to her Majesty and his Lordship. Knows not what to write concerning the enterprise of Callis, having twice, without answer from Essex, written liberally. Both the States and his Excellency are thoroughly bent to follow this late victory with some other attempt, and speedily; it is very necessary, therefore, that her Majesty's intent be known out of hand to the end these men may fit themselves accordingly. Entreats Essex that under the speech of some other employment he be not removed elsewhere.—Haghe, this 22 January 1596,
Holograph. Seal. 1½ pp. (173. 18)
— — to the Queen.
1596-7, Jan. 22./Feb. 1. “Notwithstanding the lamentable estate of that kingdom obliged me to leave it many years ago to profess more freely abroad the Catholic faith, and to become subject of another commonwealth, thereby to fulfil my duty to Almighty God to Whom all creatures owe obedience, yet have I not lost the love of my country, nor the affection and respect to your Majesty to which nature and religion do bind me.” Begs her acceptance and perusal of the book he sends herewith. In spite of past successes in war against Spain the stronger must eventually win; no man knoweth the estate of England and Spain but evidently sees why the more potent suffereth so many and great injuries of the weaker, and withal that it cannot endure; things perforce must come to their natural course. Her Majesty's conversion to the Catholic faith would be the universal pacification of Christendom and a most effectual mean for the remedy of all those countries like to be lost. Concludes : “Your Majesty hath no forcible successor whose advancement you ought to respect with danger of your own person and present estate, and so your greatest care with reason should be (according to wordly prudence, though no other were) to procure to live and die a Queen, with the prosperity and quietness that hitherto you have enjoyed and to seek how to leave an honourable memory of yourself after your death. For the effecting whereof, seeing you have no other assured means left but to protect the Christian Catholic truth, which these late years hath been oppugned under your name and authority, it seemeth that God will use some notable way with your Majesty, having shut up all other gates for your remedy and left this only open; by which if it pleases you to enter to your salvation and eternal honour and felicity amongst many other commodities your Majesty shall prove what great difference there is between the love and fidelity of your Catholic subjects (who for no injuries have we left off to seek your good) and the flattery of others who for their own particular profit and interest have procured the dishonour and destruction of our country, using your Majesty as an instrument of their advancement, with your own danger and the evident ruin of your commonwealth, if God put not to his helping hand in time Whom I beseech to give your Majesty light to see the truth of all these things and courage to put the remedy that is necessary.—Dated the first of February, 1597.”
Signature illegible. 3½ pp. (49. 20.)
William Vuedale to his brother, Richard Morton, High Sheriff of co. Southampton.
1596-7, Jan. 23. On receipt of his letters, rode to Robert Woddes' house in Langstone and found two French sailors keeping the bark, but their master and the rest were gone. Woddes says they lay one night last week at Mr. George Cotton's at Warblington. Encloses the Frenchmen's confession, taken by interpretation. Woddes says they intend to buy horses of 40l. or 50l. apiece, and that last year the same company bought 9 or 11 horses, and they brought money to pay Cotton for horses. Has stayed the bark and taken away their sails till he hears further.—Wickham, 23 Jan. 1596.
Signed. 1 p. (37. 94.)
The Enclosure :
Examination of Zoonlazena (?), a Frenchman, 23 Jan. 1596, before William Vuedale. To the effect that M. Lalore, deputy lieutenant of Normandy, who is now at Court to get a licence to transport horses, came over in his bark from [Caringto]ne in Normandy, that his coming was only to buy horses, and that [before] “the end of this week his master will be returned unto the said Robert Woodes.”
Slightly mutilated. 1 p. (37. 91.)
2. A copy of the above in the hand of Cecil's clerk, who reads the name as – Conlazena.
1 p. (37. 91.)
Sir H. Cocke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 23. At the latter end of Christmas, received his letters of 14 Dec., by lady Bacon, who evidently has made a very kind and favourable report to Cecil's father and himself of the writer's willingness to do her service. Is bound to do his utmost, both for the love he bears to Cecil's father and himself, and for the kindness he always found in her ladyship in the lifetime of her “most grave and wise husband,” to whom he was also bound.—Broxborne, 23 Jan. 1596.
Endorsed :—“Sr Ha. Cocke.”
Holograph. 1 p. (37. 96.)
Sir Walter Ralegh to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 24. “Sir, because I know not how you dispose of yourself I forbear to visit you, preferring your pleasing before mine own desire. I had rather be with you now than at any other time if I could thereby either take off from you the burden of your sorrows or lay the greatest part thereof on mine own heart. In the mean time I would but mind you of this, that you should not overshadow your wisdom with passion but look aright unto things as they are. There is no man sorry for death it self but only for the time of death, every one knowing that it is a bond never forfeited to God. If then we know the same to be certain and inevitable we ought withal to take the time of his arrival in as good part as the knowledge and not to lament at the instant of every seeming adversity; which we are assured have been on their way towards us from the beginning. It appertaineth to every man of a wise and worthy spirit to draw together into suffrance the unknown future to the known present, looking no less with the eyes of the mind than those of the body, the one beholding afar off and the other at hand, that those things of this world in which we live be not strange unto us when they approach, as to feebleness which is moved with novelties, but that like true men participating immortality and know (sic) our destinies to be of God, we do then make our estates and wishes, our fortunes and desires all one.
“It is true that you have lost a good and virtuous wife and myself an honourable friend and kinswoman; but there was a time when she was unknown to you, for whom you then lamented not, she is now no more yours nor of your acquaintance but immortal and not needing or knowing your love or sorrow. Therefore you shall but grieve for that which now is as then it was when not yours, only bettered by the difference in this that she hath passed the wearisome journey of this dark world and hath possession of her inheritance. She hath left behind her the font of her love, for whose sakes you ought to care for yourself that you leave them not without a guide, and not by grieving to repine at His will that gave them you, or by sorrowing to dry up your own times that ought to establish them.
“Sir, believe it, that sorrows are dangerous companions, converting bad into evil and evil in worse, and do no other service than multiply harms. They are the treasures of weak hearts and of the foolish. The mind that entertaineth them is as the earth and dust whereon sorrows and adversities of the world do us, the beasts of the field, trend, trample and defile. The mind of man is that part of God which is in us, which by how much it is subject to passion by so much it is farther from him that gave it us. Sorrows draw not the dead to life but the living to death, and if I were myself to advise myself in the like, I would never forget my patience till I saw all and the worst of evils and so grieve for all at once, lest, lamenting for some one, another might yet remain in the purse of destiny of greater discomfort.
“Your ever beyond the power of words to utter, W. Ralegh.”
