Cecil Papers: March 1597, 1-10

Pages 87-105

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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March 1597, 1–10

Henry Dod to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 1. Petitions for the office of collector of rents of her Majesty's manor of Worceters in the parish of Endfield (which amount to 44l. 4s.d. yearly) held by his late father John Dod. His father employed him therein from time to time, so is fully acquainted with the business. Offers as surety one Randall Mannyng, merchant, dwelling in St. Swithin's lane, near London Stone.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 70.)
Sir Richard Fiennes to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 1. I send you the knowledge of John Sacheverel of things done only since September last; and if herein, as also in renouncing popery, he become not a loyal subject—as his brother is, who is a most religious preacher in Leicester, unto whom he desireth to go—although he be my near kinsman I will be no suitor for him. But being so, no man can advertise you more of all proceedings at Rome; and for that he told me that the Spanish ambassador asked him, namely, divers questions of Mr. Philpott (who notwithstanding may be nothing culpable), yet for that he is not reputed to be forwardly affected, as also that he hath a manor near the landing place in the New Forest over against the Isle of Wight, I thought it my duty to advertise you, and have desired Mr. Stringer, brother-in-law to this man John Sacheverel, to attend you with him : assuring you that for the league against the protestants, whereof they would have had Don Cesare de Este to be chief, which by his brother-in-law's means, the Duke of Florence, he refused, as also of many intelligences called Momfort's advices (although I hope his master will become as loyal as he pretendeth) yet both in Verona and Florence I heard much speech of both, especially of Momfort's often writing to the Jesuits, Cardinal Caietane, and Cardinal Matheo, patron of the Irish. There is also one Banes in Rome hath correspondence with Vestingam, an Englishman in the Low Countries, and Holt, a Jesuit there : this Banes and Walpole were named to be the chief practisers at Rome against England.—This 1 of March, 1596.
Endorsed :—“Sir Rich. Fynes to my master.”
Holograph. Seal, broken. ½ p. (38. 71.)
Wm. Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 1. Since my last of February 25 I have understood by Mr. Scott your great favour towards me, concerning my matter with Roger Leye; what the messenger hath done as yet I know not. Your letters unto the judges I have taken order with Mr. Scott to deliver unto them at their coming to Exeter. Capt. Crofts will be ready within two days to take the first wind to proceed on his voyage. Mr. Christopher Harris, the mayor, and myself have determined he shall have victuals for 40 men for three months, which is already provided and order tàken by the mayor to satisfy what the same shall amount unto. I pray your direction for the answering my Lord Admiral's officer concerning his lordship's tenths, as also Capt. Crofts for the remainder of victuals returned in this last service. The Spaniards, or most of them, I mean to send away in two French barks here bound for Rochelle or Bordeaux; and having sold the rest of the goods will send up a particular account signed by the rest of the commissioners. We have no further news of Captain Harper. I have taken occasion to despatch this packet the sooner for the conveyance of some letters to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, which I made bold to send herewith.—Plymouth, 1 March, 1596.
Signed. Seal. 2/3 p. (38. 72.)
Sir Thomas Baskerville to the Privy Council.
[1596-7], March 1. There is come to me this night the servant of the governor of this place, who assures for certain that the enemy is entered the town of Amiens this morning, being the first of this month; and that he saw the Count of St. Pol arrive late at Abbeville, unbooted, only with some dozen horse. Whether it were lost by treason or surprise he stayed not to make enquiry, but this he says, that before the Count left the town 3000 Spaniards were entered. If this news prove true (as the likelihoods are great) it hath given a great blow to this country, for the whole magazines of the King's provisions for the war was there, with 40 pieces of battery. The people is exceedingly amazed, and all fear that Abbeville is in the same practice and will take the same course if there be not means found to bridle it with garrison. Your Lordship shall by my next hear more particularly.
The horse of Moustreil have of themselves without command quitted their garrison, by which may be seen the assurance the King hath of the towns in these parts, if they be attempted.—St. Valery, this first of March.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 73.)
