Cecil Papers: February 1597, 16-28

Pages 63-87

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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February 1597, 16–28

Otwell Smith to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Feb. 16. I have shipped in a ship of London the rest of her Majesty's munition which I found in the storehouse; the particularities are here enclosed. I have agreed for the carriage of the same, 9l. Since my coming over there is a letter of marque granted against Englishmen, the which you have heard of, and many more are like to follow, for the Frenchmen do daily complain against Englishmen, and the Constable is sore against us; and we that be traders hither cannot agree amongst ourselves, for its richest men will lay all the burden upon the poorest sort because they can deal covertly under Frenchmen's names and ship their goods in strangers' ships, which is a great hindrance to the navigation, so if you do not take some order the poor young men shall be undone and we shall enrich strangers and impoverish ourselves. For at our last pursuit there is one Mr. Campbell, one [of] the richest that trades hither, would not contribute to the charge for the drawing out of the last letters for the staying of the letter of marque. At my last being in London I did propound unto the merchants the way to prevent any letters of marque to be executed upon the land in giving about 100l., and the said Campbell would do nothing nor give one penny towards it, so he was the cause of the breaking off of all things. So that without it please her Majesty to grant us a corporation, as others have in Flanders and other places, where the French King is contented to grant it us and will give us his town of “Henery Carville” to trade in and great privileges—for at Rouen they do misuse us greatly and will not let us live in the liberty of our conscience nor to serve God as we ought to do—and being a company joined together, we shall be able to make our parts good against the daily complaints of the French, or otherwise we shall never be able to trade quietly, but still be in danger to lose our goods. Here be Frenchmen come hither from Dunkirk that were of Calais and came about two days ago from Calais, and they say there hath died of the plague in Calais above 1,800 soldiers, and yet there be 2,000 men in the town, and do fortify it greatly towards the sea, but have not fortified Rysbank. The Cardinal is looked for to come to St. Omer and all his camp is in garrison. His credit is lost with the merchants because his bills of exchange were not paid. Here be letters come from Danske and they write the Turk is in Polony, hath 300,000 men, hath taken a town called Hallye (Halitz), and caused five hundred women to be slain before his face, and now hath besieged Cracow. If he take it he hath the two frontier towns, so they fear greatly he will come this summer to besiege Danske. I pray God to convert him or confound him, for it is to be feared he will do great hurt to Christendom.—In Dieppe, 16 February, 1596.
[P.S.]—The Governor of Dieppe hath sold to Mons. Bonyface the government of the castle of Arques for 4,000 crowns, which doth grieve very much them of the religion, for he doth not love our religion and hath been a great leaguer, and was governor of the fort St. Catherine, which is now razed. They are preparing a great army in Spain against the spring, but not known for what place. I pray God save England from them. God defend us from traitors in the land.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p.
Encloses :—“A note of the rest of her Majesty's munition remaining here in Dieppe, shipped for London in Lucas Barefoot's ship the 14th day of February, 1596, English style.” ½ p. (38. 34.)
Sir Anthony Mildmay to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7 Feb. 16. These negotiations are too troublesome and unfit for my poor capacity, the times and persons are much changed since your being here, where there are now daily so many alterations as it is hard for a man to lay hold upon any resolution of theirs. I am sorry I must report unto you the likelihood of their inconstancy in one principal point, in respect that I cannot express it without touching the chief of this country in honour if that should come to pass which all wise men men here greatly fear. I mean the peace with Spain, which, what assurance soever is given to the contrary, is at this present greatly practised and much desired. There is no want in their wills, but in the means to effect it with reputation, which if they regard it will be a sufficient let, being a manifest breach of the late alliance made with her Majesty, which how many reasons there are, besides her Majesty's goodness towards him in his greatest necessity, to move him religiously to observe, and how many arguments on the contrary of his ruin if he forsake it, I know you can judge, and therefore I forbear to enlarge it any more. The Assembly, for anything I can learn, hath effected nothing; it seemeth it was but a stale to bring on the peace with Spain. They pretend now to assemble the Three Estates to confirm such things as the Assembly giveth not sufficient authority to; I suppose that a general reformation as might follow of this great convocation will not be well endured here of the great ones, and therefore likely to be suppressed also, for want whereof this country must of necessity continue still in misery. For other matters I pray your lordship to be referred to Mr. Secretary's letter.—Paris, 16 February, 1596.
Holograph. 1 p. [Birch, ii. 281. In extenso. ] (38. 36.)
The Earl of Thomond to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596, Feb. 17. I pray you make known to her Majesty the desire I have to do her service with the adventure of my life, lands and goods, and as hitherto it pleaseth God to give her victory over her enemies so I trust ere long to see overthrown those that unjustly have rebelled against her Highness in this land. To which service—my willingness therein—I refer to the Lord Deputy and Lord General, whether I have been as forward as any man for the performance thereof to my power; assuring you that I am shot at by the enemy most of any in this land, to be first cut off. For I have been the first that brought her Majesty's revenue to a certainty in this province, amounting hard on 5,000l. by the year, but now altogether waste save only this county of Clare wherein I dwell, which I thank God I have kept free from rebellion, and yields her Majesty full rents in as ample manner as ever hath been, and yielded to the victualling of her Majesty's forces in Connaught this last summer the number of 1,000 “beefes” over and above their rent. It pleased her Highness in regard of my service done and to be done to grant me a pension of 200l. per annum, to be paid of the revenue of this province, the impost of Galway, or at the Receipt of her Exchequer in this realm; and now, understanding that some do procure letters that my pension be not paid here, in that the province is waste, myself having endeavoured the best I could to keep this country free from rebellion, and that mine own lands answer her Majesty yearly by composition rent 200l. and upwards,—assuring you that I have foregone of my ancient inheritance above 500l. yearly, preferring only the enlargement of her Majesty's revenue before mine own private commodity—for your better satisfaction hereof I wish so it might be with your good liking to appoint two of the council here or any two gentlemen of the English birth learned in the laws, at my charge, to enquire what rents and service my ancestors were seised of and lineally descended to myself until the establishment of this composition to her Majesty's behoof. It would please you to write to my Lord Deputy that I may be duly paid my said pension according to my letters patent, as also I might be licensed to go into England to do my duty to her Majesty and to acquaint you with the estate of this province.—From Bonratty, 17 February 1596.
Signed. 1½ pp. (38. 37)
Sir Robert Sydney to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 17. The 15th of this February I did receive your letter of the 11th in which I find I am to answer unto two points; the former a dislike of my not performing unto your liking the charge given me in your letter of January 22, delivered unto me the 26 of the same, touching the arresting of certain ships laden with corn and bound westward, which had been by contrary winds forced into this river; the other a fresh commandment to arrest the same if they were here still at the receipt of the said letter or should be by any occasion put back again, or in like sort, if any other the like ships should come in hither, to stay them also, and to deliver unto the States of Holland and Zealand a message from her Majesty concerning her pleasure therein.
Herein it may please you to be advertised that the 2nd and 3rd of this month the said ships did all make sail from hence, and have not since come in again nor any other laden with corn come hither that I can hear of, the winds having served well to carry them out of Holland and the east countries without any need to come unto this river. But as any shall come I will seek to stay them and will make her Majesty's will known unto the States of this province, according to your letter. For I do not well conceive whether it be your will or not that I should of purpose go into Holland to deal with the States there about it, or expect till they upon any such action should write or send unto me. Touching the former part of your letter, wherein you show not to be satisfied of my proceeding in the charge given me in your former, in that after making known my charge unto the State I had yielded to a permission of the going on of the ships, which if I had not done, you write I had done her Majesty great service : I beseech you to receive the reasons of my doings therein, and I trust you will find that I had done her Majesty disservice in this time if I had done otherwise. For neither was I furnished with sufficient authority to do more than I did, neither if I had attempted it could I without extreme inconveniences have done any more. In the letter of January 22 you gave me charge to make stay of the said ships, to deal with the masters of them to come into England, and when they should refuse, to repair to the Council of State of Zealand and to acquaint them in her Majesty's name with the matter, and to tell them her Majesty assured herself and did accordingly expect at their hands that they would take sure order with the said ships to come for England, all which I did accomplish, as may appear by my letters unto my Lord Treasurer of January 27, February 2 and 3, which also [it] appeareth by your letter of the 11th have been seen by you. For I did lay an arrest upon the ships and conferred with the masters of them, and made her Majesty's will known unto the States both by speech and letter.