Endorsed :—“24 Jan. 1596.” And, in a later hand, “Sir Wa. Ra. letter to my father touching the death of my mother.”
Holograph. 1 p. (37. 97/2.)
Sir Matthew Arundell to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1596-7], Jan. 24. Finding daily so many favours and extraordinary respects of your love I cannot but repay the same, protesting that (next under her Majesty) I live at your devotion, although my old age can afford little service. Touching my son's proceedings, I hope that you are not ignorant how little comfort I take therein. As my son began without advice so he is like to end without assistance from me, having an absolute dislike of the whole “creation,” and chiefly of this that all his sons and daughters and their issues must become counts and countesses—a matter so peevish, harsh and absurd to my understanding, that the more I speak the greater is my grief in thinking on it. Herein appears how unfortunate my son is in the course of his life, who hath not only purchased Her Majesty's displeasure and so gained a hazard of his estate, but also stands assured to be disinherited by me of all that by leave of the law may by any means be put from him; and which, “being spoken to you (dear cousin) under benedicitis,” is already performed. The law of the land doth compel me to perform what I promised upon conditions of marriage, but the law of nature hath clean forgotten her office in me, having received from my son and my son's wife many proud thwarts for too too much bounty and love, yet never any biting so deep as this unprofitable, unpleasant and dangerous ambition of his. Unless my son obtain the Queen's favour (who is not merciless) and become gracious in her eye, he shall never stand otherwise with me until death.
For myself, I hope Her Majesty will be no less gracious and good mistress than heretofore as my loyalty and many years' faithful service deserve. Her Majesty (I think) was scarce at any time offended with me who was as acceptable a man as any of my place or capacity, and who married a woman of her own breeding, till whose death I never left service in court (being twenty-six years) to my no small charges. Since with her leave I retired into the country I have spent my days in doing her true and faithful service. I write not this for reward, but for continuance of Her Majesty's favour, never restrained from so poor a kinsman, which breeds greater comfort to my decaying years than to be made the greatest duke that foreign king can give.—The 24 of January.
Endorsed :—1596.
Holograph. 2 pp. (37. 98.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 24. This day I spake with a sailor of Amsterdam who was in the Spanish Fleet when it was cast away. He came yesterday was a sevennight from Baione and some days before from the Cape Finisterre. He saith there was cast away thirty-six sail, of which four of the chief galleons. That in which he was himself had aboard her seven hundred men, whereof were saved only five besides himself. He saith that there were reckoned to be lost 7000 men. The flower of the army perished, for many of the Italian ships which are in the fleet have no ordnance upon them, neither are they provided for a fight. But when the Adelantado gathered together the army he took all ships great and small whatsoever he could come by. The famine and plague, he saith, is exceeding great in the army. Others which came lately from the Spanish Court itself (as was told me) report that the king looks for great store of shipping and men out of Italy against Easter next. These countries, since our last action, have not brought forth anything worth the writing, of which action it is forbidden that any man should speak either good or bad on the other side according as advertisements come from Antwerp. About this time also is there a triumph held at Brussels, the particulars whereof I know not yet. I send your honour herewith a letter which since my coming hither Sir Francis Vere sent unto me for your lordship, concerning the said action as I take it.—Flushing, 24 of Jan. 1596.
P.S.—Since the writing hereof Sir Fr. Vere's own servant hath taken his letters to your lordship.
Holograph. 1½ p. (37. 99.)
Sir Thomas Challoner to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 24. The inconvenience of safe delivery of my letters hath oftentimes withheld me from signifying unto your lordship such occurrences as Florence affords. Notwithstanding, I have proposed unto myself not to neglect any opportunity whereby I might by testimony of my thankful mind win a place in your favour.
The King of Spain, whose very footing in Italy holds the other princes to the bridle, hath made a misliked purchase of the Marquisate of Rome, rather to be a troublesome neighbour to the Duke of Mantua and the Venetians than for any further assurance of his estate in Milan. To take possession of two principal castles within the Marquisate aforesaid there are certain bands of soldiers departed from Milan. The Duke of Mantua prepareth to prevent them, alleging the Marquisate to be within his signory and therefore the sale to be unlawful without his licence. The Venetians to assure Brescia, which lieth near unto those castles, are said to intend shortly to put in a garrison of Frenchmen and Swizzers.
Maximilian, Duke of Bavier, to whom his father has resigned, this day is gone to Pisa to see the Great Duke to whom he is allied by marriage of the Duke of Lorrain's daughter and sister to the Great Duchess. He came attended only with four servants and two Jesuits; his purpose is to pass unto Rome to gratify the Pope for the creating of his brother Cardinal. In great secret there is a speech of a marriage between the Duke of Parma and the princess, daughter to Duke Fraunces, elder brother of the Duke present. The treaty of this contract is carried very close because the King of Spain is assured to bend his affection contrary to this match. The Genowaies who, by the King of Spain's means, have together with selves ruined almost all the merchants of Italy, by their particular loss of a rich ship near Marsilia have been greatly endomaged. To augment their misfortunes, news are this day brought from Genoa that a ship of theirs coming from Spain is cast away by tempest. The ship is said to contain a million of gold and half a million in merchandise. The knowledge of this loss is only grounded on the finding of a great mast and certain drowned mariners driven to land by the waves. A smaller ship that departed from Spain in company of the galleon is arrived with loss of the masts and anchors, having escaped with great difficulty. They also affirm in their opinions the ship to be sunk. The King of Spain, who, as the Italians say, by refusing payment hath without strokes sacked all Italy, to abate the rumour of his great disgrace hath procured a bull from Rome prohibiting all Catholics to traffick where the use of mass is not allowed. This interdiction is a greater blow than the loss of their money to the merchants, whose only hope is that so great a tempest will not continue long. The common proverb is in every man's mouth, Omne malum ab Hispania; omne bonum ab Aquilone. For in Florence the most part of the city hath this year been maintained by English merchants that for silks traffick thither, by which occasion England is greatly favoured in this place. The immoderate rain which hath fallen here hath raised Arno very high, insomuch that towards Pisa it hath overflown so great a quantity of corn ground that Tuscany is in fear of a dearth to ensue. Tiber also hath overthrown six principal mills at Rome.—Florence, Jan. 24.
Endorsed :—“Sir Tho. Chaloner at Florence, 24 of Jan. 96.”
Holograph. Seal. 3 pp. (37. 100.)