Lord Chief Justice Popham to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 1. I received your letters signifying her Majesty's pleasure touching Thursby, whose case we had not thought fit to be dealt with at these assizes, for that there be some matters to be further and better looked into before it proceed. Otherwise it may easily take a wrong course, for some were kept back that should have testified at the assizes, and others there were which were fit to be otherwise examined than they had been already : which done I do assure myself the matter will be most like to be carried in a just and even course, which is the matter her Majesty desireth.—At Bedford, 1 March 1596.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 74.)
Ralph, Lord Eure to Lord Burghley.
[1596-7], March 2. I know not where or when to begin to acknowledge my best or any comfort in my service in this office since my entry : the country men of the march, some displeased with me, the Lord Scroope and others my neighbours disliking me, and by his lordship's means your lordship now reproving me for unfriendliness towards Lord Scroope in countenancing the Grames and Carltons, to which you desire answer for my excuse. My comfort must be redoubled by my innocency to God, my Queen, and discharge to my country. I have laboured to my power true service to my God and Queen, justice equally to all, severely towards the stiffnecked disobedient to her Majesty and her laws, not emulating any or factious with any, neither desirous of strife, but laboured for better service to her Majesty to gain those whom seeking I lose, and find few fast to the best aid of service. What ground leads your opinion of my unfriendly dealing with Lord Scroope I may not judge, for that my soul witnesseth me innocent of any such meaning. I crave to satisfy you by my presence if I may be admitted there to answer, and wish to receive judicial punishment agreeable to my fault if I have so far offended.
If you please to remember mine account for my sheriffwick, what money I received myself I have paid into her Majesty's Exchequer, save 100l. or therebouts, which, God willing, shall be discharged at Easter term; my under sheriff shall be pressed to discharge his duty in the rest.
You make known in this your letter of February 20 the receipt of a collection of certain laws of the Borders, delivered you by my brother by my directions, wherein you doubt my meaning to crave your opinion being a matter, as your lordship writeth, unfit for you to determine, but rather to be imparted to the commissioners here and other men upon the Borders of ancient experience. The gentlemen of my march craved knowledge of the certain laws of the Borders, the which for their satisfaction, framing of obedience in my march, taking away all excuse of ignorance of the law, I collected the most material penal laws, customary or written, which my small time of government might reach unto, and desired those might be made known to you first above all, that you allowing them, the Privy Council might then be made acquainted therewith; whose honourable approbation thereof I humbly crave, to the end the warden may be authorised to execute justice with law, and the people to know the limits and terror of law, which will in my conceit strengthen and justify the authority of the warden and wipe away the mutinous and offensive complaints and actions of those within the march.—Hexham, 2 March.
Signed. 1 p. (38. 77.)
Captain Edmond Wenman to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 2. Has been a suitor to him and the rest of the Council for leave to go serve in Ireland, with such friends as he shall find there. His estate is so poor and bare has neither means to live here nor money to carry him into any other country. Has served her Highness 20 years in her wars, and received divers hurts with often loss of blood, and the reward he asks is but small. Confesses jealousies and and suspicions have been held of him, but never one proved. Prays that his most reasonable suit may be granted.
Signed. 1 p. (38. 78.)
Thomas Gylbert, searcher of Sandwich, to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, March 2. Has received his letter of 17 February concerning a trunk with certain parcels directed to the governor of Ostend and stayed there as being shipped without due notice to the office, besides that one of the governor's followers being then in the ship verified them as none of his. Has made entry thereof in the Exchequer in Hilary term last; nevertheless is most willing to deliver them, praying warrant to the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer for his discharge of her Majesty's part thereof.—Sandwich, 2 March 1596.
Endorsed :—“The Searcher at Sandwich to my lord. To be discharged of the information for his seizure of certain stuff belonging to Sir Ed. Norris.”
Signed. ½ p. (38. 79.)