Your honour in your letter did not give any charge unto me that in case the States would do nothing in it I should do anything of myself, but concluded with the trust her Majesty did repose upon the said States; so as there being in me no way but by violence to stay them if they did refuse, I did not find myself by your letter, which was my only warrant, any way sufficiently authorised. And though I did use those speeches, which you allow of, of my obedience to her Majesty, &c., it was not that I thought I could do more than after I did, and that I did suffer myself to be persuaded or overruled by them; but I used those reasons to see if they would have moved them, making some shew as if I would have proceeded with force. But they persisting still in their purpose and taking the charge upon themselves, upon whom also the Queen seemed to repose it, and discharging me, as under their hands I have to shew, myself having no authority to proceed any way upon their refusal, I know not what I should have done more, except I would have exceeded my commission; whereto, seeing it might tend to breach perhaps of amity, I know not how hereafter I should be able to answer. Otherwise, as you write, I will never be discharged of a a commandment of her Majesty but by herself. But in such cases I am to expect an absolute commandment and such as may appear that I had both received and understood my sovereign's will.
And whereas you write that making known unto the States that I have received an absolute commandment from her Majesty's Council is by the contract using her Majesty's name sufficient authority for me, I answer that having an absolute commandment from her I will have no regard to any contract, assuring myself her Majesty will never disavow her own commandments : neither have I any further respect to the contract than wherein her Majesty commands me to observe it, having therein (which I know not how my predecessors have done) sufficiently provided for in my oath unto the Provinces United. But you may be assured that her Majesty's absolute commandments will not be allowed of here, but will be protested against by the States and people as not authorized by the contract, whereof in this small action I have had proof. Your honours may therein and the like occasions according to your great wisdoms consider of it. And this is as much as I will say touching my being not sufficiently furnished with warrant for the arrest of the said ships.
It resteth that, as I said before, I lay down unto your honour that if I had had sufficient commission, yet it was not in my power, as I remain provided, to have made them stay against their wills. For, first, the ships lay not in the harbour of the town but in the road between the town and the Ramekins and some above the said Castle. To have constrained them to stay there were but two ways in my power : the one by taking away their mariners, sails, or rudders, thereby to make them unable to put to sea, which indeed were a sure way but impossible by me to be effected; the other, by the terror of the ordinance out of the Castle and the town to have made them contented to stay, which would have wrought great stir and discontentments and perhaps far worse matters, yet not have brought to pass that which was desired. For if they resolved to go away, well might I have spoiled or perhaps sunk some of them with our artillery, but the rest would have gotten through, or taking a night tide might have passed by me and I not have seen them; and to have taken away their mariners or sails I know not how to have begun, they being so many ships and I having never a one to have gone aboard them, and the number of their men, and they all armed, thrice as many as I could have made out of this town. Whereto also is to be added that I could not have taken any such course with them without the extreme offence of the townsmen here, there being few or none which more or less directly or indirectly were not interested in this fleet. Furthermore, I know the States of this Province would never have suffered it, but if matters had come to an extremity, I fear me would have put a difference between their own countrymen and us. And if it be said it would not have come to such violent terms but that they would upon my bare commandment have remained here, I do assure you it is not so. For in such a time your commandment came, the ships having been for the most part 3 or 4 months laden and for want of wind not able to get forwards, so as much of the corn was spoiled, having taken heat and many hundred lasts cast overboard, the sailors extremely discontented, as they which are hired by the journey, and the loss of time an undoing unto them, that I know they would have ventured to pass whatsoever it had cost them : and therefore was not in my power to have stayed them till further directions had come from your honours. And since in your second letter you write that her Majesty doth command me to make stay of them absolutely by all means possible, now that they are all gone, and that till now you have not heard what I do say in the matter, if her Majesty do persist in her resolution to command the stay of any such shipping, I beseech you to procure me her letters signed by her own hand, wherein she commands me to use all means, warlike and other, to the effecting of her will, if otherwise they will not be brought to reason. For this course being, as the States will say, directly against the contract, and being a forcible action in their own country undertaken against themselves, will by ill instruments be made to have a shew of a kind of hostility in the eyes of this people, and myself who shall be the executor of it, if any unlooked for event should follow, may be hereafter called to answer with my head, for having been the worker without sufficient warrant of a breach in such a time as this is of the league between her Majesty and these countries. For this I dare take upon the credit of my judgment with her Majesty, that if any such violent course shall be undertaken by me, it will bring the countries into worse humours than they were when it was thought her Majesty would have possessed herself of Camphire, Meidenblick and the other places. For I am fully persuaded the country, of the two, had rather depart with those towns and many other so as they might have the liberty of them, as now they have of this town and the Brille, than have their freedom of traffic taken from them. Yet would not her Majesty then have those places, with the offence of the States, though the disposition of those times and these be very different. For then was her Majesty newly entered into the defence of the country, her benefits fresh in every man's eyes, a subject of hers Governor General, her own forces strong and the men of war of the country tied by oath unto her; the country on the other side poor, the government unsettled, the States of no authority, Count Maurice newly entered into the world, their soldiery in no order, and their frontiers not assured : the contrary of all which is now seen. Then they had no foreign prince to rely upon; now are they in league with many, among which the kingdom of France, which in those days was little better than their enemy, you see how it is now joined with them. Lastly, and which is of me especially to be remembered, the governor here in the matter of Camphire was assured of the inhabitants, whereas in this case I should not have any more against me than the townsmen themselves. I do not say this as if I would infer that the States would presently enter into a war; but truly I think they would lay it up very deep in their hearts, and cast by what means they might free themselves hereafter of such impediments to their courses. And I know where one of the principal of this province used this speech, upon that small stay that I had made, though I acquainted them with the reasons of it : “Do the English think to command here with a white rod?” And Barnevelt in Holland, understanding that out of the Ramekins a shot had been made at one of the ships, said in discourse unto Mr. Gilpin, that it would sound strangely in the ears of all the people when they should hear that her Majesty took a course to stop their traffic and ships by those towns which she had only as cautionary for restitution of her money.
But though the States would proceed with respect and time, yet I cannot tell what the people would do, who are only maintained by navigation and are ruled by the States as far as pleaseth themselves. For upon the opinion of the stay of the shipping I know they did openly exclaim upon the Governor of Flushing, and sware they were undone by these arrests, and if it were so they would be revenged. I know it was not upon me, as myself, they meant to be revenged, but upon this government; neither have I fear of myself but of the good of her Majesty's service. For if I would have sought mine own profit only I would long ere this have persuaded her Majesty to this and other like courses, for never yet governor who had only to do with the men of war did benefit himself with peaceable counsels. What the fury of this people is, and particularly of them of this town, was seen well enough when, having no assurance of any help on the earth, they durst in the time of a Duke of Alva cast out their King's garrison, discharge the artillery upon his ships, and hang up his officers. I do not think they should have us so good cheap as they had the Spanish garrison at that time, but withal in a worse hour could we never have begun with them. For I dare affirm that at the same time there were 3000 mariners in the town and almost double the number upon the ships without, and if they had come to blows with us, not only the mariners at Middleburgh and Camphire but of all Holland and Zeeland would have made good what the other had begun, do the States against it what had been possible for them to do. If therefore her Majesty be resolved upon any such course, which may be dangerous in the sequel, I beseech you to present unto her the care of her own safety, before she undertake the offence of others who are able to do her harm. How much this town doth import her Majesty and her dominions in honour and profit need not be spoken of now. But the provision for it is nothing proportionable, for not one corn or drop of victual is there of her Majesty's store, if any extremity should fall out; of powder exceeding small quantity : no arms but such as are upon the soldiers' backs; the artillery no way sufficient for the necessity of the town; and lastly, the garrison scarcely the third man in number to the inhabitants when they are all at home. And as for the fortifications they are extremely defective, in such sort as if ever an army with a good commander come before the town it will appear, if it be not provided in time, that the name of it is only strong and not the thing itself. This will seem strange unto you who have heard such bruit of Flushing, but I do pawn my credit that it is all true. And for the Ramekins, which is thought so strong a place in England, I do assure you it is very little better than one of the castles upon the downs in Kent. These wants of provisions in the town I have these many years made known and solicited to have supplied, as of your honours there be which will witness for me but never could obtain anything. I had brought the States to do somewhat upon the fortifications, as a matter wholly concerning their charge, and now the resolution was in reasonable good forwardness; but truly I fear the conceit of this last stay of the ships will in an instant cast it further back than with all my pains in many years I have been able to bring it on. For they will think that what they do to the fortifying of this town is but so much added to the bridling of themselves.