William Lyllé to his master, the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 25. Wrote some days past to friends in the Court to know “what were the conclusions of all these hot actions in this assembly,” but fears his messenger has been slain on the way back. Will repair thither himself if the king go not presently to Paris. “St Luc and all the French forces are fallen down into these parts and are lodged in Bullen and Montrell; I think, rather to lie between us and the enemy than to do any other great matter. Some few gallant men they have, but the most boys and worth nothing. Of these their garrisons are stuffed full. They of Abbeville permit the Suises to lodge in their fausbourgs, but will not have it termed a garrison; in truth they are very few, those which are good being of th' oldest troops and the regiment of Gilliati. All the French bands are reduced almost to fifties, and march without ensigns, their companies are so little. We hearken every hour to hear somewhat of St Luc and his army for that he lyeth near th' enemy and promiseth to brave him. I would believe more thereof if Biron had the matter in hand. He is gone to Burgundy and will look to those parts, as the thing he hath most care of, and most in danger at this time, by reason of the Duc of Savoy. Memorency should go down into Brittany yet we see no haste he maketh. Our troops are here lodged in the coldest country of the whole France, which is the cause that we have many sick here, yet are they in good reasonable strength and so as the French commissaires confess that there are none such in France, and have mustered us unto a man, for so was their commission (say they) from Mons. de Villeroy. Upon these men these three weeks have 'I attended here' or would have been at Court again to do your Lordship's service.
“For all St Luc's being near th' enemy, Bullen and those parts begin to be in fear, and, I believe, will call us to aid against their wills.” Begs to know by Mr. Reynolds if he is to “entertain the precedent matter” of his other letter.—St. Valeries, 25 Jan. 1596.
Endorsed :—“William Lillye.”
Addressed :—“At the Court.”
Holograph. 2 pp. Seal. (37. 97.)
Charles, Lord Howard to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1596-7, Jan. 25.] If I could have mastered so myself as that I might have any ways been any comfort unto you I would not have been so long from visiting you, whom, I do protest before the Lord, I do love as well as myself, but God knoweth it to be true that the loss of the dearest sister I have in respect of herself as also of you could not have grieved me more, and I know I should rather have wished that which is not fit for me to write nor speak that might have excused the cause of your sorrow. But the Lord's will must be fulfilled, and she was too virtuous and good to live in so wretched a world, and you that hath an extraordinary judgment by His gifts that doth all must with that wisdom seek now to master your good and kind nature and to think that sorrow nor anything else can now redeem it. And as she is now most assured happier than all we that live in this “pudeled” and troubled world, so do I assure you, as long as God shall spare me life in it, there shall not any tread on the earth that shall love you better than my poor self : and I vow it to God I think none doth or can so much as I do. I would be glad to see you and when it might be to your comfort, if it were at midnight. I should be glad God send you as much comfort as he did ever send to any and to bless you and yours.
Endorsed :—“25 Jan. 1596. Lord Admiral to my Master.”
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (37. 102.)
Sir Edward Hoby to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1596-7, Jan. 25.] I must confess I attended your honour to offer my service if not able to comfort, but I found a “sumpathie” in sorrow, though not in so high degree as your honour, having myself lost such a friend as in haste I may not look for the like, which upon your aspect dulled my senses and my lips became “tongelesse.” My meaning was (but overgrieved to utter) to have offered to your honour the use of my poor house in Channon Row, if for the nearness thereof to the Court it mought any ways be agreeable unto your honour to remove yourself thither from the place I know you can take no great delight in. My “wachings” shall ever be ready, with my service to be disposed by your honour, and, if you will honour me in this, you shall find the house reasonably furnished to order the whole to your best liking.
Endorsed :—“25 Jan. 1596. Sir Edward Hobby to my Master.”
Holograph. ½ p. (37. 103.)
Sir Robert Cecil to Archibald Douglas.
1596-7, Jan. 25. I was dealt with by Mr. Fortescue not to grant this party any passport : and he told me he had the caution from you. You now again write in his behalf, but I know not how to carry myself in the matter until I hear further. Write me what I may safely do therein without prejudice.—From my house, 25 Jan. 1596.
Signed. ½ p. (204. 50.)
Ro : Barton to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 26. By opportunity of this gentleman, Mr. Morison, thinking it expedient to kiss your honour's hands, I esteemed it no less needless to renew and refresh my ancient dutiful thankfulness unto you for the manifold favours received in the life of Sir Tho. Henage; by whose due relation and serious requests your honour not only preferred divers my humble suits unto her Highness, but took the protection of my credit against sundry false malicious obtractors of the same; for requital of which, not remaining in me any other ability but a grateful devoted mind, with the same incessantly pray unto God to bless and prosper all your virtuous and heroical designs, humbly craving pardon for my present negligence in the due discourse as well of the affairs of those parts as also performance of my Hungary voyage, and to vouchsafe to accept the due information thereof from my servant Jasper Tomson whom (recommended to the company of Mr. Morison) I purposedly directed unto your honour to that intent, humbly requiring you to stand both his good lord and mine in his personal delivery of the letters which the Grand Signor presently sendeth unto her Majesty, and to favour such just suits as either in his own behalf or mine he shall be constrained to trouble your honour withal : for which I shall perpetually rest obliged and continually pray unto God that he maintain you in his gracious favour and preserve you from all perils.—Constantinople, this 26 Jannuary 1596.
Endorsed :—“Mr. Barton, 26 Jan. '96, at Constantinople, readde.”
Also, “Mr. Barton. Mr. Paule. Sir Horatio Palavicino. Sir Rich. Martin. Mr. John Fortescue. Sir John Dennis. Bassadonna.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (37. 104.)
Sir J. Aldryche to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 26. Thinks his Lordship doth understand ere this how the King hath deposed of them, but, according to his duty, is bold to advertise that Sir Thomas Baskerveld doth lay in St. Valeris with three companies : Sir Arter Savage in Crotoye with other five companies, and he is lodged in La Fertel with other five companies It is an open village upon the river near St. Valeris, and Sir Thomas Baskerveld has written to his Lordship concerning some of their wants, whose hope rests only in his favourable care of them.—La Fertell, the 25th of January, '96.
Signed. Seal broken. 1 p. (173. 20.)