Otwell Smith to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 2. Andrya Martingo came hither and brought me a letter from Mr. Wade by your commandment, to assist him with what I could; and he told me he was not able to go his journey, it was so chargeable riding post; that without I did let him have 30 crowns he could not go. I would not have her Majesty's affairs hindered, so I did let him have 30 crowns gold, which I desire you will cause to be paid to Humfrey Basse, and he will render you his bill he made me. Here is no great news, only that some of the leaguers that be come of late to the King with the Pope's legate go about to get the French King to make truce with the King of Spain, the which I do understand by some of the King's privy council that the King and most of his council will not agree to unless it be general; the which I hear the King of Spain will not agree unto, so they prepare here to do something this summer against the Spaniard, for they make great provision of all sorts of corn to be delivered in Picardy for above 30,000 crowns, besides provision of all sorts of munition, So I hope there will be neither peace nor truce with the Spaniard.—Paris, the second day of March 1596.
Endorsed :—“Received at Whitehall the 8th.”
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (38. 80.)
Ralph, Lord Eure to Lord Burghley.
1596-7, March 3. May it please you to understand the proceedings by myself as her Majesty's warden with th' opposite warden of Scotland by directions of both the Commissioners, since their last departure from Berwick; which their directions, with the English Commissioners' proceedings, I doubt not they have jointly advertised you ere this. My deputies, Robert Clavering and Ralph Mansfeild, according to the proclamation, met at Kirknewton with the laird of Greenhead and the laird of Mowe, deputies for th' opposite, where upon their meeting were forced to depart instantly with peace, receiving this answer from th' opposite deputies, that Sir Robert Carcy had refused to meet with the deputies opposite at the place and day assigned for his march, and had taken his clerk with his rolls away to London; so that th' opposite clerk was with this message gone to Edinburgh to Sir Robert Kerr with his rolls, and therefore the opposite deputies could not effect the service for filing of bills according to the Commissioners' direction and proclamation. Whereupon, for appeasing the tumult of people and the restraining of malefacts, by consent of both deputies proclamation was publicly made continuing a meeting betwixt us at another day, to the end no breach might appear, though the time appointed is not likely to be observed : likewise prohibiting riding in either realm upon pain of present entry, without any more proof, the assurance taken by the Commissioners to continue till their breaking up and 40 days after. This is the effect of our service, recommending it for the prevention of evils which may ensue.—Hexham, 3 March 1596.
[P.S.] The day appointed for the effecting of this service, which her Majesty's Commissioners had in part not finished, was the first of March, at Kirknewton.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (38. 83.)
Sir John Fortescue to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 3. I have ransacked all the papers I have and cannot find any such letter, nor did I ever write anything to my remembrance touching my lady of Northumberland's jointure, nor had any sent me thereof. The suit for the lease grew upon this ground; my lady signifying her unwillingness to have any suit against her Majesty and perceiving the devise to the colleges to be unmeet to be justified, made suit to have the lease regranted from her Highness and so to be beholden to her for the same, and at that time it was unknown her ladyship had any jointure at all. But for any letter, I never had any nor can find any letter or supplication touching that cause. Although I have made three hours' search this day, yet will I farther this night peruse all the papers I have, and to-morrow bring what I can find, and, so I pray you, let her Majesty understand.—At the Wardrobe, this 3 of March 1596.
Holograph. ½ p. (38. 84.)
Nicholas Williamson to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 3. Beseeches him still to mediate for him the increase of the Queen's clemency and mercy, to whom he avows his loyalty, with his readiness to serve Cecil.—Tower, 3 March, 1596-7.
Holograph. ½ p. (38. 85.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 3. This last day I received your letters of the 1st hereof and have taken order with the rest of the commissioners that the remainder of the goods brought in by Captain Crofts shall be presently sold, and so will make up a particular account both of that and the rest taken by Captain Harper, which shall be sent you within three days; as also for what numbers of men and tons there is demanded by those that were consorted with Captain Crofts. I have made the French merchant to know your pleasure concerning the charges of his ship, which he is contented to allow. For passing the Spaniards from hence I have taken order with two Frenchmen, which have received for their passage and victuals from hence to Rochelle or Bordeaux 16s. 6d. for each of them. I understand my coming to London is desired for the ending of Mr. Drake's accounts; but having at the present very earnest business I beseech you I may be forborne until about 14 days hence. Mr. Drake himself, I suppose, will be with you before the end of next week. I have despatched this packet the sooner for the conveyance of my Lord Admiral's letter, which was sent me out of Cornwall. Captain Crofts is very earnest with me for the remainder of victuals, which without order I dare not deliver.—Plymouth, 3 March 1596.