I trust I have discharged my duty in declaring this much. If, notwithstanding anything herein, her Majesty will have me enter into any forcible action, I most humbly beseech her to send me her absolute and express commandment how far I shall proceed, and it shall be seen that I will have fear of nothing under heaven but the fear of displeasing her. And since I have spoken so much of mine own proceedings, give me leave to say that I wonder that her Majesty's ships did not stay the foresaid ships in the Narrow Seas. For I know particularly that many of them had commandment from the owners and merchants not to make any resistance if her Majesty's ships should come among them; for they did look for nothing else than to fall into their hands. And here were two of her Majesty's ships which saw the fleet here and knew they were not to be stayed here, and told me they were to stay them if they passed by; the one whereof went two days and the other the night before the fleet. I did also, at the same time that I wrote my first letter to my Lord Treasurer, wherein I shewed the difficulties of staying the fleet here and that it were better to have it done by her Majesty's navy (which letter was of the 27th of January) as it should pass by, advertise Sir Harry Palmer of it that he might be in readiness. But it seems my letter came late unto him, though I despatched it soon enough.
And now I trust I have sufficiently given account of the reason of my doings, and that I neither had commission to have proceeded further, nor that there was means in me to have done more than I have. I have also shewed your honours the hazard that may follow upon any violent course, and lastly the weak estate of her Majesty's town of Flushing and castle of Ramekins, which must be the instruments to execute any such purpose, and therefore the first to receive the effects of revenge.—At Flushing, 17 February 1596.
Endorsed :—“Sir Robert Sydney to Mr. Secretary.”
Copy. 3½ pp. (37. 38.)
William Lyllé to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 17. Since our march to this place and our sudden change from fire to no fire at all, our bands are weakened with the number fallen sick, so that mustering last week past upon some passports given, thereby to make a check to the Queen, I found them decreased not above 57, and sick 300 and odd, all their apparel worn out, the bareness whereof in this wild, cold, and wasted country being a principal cause of their sickness. Yet are there some 8 or 9 bands full of lusty men and very strong, which relieved with clothes and the rest with supply would make in this country a fair little army, fit for any enterprise, for that now they are hardened and well trained. To grant them this you shall do the poor soldier a great charity, to the captain a favour, and our country a glory, and no doubt to the enemy a terror. Of the enemy we have heard of no other thing but that he giveth out he will into the field presently; to this end he putteth all things in order and in every place mustereth. Since Mons. de Luc's being here he hath made divers bravades upon the frontier towns, and is angry with them that they will not fight with him as he desireth. He hath designed many enterprises upon them, making our troops attend his command, but hath executed nothing, as he was wont : at which in choler [he] is gone to Paris to meet Madame de la Val, to whom he hath been a large suitor. I talked the last day with a man that dwelt near Calais, descended of the English race, and now chased thence by the prise thereof, yet was there within these 15 days. He assureth me that they are there in great fear, that every 14 days or three weeks they change the Walloon companies in the town, having none but natural Spaniards in the citadel; having fortified towards the sea only and let the waters round about, but so as between them and the town there is terra firma enough, and the access not hard, and those waters to be diverted easily enough; and withal saith that it is easy to be “necessytid” with keeping away the fresh water, without which they cannot live. From Paris we hear nothing but that the King is going to Tours to meet the Duke Mercury, at whose return I mean to go to Paris.—St. Valeries, 17 February, 1596.
Holograph. 1¼ pp. (38. 40.)
Massentio Verdiani to —.
1596-7, Feb. 17/27. This is to let you understand of my safe arrival in these parts, though with much labour and danger. After my departure from Venice I went to France, as you know, where the humours not pleasing me I made for Flanders. In my going forth of France, not having any passport, I was stayed by the guards of St. Desir, who demanded what money I did transport out of the country, and when they had found more than 60 crowns (for more than that without licence a man may not carry) they took them from me, and I was fain to send my man to Girolamo Gondi, the master of that office in Rouen, I remaining 20 days in the inn with great charges; who wrote that it should be restored unto me, yet the sergeants kept back 21 crowns for charges and fees and such like pretences, so that I remained with but little money. From thence to Brussels I always stood in need of three or four for company, for that certain fugitives with one Captain Gosci did prey upon the passengers, and for Count Maurice his people who make courses even to the gates of Antwerp, where I arrived with only four crowns; and if I had not had a letter for Antwerp for 90 crowns it had gone but hard with me. I must restore some money to the foresaid Gondi which be lent me at Rouen, for seeing that he complained that I had not paid him when as I had money, I have written that if he will send me word to whom I shall pay the money in Antwerp I will do it. I am naked and ashamed to come in the presence of any.
Don Filippino is not here, but here are other lords of the Council whom I know, who will help me to despatch my business; meanwhile, even as you have showed yourself loving unto me, I beseech you consider my many mishaps. I know not whether this letter shall arrive in your hands, and shall very shortly write you another; meanwhile fail not you to write unto me presently, directing your letters to Signor Buonaventura Micheli in Antwerp. Here is arrived lately a friar who did preach in Antwerp, but because he came from France they have forbidden him preaching and committed him to prison it is thought he is a spy. It is diligently watched what news are spoken here. Count Maurice hath been about Hulst three days and then departed; presently from hence the town was victualled. One whole day the gates of the town were shut. The merchants complain of the protests, yet it is thought his Majesty will pay all, but as yet there is no order. Calais is well fortified, but as yet the haven is not cleared. This year it is thought there will be some enterprise upon Ostend. The Marquess of Travich and Don Alfonso D'Havola be gone into Italy to raise a third. Here are gathering 500 horse and at the spring in all they may put out in the field 20,000 men. Here are some other news; but not to put in distaste S. A. if it should chance this should be opened I will not write the same. I beseech you give order that so much may be paid me that I may live; the 90 crowns I spake of will apparel me. Above all see that Signor Gasparo give order in Antwerp to whom I ought to deliver my letters for Venice, for otherwise I should not have the means to write, not having in Antwerp friends more than so; and this shall serve to the end we may confer the oftener. The money you shall commit for Middelburgh were better sent by a man of purpose to Brussels, for I would pay him for his pains; the merchants of Antwerp that be interested with his Majesty do not pay at all; yet Michele is not interested and I could rather wish it in this manner. Let Signor Angelo Radotto my patron know that I kiss his hands and so to Count Martio Colalto and to Signor Giammemo, the permatica is not used and to honour our superiors cannot be but well : you may gather for your profit. I do hope to do here some good, seeing I am sure I shall faithfully serve the Sun. My lord the Cardinal is loving and courteous and I know he will reward me well for my many dangers, for every day in the ways that I have travelled I have seen dead carcases lying, killed by robbers. It will be well that I seek to have some stipend here, for otherwise I must quarter myself abroad. I know what I do; let me alone, for I will provide both to the good of myself and of the business.—Antwerp, 27 February, 1597.
Endorsed :—“27 February, 1596. Extract of a letter from Massentio Verdiani.”
1⅓ pp. (38. 62.)
Ralph Mason to Mr. T. Smith, a Clerk of the Privy Council.