M. de Sancy to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 26./Feb. 5. Le desir que jay de veoir de plus en plus confirmer l'amitie et correspondance entre leurs deux Majestes ne me permet pas de vous celer que celuy que la Royne ha anvoye pardeca n'y est pas propre. Le Roy ha eu advis quil ha faict plusieurs mauvais offices envers ceulx de la Religion pardeca et nha pas tenu a luy qu'il naye aigry ces humeurs la leur donnant des deffiances du Roy dont il se fust bien passe. Quant a moy, je vous puis asseurer que lestant hier alle veoir, il me dist que le Roy luy avoit dict que la Royne n'avoit ny chefs, ny soldats pour prendre Calais, que le Roy luy avoit tenu propos tels qu'il sembloit qu'il eust desseing a ce que seroit a faire apres la mort de la Royne et aultres tels, dont je nay peu de moins pour mon debvoir que den faire rapport au Roy, qui diet luy avoir bien dict qu'il ne croit pas que la Royne et Messieurs les Estats seuls soyent bastants pour forcer Calais, et que quand toutes ses forces seront joinctes aux leurs cest tout ce qu'ils pourront faire, parce que les ennemys lont bien fortifiee depuis qu'ils lont prise et y tiennent une forte garnison, et qu'il seroit bien marry si ceste enterprise se faisoit qu'il en fust exclus, veu la proposition que luy mesmes luy en avoit faict de la part de sa Majeste, sasseurant bien que quand la Royne lauroit reprise, elle ne la luy vouldroit pas retenir, non plus que si l'Espaigne avoit pris un port en Angleterre et que le Roy leust repris, il ne le vouldroit pas retenir a la Royne; de l'amitie da laquelle neantmoins il se confie tellement que il aimeroit Calais aultant entre ses mains qu'entre les siennes propres, pourveu qu'il fust asseure qu'elle deust tousjours vivre. Mais veoyant de quelle facon cest Ambassadeur destorque ses propos, et y adjouste, joinct les advis qu'il ha commeil ha tasche de brouiller parmy ceux de la Religion, je veoy bien qu'il ne sera jamais gueres agreable et fera peu de fruict pardeca. La Royne avoit jusques icy si heureusement recontre en touts ceux qu'elle ha envoyes pardeca que ce nous est un extreme malheur que cestuicy soit recogneu tout aultre que ceux qui lont precede, il sera tousjours suspect tant qu'il sera icy et nadvancer rien aux affaires de la Royne. Lasseurance que jay que vous avez preuve que jedesire lunion et correspondance de leurs Majestes me donnera la hardiesse de vous dire que je croy que la Royne nous doibt envoyer un aultre ambassadeur et revocquer cestuicy. La presente n'estant a aultre effect apres vous avoir tres humblement baise les mains.—De Rouan, 5 Fevrier, 1597.
Endorsed :—“Monsieur de Sancy. Recd. Jan., 1596.”
Holograph. (174. 122.) [See Birch's Memoirs, II., 270.]
Sir John Stanhope to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1596-7, Jan. 27.] I learn by Mr. Robert Knolls that my Lady Borowe was chief mourner for Mrs. Blanche who was buried as a baroness, so as the Queen will be fully provided now to satisfy anybody's envy should except against your charge. I found her Majesty and the Lords closed up in the privy chamber till it was candlelight. Since, she is at rest attended by my Lady Scrope. To morrow, God willing, I will wait on you. The whilst humbly wish you that comfort that may remove the superfluity of sorrow and settle a contented mind towards God and the world.
P.S.—I pray you send Mr. George Brokes' letter hither and I will bring it back.
Endorsed :—“27 Jan. 1596. Sir John Stanhop to my master.”
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (37. 105.)
The Dean and Chapter of Westminster to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 27. Upon a letter written unto us by her Majesty before our last chapter in behalf of Mrs. Hide, for a lease to her use of our parsonage of Godmanchester, not daring to presume to write our answer to her Highness, we were bold to impart it to you, together with our reasons why we thought we could not well yield to Mrs. Hide's request, desiring you to acquaint her Majesty with them. And because we could not in the mean time stay all together, we appointed our meeting again this day, of purpose only to expect her Majesty's further pleasure, that if any exceptions were made unto our said reasons we might be ready to justify them and add such further matter as we doubt not would fully satisfy her Highness, being ever more ready to regard the public benefit of such her royal foundation than the profit of any private person. Since our said letter we have not heard anything from her Majesty how she is pleased to accept of our reasons; and we suppose that your leisure hath not hitherto served you to impart them unto her, the rather because yesterday Mr. Killigrew came unto me the Dean to signify in her Highness's name that her Majesty expected our answer, and that it should be agreeable unto her request unto us. The present farmer of our said parsonage, having 14 years in his lease not expired, is content, so he mary enew it to 21 years, to grant us for the said whole term 40 quarters of malt yearly, or 40 marks to provide the same, for the better maintenance of our hospitality. We therefore again entreat you to let her Majesty see our former reasons; and we have taken order that if her Highness having considered them shall send unto me the Dean, before our next chapter in the beginning of Easter term, her further pleasure, a sufficient number of us shall be called together to return such dutiful answer as shall well agree with our places and callings and we doubt not shall content her Majesty.—Westminster College, this 27th of January, 1596.
Signed. 1 p. (38. 1.)
The Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster.
1596-7, Jan. 27. Request of the Dean and Chapter to Sir R. Cecil to move Mr. Attorney General in behalf of their poor college for the causes following : The dean and canons of St. Martin's le Grand, London, were founded before the Conquest and confirmed by the Conqueror, with augmentation of possessions and great liberties by him and all her Majesty's progenitors, wherefore they had great liberties and immunities; which being given by Henry VII. to the abbey of Westminster and afterwards by Henry VIII. to the dean and chapter of the cathedral church of Westminster, and lastly by her Highness to the said dean and chapter of the collegiate church of St. Peter of Westminster, they have ever since enjoyed the same.
Now Mr. Attorney by a Quo warranto goeth about to overthrow her Majesty's own grant to the only college she hath erected, to the great prejudice of the college and the scholars there brought up : for the jurisdiction is not the only loss they shall receive thereby, but as many strangers enjoy the benefit of their privilege, the college revenue is greatly increased, which if the privilege be taken away will decay three parts in four; and many strangers flying hither for religion's sake and having here planted themselves will be utterly undone.
Mr. Attorney will allege the commandment of her Majesty's Council. There was a commandment general for all the liberties about London, as the friars, and such places as had no manner of government, which grew upon complaint of the Lord Mayor; but for St. Martin's they never found fault, for they always concur in government with the city and bear equal charges with them for the Queen's service, which other liberties did not.
The college do not move this for distrust of their grants, but for that the charge of pleading will be very great in respect of the number of patents they must plead and the infinite references the one hath with the other.
But for Mr. Attorney's satisfaction the counsel of the College shall attend him with their grants, wherein if they shall not have good warrant for their liberties, if he think fit her Highness shall overthrow her own grant.
Endorsed by Cecil :—“Concerning the College of Westminster.”
1 p. (38. 2.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 27. Since his last of the 17, has received by Sir William Woodhouse two letters, the one stale, the other later dated, and both to one effect and in his own behalf, who, at his return, shall be best able to let Essex understand how much he tenders to perform what his Lordship requires.