Endorsed :—“Received at the Strand the 6th of the same.”
Signed. ½ p. (38. 86.)
The Earl of Bath to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 3. I perceive by the bearer, Mr. Robert Leye, now mayor of Torrington, it hath pleased you to send your warrant for him by one of her Majesty's messengers, which he very dutifully doth obey. The cause thereof I have not been desirous to understand, but in regard of the place which he hath committed unto him, and for his honest conversation, I have presumed to entreat you (if the matters wherefore he is called be not of the greater consequence concerning her Majesty) to afford him your favour for his speedy return unto his charge; because in this time of scarcity and want he may not well be spared from thence, the multitude of poor people somewhat exceeding in that town more than in any other corporation of this country. And if there be other complaint against him upon the special suit of any her Majesty's subjects, you shall find him conformable to any reasonable order it may like you to set down; praying your acceptance of these few lines in favour of my honest neighbour.—From Towstocke, 3 March 1596.
Signed. ½ p. (38. 88.)
Thomas Arundell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 3. My Lord of Essex hath promised all furtherance in my intended voyage, my Lord Admiral doth the like; it resteth only that I solicit your favour in prosecuting it, in which expedition will be no small help, for that Mr. Watts, the sheriff of London, and divers other seem now to be forward enough to join in adventure, whereas the long doubtfulness of leave may divert them to some other course. I have heard her Majesty hath of late been highly incensed against me. I am sorry my misfortune is both to have such spleenish false informing enemies, and not to be able to be brought face to face with them. No man shall attribute to her Majesty a greater authority, nor can think her more worthy of authority, than I do. Her rule and government I know to be as free and absolute as any Prince's can and be, her prerogatives as ample; and if any misbelieve, doubt that these are but words, I crave but to be admitted to demonstrate my unfeigned truth with the expense of my goods and adventure of my life. If her Majesty be willing to try my faith she can no way better try it than by this action. If she be doubtful of my faith, she can no way better employ those whom she misliketh than to send them where, if they miscarry, they receive but their due; if they speed well then shall the realm be enriched and her Majesty's enemies impoverished by others' expenses. But it is not my office docere Minervam.
Endorsed :—“3 March, 1596. Mr. Tho. Arondell to my master.”
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 89.)
The Treasurer for the Low Countries.
1596-7, March 4. “The demands of Sir Thomas Fludd, touching “the office of treasurer for the Low Countries.”
For his own entertainment at 20s. per diem; an under-paymaster at 6s. 8d., four clerks for the Low Countries at 21s. 8d., two clerks here in England—the one to keep his books and reckonings, the other to receive and pay the money to the merchants—both at 6s. 8d. per diem. For the portage of money I desire but after the rate of 100s. the 1,000, the moiety of that in former times in this and all other services allowed.
For the better safeguard of her Majesty's money, I pray I may have the company in the Low Countries that Sir Thomas Sherley had, as he had them; and if I maintain them not as serviceable in every respect as any the like companies there, let them be taken from me and disposed at her Majesty's pleasure.
That I may have from time to time sufficient convoy for carriage of the money by land to the army, and sufficient waftage by her Majesty's ships or otherwise for carrying it by sea from town to town, to be paid as occasion shall require, and that the necessary charges be allowed.
Her Majesty, nothwithstanding the said demands, shall save of her former charges as followeth :—
Sir Thomas Sherley had allowance for his own entertainment of 26s. 8d. per diem, I am contented to accept but 20s. per diem, and so her Majesty shall save per annum 120l. 13s. 4d.