1596-7, Feb. 18. I have executed the service commanded by the Lords of the Council for delivering a dedimus potestatem with a commission to Lord Eure and others directed, concerning the sheriffwick of co. Northumberland; wherewith Lord Eure hath acquainted Mr. Dallavale and Mr. Muschamp, but as yet hath received no answer from them by reason of the commissioners for reformation of the Borders being now present at Berwick, where the said gentlemen attend them. I delivered to Mr. Robert Woodrington the Council's letter the 11th of this February, he making small reckoning of the answering thereof, only relying on Sir Robert Cecil's favour in the same cause. I did acquaint Mr. Woodrington with my charges and fee due, which by reason of my horse falling lame was extraordinary; who answered the Queen would satisfy me, if not he would observe whatsoever the Lords set down. I desire your favour that he may take such order with you for my fees—10l. in all—as you think most convenient.—Heham, 18 February, 1596.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (38. 41.)
Lord Admiral Howard to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Feb. 18. I do not know that her Majesty had any meaning by the stay of the corn at Portsmouth, that it should be so used that the Venetians, being her Majesty's good friends, should have cause to think unkindness of her; but that it should appear to them that the great want in her realm was the cause of the stay of it, and that according to the law of nations to stay it, paying for it that they might be no losers, which I wish should be performed, and do with you find great fault with those that praised it at that low price of 3s. 6d., and do like very well of your opinion of 5s. the bushel, and that it should with all expedition be unladen, for continuance in the ship will heat and spoil it. 1,500 quarters may go for Ireland, Mr. Quarles and Mr. Darrell may be offered to have part. I do think the country about Portsmouth standeth in need, for so I heard my lord Mountjoy say; they may be offered some so they will give 5s. the bushel; and if there be any remain, Mr. Portman may have it to serve for Somersetshire. So I do concur with you, and if it shall please you to have a letter drawn and to sign it and send it me I will also set my hand to it. And I do wish the Venetians should be so used as that no unkindness may grow of it. I have since their coming helped them with a yard for their ship, which else they could not have found to serve their turns, and will pleasure them in anything I may.—Chelsea, this 18 of February.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (38. 42.)
John Capelin, Jonas Quarles and Mark James to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 18. Your letter dated the 16th inst. came unto our hands the 18th at 7 in the morning. There hath been taken out of the argosy 1,800 quarters of wheat, whereof 1,000 will not be fit to be transported, having taken so great a heat, which we sell unto the country towards the payment of the freight and present charges of the unlading, as we were commanded; the appraisement whereof, with our proceedings, we sent up unto their lordships by Edward Maxie, the customer, before the receipt of yours. The other that is landed is in the storehouses and is reasonable good, and by our judgment the rest to be taken out will prove the like. We cannot certify for truth how much resteth to be taken up, but by the Venetians' report it may amount to 1,800 quarters more. The tides have made so low an ebb we cannot come unto the quay with our lighters. The Italian hath been troublesome and since our letter offered to protest against our proceedings.—Portsmouth, 18 February 1596.
Endorsed :—“Commissioners of Portsmouth.”
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (38. 43.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 18. Monsieur Caron brought him Essex's letter on Monday last and was the welcomer unto his masters because of the confirmation of the treaty from her Majesty which was very pleasing and acceptable to all here, coming very fitly to draw on the provinces to contribute the sooner, which they are somewhat slow as wearied with the continual taxes and charges.
Has heard from Sir Fr. Vere what his lordship has written unto him touching Caron, and having coined resolutions they will do what their small credit allows to further any matter of his, and have already in place where speeches fell out used all so that the good offices he doth are made known, and yet so as it can dislike none nor give the least jealousy Hopes he will speed and be very shortly returned again towards Essex.
Has received her Majesty's despatch with the lettors to the States, which are presented, and had such an answer for the present as leaves little doubt that they will yield to the demand of the twenty ships; to which end there will be presently written unto the Provinces, such motions being well enough liked so long as the soldiers be not drawn away, which they much feared, especially Count Maurice, who on receipt of her Majesty's was very willing to further the shipping, but protested that, if any men were drawn away (the season being so forward), it would hinder all their designs and make them lose such an opportunity as, by all likelihood, they had not this seven years to do good upon the enemy, who is without money or credit and his soldiers discontented, the Provinces wearied, the paysanes spoiled and no hope of remedy so soon as were requisite, having, as news comes from Andwarpe, sent of late a special man of quality from Calys for Spain to shew unto the King the state of the country; and, if reports be true, he will be gone and leave the place to his brother Maximilian, who must try whether his fortune will not change and prove better against Christians than it hath done against the Turks.
Much speech of levies in Germany for the Cardinal but no certainty of the rendezvous, so as, if the wars in Hungary continue, he must look for none thence, the Emperor having after some sort sent him such word, and without money he will get no men near him. Sir Fr. Vere's going to the Zutphen quarter is stayed till the Count Maurice go, so to give the enemy no cause to draw more men into his garrisons, which might hinder the intended enterprises. The first of March is the meeting of the States in Arnham, where the Count will be and then proceed with his purposes. All else continueth at a stay and therefore, till other be offered, takes his leave.—Haeghe, this 18th of January 1596.
Signed. Seal. 2 pp. (173. 45.)
J. Brouncker to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 19. Purposed to be gone by four o'clock this morning, but being extremely sick of the stone all night, was forced to keep his bed. Is now somewhat better, and doubts not to be throughly well if he might use his ordinary remedy, which requires no great time. Entreats this day's respite if it be possible; if not, will adventure his pain and life too. The morning shall be his longest stay.—19 February 1596.
[P.S.]—Cecil spoke of a letter to Sir Henry Bagnall, but he has received none.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (38. 44.)
Sir Edward Norreys to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 20. I have here a great alarm that the enemy will come to besiege us. I was wont to give these sort of alarms and upon good ground, and could hardly be believed; I am now glad it comes out of Holland.
His Excellency hath written unto me that by letters intercepted he finds they have a meaning to besiege us, and to that end hath procured 200 to be sent hither out of Flushing. I have sought all means to understand whether it be so, and considered of all their provisions, and find no appearance of any such things as are fit for this enterprise; for they make a magazine of victual in Artois and store of waggons to carry them to be put into La Fere. And whereas there is required numbers of boats to bring all things to this town, whereof heretofore when they meant anything against us they gathered numbers from all parts, I cannot now hear of any taken up. All that I can learn is that the Cardinal will into the field himself and set up his rest in this his first action, and to that end doth mean to change all the garrisons and draw out all the old soldiers and put in new and Almans. The camp will march about the first of April. The Spanish do make it the hardest enterprise that ever they had, and whereupon they must hazard a battle. The Count Fuemes and Juara returns into Spain. The Cardinal is not thought to have brought half the money which was looked for; and if he fail of this first enterprise that there would great changes follow. Would God the [French] King had but 5,000 English to help him at this brush, and that your honour had the glory of beating him here as you did in Portugal.—Ostend, 20 February, 1596.
Holograph. Seal. 2¼ pp. (38. 45.)
Sir Thomas Arundell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 20. The great desire I have to manifest my loyalty to my sovereign enforceth me to importune your favour for procuring the despatch of my intended sea voyage. Nemo majorem charitatem habet quam ut ponat animam pro amico; and a subject can no way better witness his loyalty than with his blood. I am not ignorant that sea voyages are both costly and dangerous, but neither of these inconveniences can appal me, such confidence have I in that good fortune which hath never failed them whose attempts are bent to the service of her Majesty. The quicker your despatch the greater my thankfulness; for sea preparations are in their own nature exceeding slow, especially where it standeth upon the collection of many men's adventures.—From my lodgings, this present Sunday.
Endorsed :—“20 February 1596. Sir Tho. Arondell to my master.”
Holograph. 2/3 p. (38. 46.)
Richard Carmarden to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Feb. 20. On the subject of a petition of Francis le Fort's touching two chests and two bales seized by two men of Carmarden's.—London, 20 February 1596.