Has now near eleven years continually served dutifully and truly her Majesty in these parts, not without travail and pains both of mind and body, and was afore many years continually employed by Secretary Walsingham without reward or recompence, he being taken out of the world ere Gilpin had gotten any suit. To vaunt of his services he never did use nor loved, and to trouble Essex with particularities is needless, his purpose being only to intreat favour whensoever one William Jones, a servant of his, shall find opportunity to make his Lordship acquainted with any suit he may ere long begin for him, most humbly craving pardon for his boldness, which his years, his charge, the present occasions, the passing away of the time, the course of matters in the world, the uncertainty of life and many other like considerations have moved him unto. It is true his allowance hath been good and of late increased beyond his deserts, but the chargeableness and dearth of all things in this country is such that, living in any sort as his place requires, by the year's end he can put up nothing, and has reason, therefore, to have an honest care of himself and his.
Since the last conflict with the enemy little hath been done on either side. The Cardinal seemed to accept well of the Count Maurice his sending of the corpse of the Count of Verras, and yet he was buried without ceremony as unworthy of any honour in that he had not better looked to his charge. Divers of the captains that escaped are since imprisoned and likely to be punished for their labour. He makes a new assembly of forces at Duffel near Mackelin, further and safer from these men's reach : and in Luxemborgh the new regiments are a gathering, which Count Maurice hath a purpose to surprise; and, when he shall have attempted a certain enterprise on a town by the way on the Maese which he hath been plotting a good while, it is likely he will employ some body about this; and to colour his intents and to try it on the sudden he makes a journey into Gelderland at the meeting of the States of that Province about their contributions, wherein they are somewhat slow this year.
There is a rumour of preparations made near Cullyn and at Berck of ships to do somewhat on the river; which to prevent the States have sent up ships of war and filled Schenck's Sconce and other places of most importance with men. Count Hohenlo deferreth his Germany journey till another season, hoping his last carriage in the fight by Turnhout will procure his employment as lieutenant general to Count Maurice, who (it is thought) will not like it. Count Solmes, in like sort, urgeth to have an end made of the matter of Hulst, not doubting it will be found he discharged his place there as became him and he shall be employed in some other charge of more credit. These men are still afraid of an agreement between France and Spain, but will care the less so long as Her Majesty's favour continueth, which they doubt not of and make account (if the worse fall out) they shall be able to defend themselves, though not to offend so much as they could desire and have done these late years. Here is great longing to hear and see what it will please Her Majesty to do.—From the Haeghe this 27th of January 1596, in haste.
Seal. 2½ pp. (173. 21.)
M. St. Luc to Sir Thomas Baskerville.
1596-7, Jan. 27./Feb. 6. Nous avons icy ung voisin plus proche que de coustume qui est le Cardinal d'Austriche qui est a St. Omer. Il y a aussy quinze cens hommes qui entrerent sabmedy a Callais pour leur renfort, et dict on quilz veullent donner dedens la Basse Boulongne ou tenter ung effort sur le Monthullin, ce qui met ces deux places fort en alarme. Je partz demain de ceste ville pour aller a Monthullin et de la a Boulongne, ou je descouvriray plus particuillierement lintention des ennemys.— A Monstreuil, 6 Feb.
Addressed :—“M. de Basqueville, Gnal des Angloys.”
Endorsed :—1596.
1 p. (204. 51.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex
1596-7, Jan. 28. The bearer hereof, George Bromley, is newly come out of Portugal where he hath lived many years. He seems to be discreet enough and to tell many particularities touching the Spanish fleet. His own desire was to go unto you, and therefore I have given him this letter to you. By him and many other it seems that very much good might be done upon the fleet if it were attempted where it lieth; and many of their countrymen desire very much that somewhat were done that way. I know in your lordship there will be no slackness, and therefore will pray God to prosper your actions whensoever you take them in hand.—At Flushing, 28 January, 1596.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 5.)
Sir Thos. Baskerville to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 29. This place yields no matter of any moment, only that the Cardinal of Austria is drawn down upon this frontier with certain forces and hath reinforced the garrison of Calais with 1500 men; which hath put Mons. de St. Luke in some doubts that he will enterprise something upon the “bass” town of Boulogne. But my opinion is that both of them are doubtful one of another and fear one selfsame thing; for Mons. de St. Luke carrying troops that way hath caused the Cardinal to reinforce his garrisons, fearing some enterprise upon them, and the coming of the Cardinal so near as St. Omer hath put exceeding doubts into the head of Mons. de St. Luke that he hath some enterprise upon Boulogne. Equal jealousies bring equal doubts. The King is gone towards Paris and yesterday night, being the 28th, he lodged at St. Germain de Laye. We remain as yet at this miserable place of St. Valery, where want of woods and other refreshings hath much impaired the health of these troops. I beseech you to second my letter written to your lordships for a supply of 200 men to be sent over to me that I may coule [cull] out the unable and weak men and supply their rooms with men able to do service. Never troops have better continued out the misery of a winter than these, and yet our numbers are not so decayed but that a little help by your favour would put them in good plight.—St. Valery, 29 January.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (38. 6.)
Sir Horatius Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 29. Good success of the English troops in those parts. His present fortune is very slender and so mean that he is not well able to attend Essex in England, but his living there in doing of something will make him the better able to do him service when time requireth. Prays him when any of the companies in those parts shall be disposed of, to remember him.—From the Hague, 29 January 1596.
Holograph. ½ p. (38. 7.)
Captain Jo. Barkeley to the Earl of Essex
1596-7, Jan. 30. I had written ere this, I only withheld my pen awaiting some good matter to have presented you withal. We have lived ever since our coming over without being employed, and nothing has happened, to my knowledge, worthy your hearing. Let it stand, therefore, with your lordship's allowance that at this time I only remember my duty and confess my bondage how much your favours have made me your servant.—St. Valleryes, the xxxth of January.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (173. 19.)
Henry Docwra to the Earl of Essex.
1596, Jan. 30. Sending a discourse of their late service. Though not ignorant that Essex is better acquainted with the same than he can set down, would not neglect to present this as a token of remembrance of his duty till a worthier occasion may yield more worthy fruits of his serviceable affection.—From the Haghe, this xxxth of January, 1596.
½ p. (173. 25.)
Enclosure :
About the end of December, the enemy assembled certain troops together at Thurnout and Hollinge in Brabant, attending, as was thought, an opportunity of weather to do some exploit. After they had continued there some time and their forces with the weakness of the place discovered by espial to Count Maurice, he moved the matter to the States and persuaded them to have the forces drawn out to surprise them in their quarters. Whereupon he made forth his warrants to the foot companies in Holland and Zeland and the horse of Guelderland and Brabant to assemble on 23 January at Gertrudenbergh in Brabant, about seven Dutch miles from Thurnout. On that day, the Count arriving there himself found fifty ensigns of foot and fifteen cornets of horse, having brought with him six pieces of artillery. The foot he divided into six regiments; the first consisting of six ensigns, he appointed to march in the vanguard under his own colours; the second, about 700 men drawn out of divers companies of Flushing, to march under Sir Robert Sydney : the third, being of eight ensigns of Sir Fr. Vere's regiment, to follow them, whereunto were joined 150 which were sent from the garrison of Bryell under Lord Borough's colours : next followed the regiment of Scots and after them two several troops of Dutch; being appointed to hold the same order every day, without alteration or taking of turns as is usual, and upon any occasion of fight the two English troops to draw up and so make an equal front with that of Count Maurice.
Next morning, being Thursday, set forth about the break of day and marched without resting till one of the clock at night. At night we made a stay in the open field within a Dutch mile of the place where the enemy lay, as well to have time to draw up our men together which came scattering by reason of the long and tedious march, as also to attend the daylight, the moon being then gone down and the night exceedingly dark. At daybreak we marched again till we came within half an English mile of the place where the enemy was lodged, when as yet we knew none other but that they lay fast expecting our coming. Whereupon our troops being put into several battailes we marched a fast pace towards the town, with the horsemen before, who, approaching the one end, found them newly gone out at the other, having sent away their baggage some three hours before. The village was open on all sides and some little earth had been cast up about it, but not so much as might be termed a trench. Hard at the farther end where they went forth the country was full of hedges and ditches and, amongst others, one little brook somewhat deep, whereon was a footbridge which they plucked up and carried away : and at another water where our horsemen should pass they had cut down a tree and laid it thwart the way and laid boughs and other impediments to hinder their passage, which the Count seeing took advice whether to pursue them or no. Count Hollack and Swolmes alleged many difficulties. First, of passing that place : then, how hard it would be to put men in order to follow them, they having already gained the start and in a country full of straights where they might find many advantages to fight upon. Sir Fr. Vere, on the other side, advised to entertain them with small skirmishes till the main troops might be passed over; to which Count Maurice assented, affirming that a good opportunity of charging them being taken, could not but turn to a good issue. Whereupon he caused Sir Fr. Vere to take some few musquetiers such as were next at hand and would best make shift to get over, who spurring his horse to leap the brook plundered and fell down, notwithstanding he recovered the other side on foot, and taking those shotte followed the enemy with a light skirmish. In the meantime Count Maurice got the passage straight cleared for the horse, so that within a short space they got all over and followed them at the heels, still skirmishing in lanes and straights, until about two English miles off they came to a large heath, where the enemy, marching with a battayle of pykes, and two wings of musquetiers in their rearguard, kept on their way, but being forced all this while to maintain fight they were much hindered and detained. And now our foot having made a new bridge were many of them passed over and advanced within sight, when Sir Fr. Vere seeing they had passed the greatest part of the heath, and were within a musquet shot or little more of entering into another straight (which recovered they might easily have escaped) desired leave of Count Maurice to charge them : which granted, he presently gave on with some five or six horse upon the flank of the battayle, right in the midst of the ensigns : which Count Hollack seeing, presently and in a manner at the said instant charged likewise upon a wing of the shotte, and immediately all the rest of the horse, some upon the wings, some upon the battayle, and fell to execution, where they slew, as appeared to our judgements and was testified the next day by the boores, about the number of 2,000, between 4 and 500 taken prisoners, 38 ensigns taken and the General slain in the field, a cornet of horse also taken which had the guard of the baggage : but while our men were busy spoiling the wagons some forty horse of the enemy turned head with a countenance as though they would charge our men, whereupon almost all the horse fairly betook them to their spurs, and had by all likelihood turned away in fear and disorder, had not the English troops of foot, being newly come up, made a stand, to the emboldening of ours and discouragement of the enemy from following. There were strong four regiments of foot, the Colonels being all absent and the whole forces commanded by the Count of Varras. The first, being of Neapolitans, belonged to the Marques of Trevick : another, of Almains, to the Count of Solst : another, of Wallons and Burgognois, to la Berlot. And the fourth, being of Wallons and Netherlands, to the Count of Assincourt.
They had five cornets of horse, commanded by Nicolo Basto who was the only captain present with his company. The next belonged to Don John de Cordua, Mondragon, Grosman and Grobbendenck. They were, by general confession of the prisoners, 3,600 foot and 400 horse, and we about 5,000 foot and 800 horse.
Many of the prisoners laid fault in the General for that he did not put all his men into one squadron and attend our coming upon the market place, which indeed was very long and flanked with a castle near unto it, and he might well have done so if we had not brought artillery with us; but the village being on all sides open and our artillery being to be put in the front of our troops, I cannot but think we should have obtained a far greater day upon them if they had abydden us there, neither can I conceive any ways how they could have escaped without great dommage, lying so weakly as they did, except they had got sooner intelligence of our coming; but so suddenly had the Count made his preparation, and so secretly kept it, and, withal, so speedily put it in execution, that till we came within a Dutch mile of them where we rested us in the night, they had heard nothing of us in certainty.
The pursuit ceasing, we turned to Thurnout and there lodged that night, where the Count sent presently to summon the Castle, wherein were left some 40 men. At first they refused to yield, but next morning after the cannon had played three tyre upon them, having also knowledge of the defeat of their men, they gave it up with composition to depart with bag and baggage.
The Count then gave commandment that every man should bring in a note of his prisoners, where one man brought in a note of eighty that belonged to him, one other of forty, and divers of four, five, and six, for they followed every man of any shewe with their hands up to be taken to mercy and protected from the fury.
Amongst them were ten captains and a Count of Mansfelt taken, which was ensign bearer to the Count of Solst and the sergeant-major of the Neapolitan regiment, who was valued both for the worth of his person and good ability to pay a ransom equal with all the rest of the captains, but being carelessly guarded he made an escape. Of ours were not above ten slain, few hurt, and amongst them all none of account.
Endorsed :—“Captain Dockwray's discourse of the service at Turn hault. Janu. 96.”
6 pp. (173. 30.)
Richard Carmerden to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 30. Recommending this bearer, John Ryce, to be taken into Cecil's service and to have the keeping of the little park at Enfield, which is fallen into his Honour's gift by the death of one Doddes. Has been before a suitor in behalf of this man for a walk in the chace, but understands that Cecil had bestowed the same before that that time.—From his house in Mark Lane in London, the 30 January 1596.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (173. 26.)