Underwritten :—“Mr. Fanshaw to peruse this letter and to consider what further order is to be taken for delivery of the said goods, and to return unto me this letter. W. Burghley.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (38. 47.)
Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 20. I have received yours by M. de Caron by which I understand your pleasure concerning him, your favourable interpretation and use of the late service to my advantage, the manner of proceeding for the intended voyage, and the King's resolution for the enterprise of Calais. For this last I have written heretofore how I found things had been carried by the great and chief instruments employed about this late league, who, it should seem, framed still new points according to the humour of those with whom they were to effect any present business. For on this side they likewise plotted the meeting of the King's army and ours here about Namur, with purpose to have taken the passages of the Mare, by which the enemy should have been extremely distressed, their ordinary and in a manner only way of succours being cut off. But the States having not long since solicited the King to the effecting of this design he answered that he could [not] employ his army so far from his frontiers; which fashion of doing they did well to reserve for a dead lift, since in likelihood it could serve their turns but once. Her Majesty's arming for Spain is generally well liked of these people, insomuch as they shew already a willingness to yield unto her Majesty's demand. And I do assure myself that her Majesty sending a royal army of sea and land forces, all the Spanish ships on this side the straits might be utterly destroyed, to the full assuring of her dominions and overthrow of the Spaniard if she will continue the action. But if there he sent the small number of ships we hear of 1 fear nothing will be done answerable to her Majesty's expectation and the hope of these men; for by their late voyage the Spaniard is taught to choose stronger harbours, where without land forces they may not be harmed, and with a few soldiers if we think to serve the turn it may cost us dear, for it is to be thought their fleet will not be utterly unprovided of men, and that some order will be taken amongst them for the drawing down of the country, whereby they may not only impeach us from our purpose but at the embarking again of our men easily defeat us. It is a thing of no good consequence to fail of effecting a service held so easy, but to receive a blow were dangerous and would make these men henceforward more unwilling to come to sea; like at this instant if they were not persuaded that in policy the greatest of the preparations were suppressed I am sure would with a great deal more difficulty be drawn to yield unto her Majesty's demand. The favour your lordship hath done me in giving me so large a portion in this late defeat is answerable unto your former care of my reputation, and in the interpreting of discourses put abroad both here and in England you have made evident to her Majesty the endeavours of them that cunningly would have bestowed the commendations on others. Our summer service is not yet resolved on, some desiring to forbear sieges and to attend occasions by marching into the enemy's country and destroying the same, both to make the people more weary of the war as also to divert the enemy from doing any great matter on the frontiers of France; and this opinion will be strengthened very much by the granting of this shipping in which the money ordained for the extraordinary charge of the war will be employed. Count Maurice would fain be doing with Bercke, wherein those of Friesland, Gelderland, and Utrecht second him throughly, for that the reducing of that place would give no small assurance to the Provinces. I do hear that divers are in hand for the government of the Brille, it being likely that for the safety of the place her Majesty will place in it another governor. I would be glad to be thought worthy of it and to have it. The employments I have now are very uncertain; that with the States, for that they cannot assure themselves of me, being still to be disposed at her Majesty's pleasure; her own, for that with his reimbursement it is likely the Queen will cut off all charge. And I am even now so far in the world that I can be held up only by her Majesty's employments and bounty. If it please her Majesty to bestow it on me she shall be delivered of a beggar, be provided of one to do his best service, and enable me to effect her business with the States more easily. Your lordship seeth that those who beg seldom can be troublesome.—Hague, this 20 February.
Holograph. 4 pp. (38. 48.)
The Borders.
1596-7, Feb. 21. Warrant from the Queen to Lord Burghley to continue for three or four months longer the pay of 80 horse ordered by warrant of September 30 last to be maintained upon the Middle Borders against Scotland, for defence of her subjects inhabiting that Wardenry.—Westminster, 21 February, 39 Eliz.
Sign manual. Signet. 2/3 p. (38. 50.)
Sir Thomas Baskerville to the Privy Council.
1596-7, Feb. 21. I received your lordships' dated February 17 upon the 20th of the said month, and the day before I despatched Mr. Mole to you to know your pleasures what course I should take with these her Majesty's forces the six months ending, and to desire that, if it were her pleasure we should continue, order might be given for the weekly imprest aforeband. But having in that point received by this your letter her Majesty's intent not to continue her forces here for any longer time than was contracted, which is to end upon the 6th of April next for anything she yet knows, I have left off further to solicit that point, as also the supply of men I wrote for, and only continue to desire that some 2000 weight of powder may be sent us, which I hope will be very sufficient for that time. I have and will cherish and make much of the troops as much as in me lies, and do much lament there hath not been as yet means of employing them in some good service, which I protest is not proceeded through my negligence, for I have much desired and urged it, but in the little means the King had at that time to do it, his army being broken with misery and the convocation of the States not ended.
The commissary of musters hath taken notice of the discharges I have given, the check of which is weekly defalked; and likewise doth enter such as doth come unto us voluntary in lieu of those sent away. I have husbanded the powders I bought as much as it was possible, but I never yet received any out of her Majesty's store. This hath been no little charge unto us in training so many raw men and keeping a store to defend ourselves against the enemy, having almost nothing to hinder his coming to us, this river being so passable that horse and foot for 12 hours in the 24 may pass in any place of it both above and on this side Abbeville, and I cannot see anything that hath saved this country from being ruined to the gates of Rouen but only the countenance of these her Majesty's troops, which being withdrawn your lordships shall see [it] will be ruined without drawing any other head than the garrisons of the frontier, who pass the river daily and take passengers in the midst of it, but dare make no stay on this [side] for fear of our cutting off their retreat.—St. Valery, this 21 of February.
Holograph. Seal. 1½ pp. (38. 54.)
Dr. Ch. Parkins to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 21. In conference with the other assigned we are come so far that we have need to see such treaties as passed between her Majesty and Denmark, whereof in such records as are at hand mention is made; for obtaining which your assistance will be necessary by some warrant to the Tower and the Chequer Chamber, where it is thought these treaties are. In the mean season I thought good to write these few lines, whereby you may have at hand the sum of our conference. The proposition was that advice hath been given that Spain moveth in Denmark and in the Empire to hinder the quiet trade of her Majesty's subjects, wherefore some means is to be thought of for everting this endeavour.
Forasmuch as the King of Denmark, now of late crowned and come unto his government, hath sent an ambassador to her Majesty to enter into some compliments and seek some end of divers pendent controversies, it may seem convenient that this occasion of confirming amity and ancient treaties profitable for both kingdoms be not omitted, but that like embassage be sent unto him, being there good hope that the King, now first coming to his crown, will take it kindly, and be inclined to a friendly disposition and care of observing such good agreements as have been by treaties concluded; whereas by omitting this occasion it may be doubted that such as in Denmark are inclined to Spain may the easier work for their intent, upon ground that they have just cause of offence by surmising they are thereby contemned, whereof they have ever used to be jealous. What particulars in this respect are to be handled with that King, the treaties, if we may obtain them, will better direct us. I have come to the sight of two of them, the sum whereof I send you enclosed, leaving the further consideration to the authentical copy of the first of these treaties, for that copy which I got is so evil written that in many places certain sense can hardly be gathered. For matters of controversies her Highness hath as great reason to urge satisfaction with the King of Denmark for the injuries of her subjects. But as it is ordained by law that reprisals are not to be used, for whatsoever importunity of subjects, unless complaints be evidently proved and princes deny justice; as her Majesty hath already answered the Ambassador and also given order to the commissioners that the Danish injuries being apparently proved against any persons, justice be throughly administered, so her Highness doubteth nothing but that the King of Denmark will do the like for the redress of the injuries of her subjects. Wherefore, howsoever the injured, whether English or Danish, shall indiscreetly urge reprisals, they shall by the wisdom of the Princes be avoided, especially for that they cannot be used on either side without great inconvenience and prejudice of friendship, and with the hindrance of trade and customs; which may easily happen in Denmark if our merchants should convey their goods to the east countries by way of the Elbe and Lubec, as they have done when in former time they have been likewise urged. It is thought this argument will move in Denmark, for that they favour very much the custom of the Sound, the best part of their revenue.