Thomas Gurlyn to Sir Robert Cecil.
1586/7, Jan. 30. Understanding of Cecil's hard opinion conceived against him for having preferred a petition concerning the Countess of Oxford, begs that he will permit him into his honourable presence to answer her Honour's objections and to shew the cause he did prefer the same; and that, if he shall shew the part of an honest man towards her Ladyship, he may crave Cecil's favour; otherwise to endure such punishment as his Honour shall please to impose on him.—This 30th of January 1596.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (173. 27.)
P. de Regemortes to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Jan. 30. Monseigneur,—J'ay escript a vostre excellence dernierement un petit mot de lettre et accommodé ma breiveté au sujet qu'alors avoy. Car la perte et mal adventure de la flotte d'Espaigne, qu'on rapportoit, rendoit les esprits de plusieurs paisibles et hors d'arrière-pensée, ne balancants que, par nostre nonchalance, l'ennemy prend ses affaires derechef à œur et que nostre repos luy faict remuer et donne occasions de bien faire et entreprendre, tant plus d'autant que nos preparations durent seulement si long temps que les alarmes. A quelle chose, si en temps et en saison presente on ne remedie, je crains qu'alors qu'on aura la volonté on n'aura pas autant de puissance et moyen d'effectuer. Je laisse les belles occasions qui journellement echappent, ou par une vilipendence des forces enemies ou par une asseurance et appuy de nos propres. Quand aux occasions, si elles ont oneques servies à entreprendre avec nostre advantage, je me persuade que c'est à present, taschant le Roy d'Espaigne par un nouveau gouvernement du Cardinal employer tout son pouvoir et moyen pour lasser et accabler aucun des associès et faire la preuve de nostre lascheté; laquelle trouvée luy servira d'asses de fondement et pied pour mener ses desseins plus en avant, et soubs un tiltre paisible nous causerait quasi trahir la posterite. Qu'au contraire avec bon ordre de la nouvelle Ligue on ne pourroit seulement rembarer les desseins et attentats de l'ennemy, ains entièement rompre et aneantir si en semblables saisons on vouldroit eslargir pour quelque moyenne armée ce qu'en petit secours on fait à la longue, par quel moyen on continue les frais et le faix de la guerre. Si à present (chose plus à desirer qu'à esperer!) sa Majesté seroit servie prester aucun secours extraordinaire en ces quartiers apres nostre victoire, j'estime fermement qu'avec le bon ordre qu'on a prins, nos troupes et son assistance, que l'occasion serviroit de reduire les affaires de l'ennemy en terms desesperés et remettre l'estat de France et le nostre. C'est Sa Majesté d'Engleterre laquelle de si longtemps a tenu en balance et contrepoix la monarchie de l'Europe, sans laquelle ny la cause Francaise ny la nostre eust esté bastante de se soutenir, mais par sa faveur, avec la benediction Divine, nous nous sommes maintenus et parvenus à l'estat auquel nous consistons.
En cas qu'elle commence à lasser et serrer sa main, je crains que quelque part un desespoir causeroit qu'un membre de la Ligue se perdroit et conditioneroit; et, si cela se fait, la consequence n'est obscure. Les affaires d'Engleterre sont encores en son entier ceux de ce pays en si bon termes qu'oncques. Il est au chois de Sa Majesté Serenissime de prevaloir par terre et par mer, et en l'un et l'autre endroit elle peut mettre le loy à son ennemy. Il est bien vrai que les thresors se consument et le peuple contribue : Mais, à scavoir, s'il ne vaut mieux, à telle dépense, laisser sa memoire en vraie liberté entre ses subjects qu'un estat douteux, circondate des ennemys—ennemys encores à la liberté de conscience laquelle nous exercons. Et, pour finir en raison, il me semble estre le temps opportun qu'il fauldrait ou se joindre ensemble par mer avec ordre, forces et ferme resolution de continuer à l'invasion, ou, si cela seroit trouvée moins expedier, joindre les troupes l'este à venir par terre, en quoi on feroit autant d'utilité et effect.
Votre Excellence aura par autres entendu les particularités de nostre bataille de Ternhout, en laquelle Monsieur de Vere a gaigné et grand honneur et reputacion.—A la Haye, le 30 de Janvier 1597, stil. vet.
Holograph. Seal. 1½ pp. (173. 28.)
Anthony Cooke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. 31. In the humble love and duty I bear you I could wish to shew myself unto you to bid you that comfort which your late loss hath bereft; but knowing that wisdom's combat with affection must have a solitary time, I forbear in reason what in my love I might do amiss.—This present Monday the last of January, 1596.
Holograph. Seal of arms. 1 p. (38. 11.)
The Attorney-General to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Jan. “Some information concerning those that intended the rebellion in Oxfordshire.”
Bartholomew Stere, carpenter and single man and placed in very good service, about a fortnight before Michaelmas was the first deviser of this insurrection. His outward pretence was to overthrow enclosures, and to help the poor commonalty that were to famish for want of corn; but intended to kill the gentlemen of that country and take their spoil, affirming that the commons long since in Spain did rise and kill all the gentlemen in Spain, and sithens have lived merrily there. After this he meant to have gone to London and joined with the prentices, who (as he thought) would join with him, for that some of them were lately hanged for the like attempt; and said it was but a month's work to overrun England.
He continually persuaded others to join with him in this treason, and specially Roger Symonds, who was a poor man and had a great charge of children, and therefore should have some colour to rise in respect of hunger.
He and Richard Bradshaw (who willingly joined with him) agreed that the place where they should first assemble should be at Enslow Hill on the Monday after St. Hugh's day; for Bradshaw said the sooner the better, and Stere said there was once a rising at Enslow Hill by the commons, and they were persuaded to go down, and after were hanged like dogs. “But,” said he, “we will never yield, but go through with it.”
He at the first entering to this treason served the Lord Norris, meant to have spoiled his house, to have taken his horse, armour and artillery, and to have victualled themselves with his wine, beer and other necessaries, and persuaded his lordship's carter and coachman to join with him, meaning to use them for their carriages.
He expected that the gentlemen's servants of his country would join with him in cutting their masters' throats, for that he said they were kept like dogs. He had also drawn two of Sir Wm. Spencer's servants, the cater and carter, to be, as he termed them, “sound fellows.”
At the time and place appointed Barth, Stere, Edward Bompas, Robert Burton, mason, and Thomas Horne met about 9 of the clock in the night, well weaponed, specially Stere, and continued there till 11 of the clock, and then departed for that others failed.
We find, next to Bartholomew Stere, these to be principal offenders :—
Richard Bradshaw, miller. Robert Burton, mason.
Edward Bompas, fuller. James Bradshaw, miller.
We find these also offenders :—
John Stere the father and John his son. Thomas Horne.
Henry Redhead.
John Horne. Edward Huffer.
More doubtful against these :—
Roger Ibell. William Baldwyn.
Vincent Rancle. Thomas Powell.
William Dowley. Richard Heath.
Thomas Ingolsby.
We find that Roger Symons did before the time appointed discover the treason, and never used speech of consent but to understand and reveal the treason.
The clearest way to proceed against these is to proceed upon the Statute of the 13th of her Majesty's reign, upon which law the prentices of London were attainted for the like offence. Upon that law they must have two witnesses upon their arraignment, or their own confession, and be proceeded against within 6 months. Against the first five, or so many of them as shall be thought fit to be attainted, there is apparent matter. This proceeding must be before the end of March next, for then the 6 months expire, within which time the assizes will fall.
Unsigned. 2 pp. (38. 12.)
William Lyllé to the Earl of Essex.
[1596-7, Jan.]. The Signor Virginio Ursini is despatched from the King [of France] to go for Italy and to begin the wars in the Kingdom of Naples, having his commission to be the King's lieutenant there. To favour this the King hath already prayed the Turk to assist him with 3,000 men. It is thought that the Pope will assist the Spaniard by reason of the great faction he holdeth in Rome. In this case this lord shall have just cause to impatronize himself of divers towns of the Pope's which are strong and upon those confines. If that fall out then will all the parents and brothers take arms and discover themselves heads of that faction. These are all the house di Vitelli, and of them are seven brothers. This I think her Majesty will not neglect if your lordship consider the former discourses, for that it will bring the seat of the wars into those parts. This lord will execute his King's commandment so far as his means will stretch, having 2,000 gentlemen attending his coming, but the King's means are so small as they will not suffice to carry it out. If it will please her Majesty, seeing the commodity will be great to all Christendom and particularly to herself, to help with some money and other provision, she cannot but reap particular benefit thereby. The Turk will not fail for the many benefits he shall receive herein. Now if this man lack money he shall fail in much, but yet his spirit is so great that he will do much; he is brave in his own person, so allied in all the great houses, and generally so beloved of the whole country. This war will begin in Abrezzo and Puglia, and as well in the gulf as on the Tyrhenian sea will he have port towns.
This is as much as the Secretary recommended unto me, which I have related truly, leaving the consideration thereof to your wisdom; desiring most humbly that I may have some resolution from you that he may see how I have discharged the trust he reposed in me. He is now or will be shortly in Italy and may there do you great service, and hath given me means from Paris to write to him always when it shall please your lordship.
Endorsed in a later hand :—“Wm. Lille's hand to E. Essex.”
Holograph by Lyllé, but not signed or addressed. The words in italics are in cypher, having been deciphered by Essex's secretary.
1 p. (49. 10.)
M. de La Fontaine to the Earl of Essex.
[1596-7, Jan.]. Hier sur le soir arriva le Sieur de Verger avec des lettres du Roy fort ample. Je desire fort vous communiquer le tout devant l'audience, laquelle, toutesfois, je ne puis differer de demander vers le soir pour lors qu'il sera agreable à Sa Majesté. Je crains d'aultre part qu'il soit trop suspect de me voir chez vous sur la venue de ce messager. Je vous supplie donc, Monseigneur, me faire scavoir quand et ou je pourray avoir l'opportunié de vous baiser les mains des ce soir, s'il est possible.
Endorsed :—“M. de la Fontaine, Jan. '96.”
Undated. Holograph. ½ p. (173. 33.)
Rogier de Bellegarde to the Earl of Essex.
[1596-7, Jan.]. Desiring his favour with the Queen to procure liberty for a poor quillebois, named Marguerin Millet, now a prisoner in London.
Having loaded his ship at Yarmouth for Henriquartville, Millet was carried by bad weather to Calais and was there forced to place himself in the hands of the enemy. They, however, had pity on him and pardoned one whom the fury of the sea had pardoned after he had cut down his masts. Leaving Calais, he returned to Yarmouth where he has been arrested with his ship and merchandise.
Bellegarde can answer for his fidelity, being in command of the place whereof the latter is a burgess.
Endorsed by Essex :—“Monsr. Le Grand, rec. '96. In favour of Millet a Frenchman.”
Undated. French. Holograph, Seals. 1½ pp. (173. 34.)
The Queen to the King of France.
[1596-7, January]. Les lettres qui dernierement me mandastes me firent escouter en bonne diligence les instructions que votre tres fidel la Fontaine m'expliqua de vostre part, important une fort grande et necessaire enterprinse selon que le temps conviendra avec l'action. Mais, quand j'entendis que vous me disiez l'autheur de telle offerte, je m'estonnis, ayant pour monstrer la copie de tels mandemens que M. de Reaux me laissa a son partement, ou il appert bien clairement comme vous m'invitastes a tel dessein par plusieurs signalées raisons et bien probables arguments, vous confessant vivement que, me voyant si mesprise quand vos forces ne suffirent ou ne l'ozerent entreprendre, les miens estant tout prests et prompts a la parfaire, que en mesme temps aymeriez mieulx que l'ennemi en eust la proye que vostre tres approuvée en eust la victoire. Je desdaignois d'en faire plus mention et n'eust esté par votre solicitation n'en eusse oncques faict recit, nonobstant que je ne puis nyer que, si elle ne se prenne premier qu'on la fortifie trop, et que l'havvre s'eslargie comme ils la figurent, je y voy bien grande difficulte a la regaigner. Si est ce que pour le present me voyant environné par trois endroits et par leurs flottes destinés a Irlande, la Bretagne, et peult estre quelques coigns d'Angleterre, mes sujets me cuyderoyent insensé si quelques aultres desseins me destourneroient les yeulx tant de leur salut que je ne postposasse toutes autres pensées à la nuire de si pres touchant nos estats propres, et pour ce je ne vous ose tant abuser a attendre de ma part presentement tel ayde qui conviendroit necessairement a si grand affaire, et vous supplie croire q'naultre raison que ceste plus que necessaire occasion ne me retarderoit a si honorable action, espérant que me trouverez tousjours prompte et jamais tardifve a vous seconder en negoce qui vous touchera. Pour le demourant je l'ay communiqué a mon ambassadeur, a qui il vous plaira donner favourable audience.
Endorsed :—“Copy of Her Majesty's letter to the French King, January 1596.”
(133. 145.)