As for the Empire, the Hanses use commonly to be the means for the hindering the trade there. For the remedying whereof we have all agreed that there is no message to be sent to the Hanses, upon ground that they are known to be most obstinate in their purpose, and therefore like rather to take some heart thereunto by message than to be better disposed. It hath now also long since been thought the best way to deal with the Hanses, that they be not acknowledged as a state, but that every city be dealt withal for itself; the which course at this present we be, as it were, in possession of. Yet if her Majesty send a man to Denmark, he may, as it were by the way, give any of the cities occasion to become suitors to her for some their good, giving them hope of good success in reasonable requests. And for that the Hanses are able to do nothing in this respect but in some diet of the Empire, where the Princes in the chief days of sitting, and otherwise their councillors, may do much, it seemeth convenient that her Majesty deal with some of the Princes of the Empire to that effect, either by letters, either by the man sent to Denmark, as it were by the way saluting them from her Majesty, which may seem the fitter if there were any other matter wherein they were now especially to be confirmed. The fittest Princes for like occasions are Breame, Magdiburg, Saxon, Rhene, Hassia and Wirtenberg.—21 February, 1596.
Signed. Seal. 1¼ pp. (38. 52.)
Encloses :—(i.) The sum of a treaty between Henry [VII.] King of England and King John of Denmark, dated at Haffina, 1490, 20 January, being there as ambassador for England Dr. James Hutton, and with him Thomas Clarence King of Arms.
That there be between us King John of Denmark and Henry King of England and our successors a sincere and inviolable peace, abstinence of war by land and sea, &c., to endure for ever.
The subjects of both lands shall have free passage by sea and rivers to all ports, and travel freely by land everywhere; traffic with all comers; freely go and come, paying due customs. The English may freely fish in the Isle Tilee, that is, of Island (Iceland) [margin, “If there had been a company for fishing in Iceland with charge to renew this licence divers troubles had been avoided and may be hereafter”], and there traffic, paying customs, so that in memory of this benefit they must renew this licence every seven years. The like is granted in the island Scamee, Zeeland, Dee and Dragor [margin : “The copy is so evil written we cannot have the perfect names of those places”], and other like places for traffic. Also tempest urging, they may freely pass the Belt, paying their custom.
That neither of the Princes send forth armed ships, but (without) taking sufficient assurance of good behaviour by the officers of the places whence they are set forth; the Prince doing otherwise shall answer damages, if the guilty of themselves be insufficient. The English may possess houses and lands in divers places of Denmark, to dispose of at their pleasure. In Berga they may have a residence with power to make statutes, &c.; and if any of them die, the deputy shall have his goods in custody to the use of his heirs. They may also loose the packs of their cloths and sell them, though they require not the King's ministers, and may appoint factors. No man shall be arrested for the debt or fault of another. In case of shipwreck, the King's officers shall reserve goods saved for the true owners; contenting themselves with a reasonable reward for their labour.
That pirates violating either of these kingdoms be not received or furnished by either of them. In case spoil be taken from the one and brought into the other, it is to be arrested and reserved to the use of the true owner.
In occasion of need, either shall require help of the other. He that is required shall be bound to yield it, so far as he reasonably may, so that the requisition be made six months beforehand, and some agreement be concluded for reasonable expenses. In case the one doth take any immovables in the dominions of the other they are to be restored.
1 p.
(ii.) The sum of another writing dated 1583.
Narration is made that her Majesty dealt with that King for free passage of her merchants to Muscovia by his ocean; and it is granted after many requests that they may pass free, so that in acknowledgment of his dominion of the sea they pay yearly 100 rose nobles. Mention is made [margin : “These agreements are not as yet found, neither the authentical of the former”] of some ports of Denmark prohibited by ancient agreements, and that this licence endureth but for the time of King Frederic; and if war in the mean season happen between Denmark and Muscovia the English are forbidden to bear munition or armour thither under pain of confiscation.
p. (38. 51.)
Captain Matthew Bredgate to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 21. According to his directions delivered his late articles to Sir Walter Ralegh to be new drawn by his best opinion; he promised to do the same and to bring them to Cecil, to whom Mr. Hawkins will repair for them, himself having ordered all things fit for one presiding on this voyage. Absents himself from going to the Lord Admiral for that, as the master can certify, they understand he will have them take on board with them one French, whom he would be loth to be troubled with without his fortunes were better. If such is his lordship's mind the master is to acquaint Cecil therewith, who he doubts not may alter the same.—February 21, 1596.
[P.S.]—Requests him to keep secret the cypher alphabet under-written.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (38. 53.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 22. According to Cecil's letters of 17th instant to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Mr. Harris and himself, sends herewith the Spanish merchant that was brought home in the Biscayan prize; and at his earnest request has permitted one of the company, his kinsman, to go a foot with him. If he keeps the one the other may be sent away to procure his liberty. Has delivered their guide 3l. for their expenses up and his returning.—Plymouth, 22 February 1596.
Endorsed :—“Received, 27th”
Signed. Seal. ⅓ p. (38. 56.)
Ralph, Lord Eure to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Feb. 23. I cannot but timely give you knowledge of the dangers likely to fall to the country, together with apparent occasions of hindrance of my service in the place where I live. Her Majesty's commissioners have with great care and wisdom filed, according to the form of the Border, most of the bills in East March, and a number of the bills of the Middle March which concern Tyvidailes [Teviotdale]. Those which concern Liddesdale (as many in my march do) the Scottish commissioners refuse to have them called or answer for them till Lord Scroope his bill be filed for Liddesdale; which hard measure to me, as I think, from the Scot, together with the assured intelligence I receive from Liddesdale, giveth me just occasion to suspect (as the Scot in his vaunts delivereth) revenge with extremity, wherein I pray you call to mind what formerly I made known to you, as I am weakened by want of love in my neighbours and obedience in my country, the small number allotted from her Majesty. All which I doubt not will move you to assist me for the good of the place wherein I serve. I pray therefore knowledge of your pleasure for the continuance of these soldiers, and your warrant for the continuance of the pay if it like you. I myself was at Berwick to discharge my duty to the commissioners till it pleased God by sickness to occasion my departure and restrain me from thence; having in the meantime continually satisfied the commissioners with books, instructions or anything I could deliver to the good of this service. The verdict, when it shall be delivered, of those jurors which her Majesty's commissioners have now impanelled for inquiry of the decays, I hope will give you light apparent of the evils of the country; in which and all other services Sir Wm. Bowes with extraordinary diligence hath surpassed.—Hexham, 23 February, 1596.
Signed. Seal. 2/3 p. (38. 55.)
Sir William Woodhouse to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 23. The report is spread into these parts of a new intended journey out of England, whereof as he knows no man so worthy to command in chief as Essex, so is sure it will not be possible for such an employment to proceed without his lordship's presence. Having in the late journey forborne of modesty to importune to be remembered, he bereft himself of that which others obtained; he is now resolved to claim the benefit of Essex's promises and the acceptation of his duty, for which purpose he has addressed all his former endeavours to gain such an estate as might enable him to make his faith apparent.
Essex will remember how, in expectation of a place from his lordship's gift, he was the last journey forced upon the most unworthy command, one which proved but a shadow and removed him from attendance upon Essex; wherein he did rest content seeing it was his lordship's wish.
Desires especially either the leading of Essex's own regiment or of some other that may be daily at hand with Essex; and, as his return to England cannot be in any seasonable time to solicit his lordship daily, as it were fit, craves for two or three lines in answer.
Thanks Essex for his letter to Mr. Gilpin whom he has found a most faithful assistant in his business.—The Haghe this 23 of Feb.
Signed :—Will. Woodhous.
Seal. 1 p. (173. 46.)
Sir Arthur Savage to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 24. We continue here in our poverty and without expectance of the [French] King's putting into the field. The time of year is now forward for an army to be preparing where is either intention or means; but whether one of these be defective or both I cannot judge. There come many alarms of his coming to Amiens, and so doth there of a peace to be still treated on between Spain and him. We desire for our own particulars a determination of the one that we may live no longer as we do, unprofitable for her Majesty and our country.—Crotoy, this 24 February, 1596.
Holograph. Seal broken. 1 p. (38. 57.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. 24. My last was of the 22nd hereof by a servant of mine which I sent with the Spanish merchant taken by Capt. Crofts, leaving here the other Spaniard (which I proposed should have gone with him) minding to send him away with the rest of his fellows as shipping may be had. I have taken freight for the iron plates for hoops and the pipe boards, which, God willing, shall be laden this next day and consigned to Mr. Quarles and Mr. Dorreli. The rest of the goods of that prize remaineth unsold, for that we know not how to answer the Lord Admiral's tenths which is here demanded, or satisfy the rest that were concerned with Capt. Crofts, and have the custody of the goods with us : I pray farther directions therein. So far as I understand that which belongeth unto her Majesty is not to pay any tenths. Something hath been disbursed unto the companies of the other two barks that were at the taking of the prize, whereof in our next general letters I will send a note.
There is one Francisco de Saria, of St. John de Luz, hath brought a commission out of the Admiralty Court for the receiving of that ship with her furniture as appertaining unto his uncle, a Frenchman. There hath grown great charges in the keeping of her which hitherto I have disbursed. I desire to understand whether the same shall be allowed upon her Majesty's part of the goods or be satisfied by him that receiveth the ship; as also in what sort the charges of the Spaniards brought home in her and the custom and other charges of the goods shall be borne.
The mayor and myself have received your letters by Capt. Crofts, who hath made choice of a pinnace for the service committed unto him, which is already victualled and manned. He hath agreed with the owners (with our consents) the bark shall go for her thirds, and in like sort the company, so that her Majesty shall be at the charges only of the victuals, which the mayor is contented to see satisfied, although very unwilling by reason the money that was laid out for the last service is not yet paid; although he disbursed for that service only 10l., the rest being laid out by myself that worst might bear it, except eighty and odd pounds had of the customer. There was returned in the bark Pearce some remainder of victuals which I laid up towards the benefit of the voyage; but as Capt. Crofts giveth me to understand some part thereof was laid into the ship by himself, and so is desirous to have the whole remain towards the victualling of a bark of his own, which, as he saith, shall also go forth to do her Majesty service, and claimeth the same as due unto him in consideration it was saved by his good husbandry, although I mean not to deliver the same until I understand your pleasure. As yet we have no news of Capt. Harper, neither of any matter of importance, only there is a speech that Bayonne in France is besieged by the Spaniards; but I find no sufficient ground thereof and dare not affirm it.—Plymouth, 24 February, 1596.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (38. 58.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 24. From Anwarp and Bruxels it is generally advertised that the Cardinal is to return into Spain, in whose place those, or one of them, are named, his two brothers, Mathias and Maximilian, the Duke of Parma, the Duke of Medina Sidona and the Count of Fuentes.
Of late, ships are come out of Portingal which report there is not any arrest there, neither any preparations for a Fleet. At Bruxels, it should seem, there is a report of the death of the King of France's wife and a speech of a marriage between him and the Infanta of Spain. Others say that she shall be married to the Archd. Maximilian. Has seen letters also wherein the young Archduke Ferdinand was named unto her. With Holland matters he will not meddle since Sir Fr. Vere writes these, neither is he acquainted with them but by chance.—At Flushing, the 24 of Feb. 1596.
Holograph. Seal imperfect. 1 p. (173. 47.)
Will of William Lord Cobham.
[1596-7, Feb. 24.] “Effects of the points of the will.”
An analysis of the will of Lord Cobham, arranged under the names of the people concerned.
For complete copy of the will see S. P. Dom., Eliz., Vol. 262, No. 48. 12/3 pp. (176. 8.)
Voyage to Barbary.
1596-7, Feb. 25. “Instructions for Captain Matthew Bredgate for a voyage into Barbary.”
1. You shall take charge of my good ship the Truelove, laden as she is by the merchants, and shall have due care to preserve the merchandizes now on board and such goods as shall be laden into her from Barbary, as also the ship's own tackle, sea store, furniture, powder and munition, from waste of the company or other disorderly usage.
2. You shall perfectly instruct yourself in your charter-party, and according to the same shall shape your course for Barbary and do there all manner of things that in the said charter-party is expressed, so as the merchants may have no cause of grievance, whom especially we would have satisfied with due performance of all covenants agreed upon.
3. When you have unladen at Barbary and do seek adventures on the coast of Spain, you shall have care to keep out of the danger of the galleys which are wont ever at that time of the year to be stirring there.
4. If God bless you with any prize of good strength and able to go home, you shall put May into her, or if he should miscarry, then some honest and skilful men, and shall send her for England if you can do it with safety; and if she be not worth the sending for England, you then may carry her for Barbary if her commodities be fit to be sold there.
5. The short ends of most value and such goods as shall not need to pester your ship with stowage, you shall, with the privity of your master and the substantiallest of your company, take on board the Truelove, and shall make a just inventory thereof, to be avowed under the hands of the chiefest of them.
6. Lastly, because we must refer many things to your own discretion, we hope you will order all things with that due respect as may give us liking of your doings and cause to employ you in like sort hereafter.
Signed :—C. Howard.
Underwritten :—“You shall suffer May, the servant of me the Secretary, to be acquainted with all such things as you shall take or do in your voyage. And if the winds will serve you you shall bestow some time on the coast of Spain as you go out, both for intelligence and purchase.—Ro. Cecil.”
1 p. (38. 59.)
Sir Robert Cecil to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, Feb. 26. Her Majesty was pleased last summer to grant licence to the Duke of Holst to transport 800 cloths out of this realm without paying any custom, whereof the Duke desired to transport 400 presently and the rest in the year following. Of which licence the Duke hath not as yet made any benefit, and therefore hath renewed his suit, as you may perceive by his letter which I send you here enclosed with this further addition, that where before he was limited to transport them at several times, he may now transport them all at once : which her Majesty hath granted and commanded me to signify unto you, to the end you may give warrant to the customers to suffer the cloths to be shipped, upon certificate from them that there hath not been any shipped already by virtue of the said licence.—From the Court, 26 February, 1596.
Signed. 2/3 p. (38. 60.)
Duke of Brunswick.
1596-7, Feb. 26. Warrant from the Queen to Lord Burghley for the Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg to export from the realm, free of custom, 30 pieces of cast-iron ordnance—viz., 10 minions, 10 sakers and 10 demi-culverins—for furnishing certain of his castles; taking bond—which the secretary of the Stillyard has offered to put in—that no part of the said ordnance shall be employed otherwise.—Westminster, 26 February, 1596, 39 Eliz.
Sign Manual. Signet. 1 p. (38. 61.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 27. This bearer. Herman van Cappenberg, is an inhabitant of Brussels, and having there understood something, as he says, concerning her Majesty, bearing as it seems a good affection to this side, came hither and addressed himself to Mons. Valcke, who presently brought him to me to Flushing, thinking it very convenient he should be suffered to go into England, which was his desire. I thought best to send him to you that if what he report be to any use you may have the profit of it.—At Middleburgh, 27 February, 1596.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 63.)
Passport for English Prisoners.
1596-7, Feb. 27/March 9. Passport for Edward de Brastun, aged 40, and Jan Quiloga, aged 30, both described, English prisoners whom Pedro de Cubiaur took in the Biscayan ship Todos Lossantos in February last upon this coast. Authorising them to pass from hence to San Joan de Lus by land.—Ferrol, 9 March, 1597. This is a passport to leave Spain before the 10th of April.
Signed, El Adelantado Mor de Castilla, and sealed.
Spanish. 1 p.
Headed :—“El Adelantado Mr de Castilla, Conde del Sa Gadea y de Buendia, capitan general del exercito de su Magd y de las galeras de Espana y del Armada Real del Mar Oceano, &c.”
At the foot is written :—“De passo a los dos capitanes Yngleses que tomo Cubiaur en la nao Viscayna.”
II. Endorsed with a note by Rodrigo de Horsheo (?), dated Aviles (?) 29 March 1597, explaining that the two Englishmen have been detained twelve days in that town by the illness of one of them, and directing that they are not to be molested if they are some days later than the 10th of April.
Spanish. (49. 53.)
Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 28. Takes this occasion of Sir Nicholas Parker's going to shew he cannot be forgetful of his duty; though the gentleman be so well esteemed of Essex for his former deserts, yet not to swerve from a good custom of doing right, must let him know that he deserved exceeding well in this late service, and that for a man of his worth none has received so small encouragement. If any land forces go with this intended voyage he will please to be mindful of him. Her Majesty's demand of shipping will be answered, they hope, to her content, for hitherto all things go current; so that, for aught he can perceive, these men fear more that, when they have prepared, her Majesty will not go forward with the exploit than stagger themselves in resolving to fulfil her Majesty's desire. Of the warring this summer nothing is resolved, neither will be till the States see which way the French King will bend and what is likely to become of her Majesty's action.—Hague, 28 February, 1596.
Holograph. 2 pp. (38. 64.)
Thomas Phelippes to Richard Carmarden.
1596-7, Feb. 28. You did greatly revive me some while since when you sent me word you were in good hope I should have an end of this dismal trouble of mine; but every day of delay breeds decay in my credit and means that unless it come speedily I shall never recover myself, but must sink and die under so heavy a burden. I do not deny her Highness hath just cause to be offended, although if I were out of other men's dangers I could say much to mollify her displeasure. But methinks still it should not be possible her Highness should be willing to destroy me, especially with her own loss which must ensue if she give me not liberty and time to satisfy her. I pray you yet once again move her Majesty for my enlargement and respite of time to pay her whilst I may have sureties for the performance. During this long interim divers that would have been bound are dissuaded under hand; divers thinking I do trifle are gone about their own business; my servants and tenants are run away with much of that I had. But if I might be relieved in time I should not utterly despair by some service to redeem the loss of her Highness's favour. If my offer be taken in time I will pay her though I sell and engage all to my soul.—This last of February, 1596.
[P.S.] I send herewith the form of the warrant which hath passed all the Queen's counsel's censure and the Barons', with a brief of the points it consists of, to satisfy her Highness of the contents and reasons if need be. They find no fault with the matter, only one thinks much I ask so short day. I must, I say. have such as I can get. My resolution is to pay the Queen sooner if I can draw friends' help accordingly.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (38. 67.)
The Enclosure. 1 p. (38. 66.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 28. Uses the opportunity furnished by this bearer, Sir Nic. Parker, who coming over about his particular business will bring (as Gilpin thinks) letters from the Council of State and Count Maurice entreating her Majesty to make up Sir Robert Sidney's and Sir Nicholas's company of horse to the number they were afore, when they were raised, that better service might be done on the enemy, whose strength being greater is the abler to give the law to others, and so be ever masters of the field where he cometh. It would be very fit and for her Majesty's service to have more horsemen trained and practised in the wars, to be in readiness upon occasion of employment other ways, to be furnished both of horse and footmen of experience; and how qualified and sufficient this knight is to command a far greater charge, the report of all that have seen his services and valour is so spread as to need nothing to be added, as Essex is not ignorant. If their desire be granted, it would not only content these men but make the people the forwarder; and small as would be the help so few horsemen would bring unto them, the rumour would be made run of a greater number so to amuse the enemy more, who upon every little change is amused and changeth counsels.
The States General have not yet resolved upon her Majesty's demand, but it is hoped that Monsieur Caron will be returned, therewith well satisfied also for his particular.
Count Maurice departs in three or four days towards Gelderland; Count William of Nassau is returned to his government; Count Hohenlo wavereth and is doubtful whether to proceed with his journey or stay till summer ended; Count Solms is in some sort contented and will let the matter between him and those of Zealand (who discharged him) lie dead, in hope that the States will employ him in some other special charge, as partly is promised.
No new levies will be made because the Provinces are so long ere they come with contributions, and nothing yet resolved to be done until they know what the King of France will do. His agent in Germany hath been with sundry Princes about entering the League, and (as Gilpin hears) has as yet obtained no other answer than that they will consider of it and confer with the Elector Palatine. Of the enemy they hear little but of the Cardinal's wants and that the King of Spain's dealing makes still more bankrupts, inasmuch that, if his army could be spoiled or the first Indian Fleet met with, it would be the chief way to overthrow him; which must be done by her Majesty, and until then he will never cease troubling of all others to attain his most ambitious and restless designs, unless it please God otherwise to cut him off from the same.—The Haeghe, this 28th of Feb. 1596.
Signed. Seal. 2 pp. (173. 48.)
Philip, Count Hohenlohe to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 28/Mar. 10. Thanking him for his good affection and offering his services in the matter of horses or of anything else that he may wish to procure there.—Delft, 10 March 1597.
French. Signed. Seal. 1 p. (147. 122.)
Count Maurice of Nassau to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 28/Mar. 10. Commending the bearer Parker who has served him well, as well in the field as elsewhere, and is now going to England for reinforcements for his company.—The Hague, 10 March 1597.
P.S.—Thanks him for his attention to like requests formerly made.
French. Signed. Seal. 1 p. (147. 123.)
Harry Constable to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. 28/Mar. 10. Though I am rather in case to crave favour myself than to recommend others, yet being known by my abode in France, by my behaviour in Rome, and by the testimony of all, to be a true Englishman and an honest man, I hope to be credited as well touching others' intentions as my own. I have publicly protested my lawful affection to my country among those with whom I live, and have written to Rome to dissuade the Pope from giving credit to those who would have English Catholics favour the King of Spain's designs against the Queen. This is the desire of most of my Catholic countrymen at Rome, and also of the bearer of this letter, who came hither to communicate with me on this matter, and to suggest that those of my condition should by oath oppose ourselves against all violent proceedings for religion. His intention is to go into Scotland to inform the Catholics there of the finished purposes of Spain, and he requested me to seek means to inform English Catholics of the same. As the King of Spain makes the helping of the Catholic recusants the pretext for his cause, the disavowing of his aid by them will discourage his party. Whereby he hopes that you, and the Queen by you, may be moved to distinguish between the Catholics who merely desire the peaceable enjoyment of their conscience and such as desire the subversion of the present state. This will make for the quietness of state and church and the peace of Christendom. Hence will come the union of religion, now only hindered by want of due inquiry and too much party passion. And if this peace deprive you of the present occasion to show your prowess, there will still remain the common foe of Christendom to display it upon. This I have written that if the bearer fall into others' hands before he come to you, you may be informed of his purpose.—Paris, 10 March 1597.
Holograph. 2½ pp. (175. 3.)
William Cornwallis to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, Feb. I was so well armed with opinion of your goodwill I felt no smart of your answer to my poor request; but since advised upon the word you used, I begin to feel some extraordinary blow of that word, believing you had thought me more nearly joined in alliance, duty, and long dependance to your house. If there were any discontentment between your brother and you it was as strange to me as to him that knows not either of ye; I protest I thought ye had been better friends than ever, and the liker that ye were both my friends, and will most largely impart one to another if ever I did evil office between ye. If any coldness hath lately grown let me find it by you the cause.—From Bishopsgate, this morning.
Endorsed :—“February 1596.”
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (38. 68.)
Sir Robert Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, Feb. The Governor of Berghes, Sir Paul Baf, sends your lordship a wild boar which Rol. Whyte shall deliver at Essex House. He saith he dares not presume to write unto you, but to me his old acquaintance commits the conveying of it unto you. The bearer hereof is Captain Brown, the man of all this garrison in whom I have chiefest trust.
Endorsed :—“February. 1596.”
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 69.)
1596-7, Feb. Latin verses, commencing :—Chara mihi multos conjunx dilecta per annos. Ending :—Non peritura die stant monumenta tui.
Addressed :—“To the R. Honorable my sorrowful nephew, Mr. Secretary, at his House.”
Endorsed :—“Feb. 1596. La. Russell's verses.”
½ p. (140. 82.)