He had 10s. per diem for an under-treasurer, I will accept of 6s. 8d., and so saved to her Majesty per annum 60l. 16s. 8d.
He had allowance for the portage of money after the rate of 10l. the 1000; I am contented to take 100s. the 1000, and so her Majesty shall save per annum 742l. 10s.
Total £924. 0s. 0d.
All the money is here by me to be received and paid to the merchants, who for the Low Countries are to deliver the same to me at Middle-burgh, whence I am to convey it by land and water to Ostend, the Brille, Flushing, and to the camp wheresoever it be.
The hundredth penny of the soldiers is a thing no way concerning or chargeable to her Majesty but of late years, and not before yielded unto by some companies by their own consents in favour of the Treasurer, and by some other there not paid at all, and a thing in Ireland and Berwick never paid or demanded.
Seeing it hath pleased her Majesty, of her own gracious disposition without any suit by myself, to nominate me for this service, I humbly beseech her Highness will grant me such allowances as I may well and truly do the service; which with less than the demands before I think not that any man can do.
2 pp. (38. 90.)
Emery Molyneux to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 4. I having long endeavoured to do her Majesty service, and accomplished it as by the judgment of men of great conceit it may highly stead the time, now offer it to your consideration. As the matter is held of greater importance than in common opinion it seemeth to appear, having the effects mentioned in the note enclosed, it may please you to be further informed by Sir William Knowles, Sir Henry Knyvett, Sir John Stanhope, and Mr. Thos. Knyvett, who have been witnesses to that which may satisfy you the thing is not barely speculative but effected to purpose.
Holograph. ½ p. (38. 92.)
Encloses :
A piece of great ordnance, devised by Emery Molyneux, whose concave is demi-culverin bore, lengthfeet, weight 200, and delivereth three-quarters of a mile in distance 100 dice shot of iron half-an-inch square, and at the place assigned receiveth a new motion and there disperseth most violently, no impalement to defend it.
1. One horse may travel 30 miles a day with this piece. The demi-culverin now used hath ten horses. 2. One man may manage it in the field and march a mile with it upon any occasion. The demi-culverin hath a gunner and five labourers, and being planted in the field cannot be removed without 10 horses or great force of men. 3. This piece is laden with 1lb. of powder; the demi-culverin with 8 lbs. 4. This piece weigheth but two hundred; the demi-culverin 30 hundred. 5. This piece may be carried over any bog or up any mountain or rock, or any way where it is passable for horse or foot. 6. One hundred of these pieces may be brought suddenly with 100 men to any place where the enemy shall attempt to land, and deliver at one instant 10,000 musket shot upon them forty score further than the musket can reach. 7. These pieces beat the canoneer from his battery, break through his blinders and kill him behind his gabions. 8. These pieces being aptly used upon the enemy's shipping at sea the mariners shall not be able to handle their sails, the musketeers their pieces nor the gunners their great ordnance, for they may be raked through with 5,000 musket shot at an instant. 9. These pieces will win the great ordnance in the field from the enemy. 10. Ten of these pieces may be made for 100l. Her Majesty being furnished with this ordnance and sufficient men taught this new begotten art for the shooting in them, and how to cast the shot for them—which as yet is not known to any but a secret hidden in my breast—the enemy shall not be able to encounter her Majesty's forces at sea or land, for the more men the more spoil. For I will undertake to deliver 100,000 shot as suddenly as 2,000 musket shot, and to do more spoil upon the enemy with one barrel of powder by this art than with four barrels in the service now used.
pp. (38. 91.)
William Wallop, Mayor of Southampton, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 4. In my late letters to the Privy Council I did desire, for such reasonable money as their lordships should think convenient, some 500 quarters of the grain at Portsmouth for relief of the poor inhabitants of this town, or such quantity as their lordships shall think requisite. I do now again, in regard of our miserable dearth, renew the same suit; assuring you that these five last market days in our town there hath not been in any one above one quarter of meal at the most, and in some but half a quarter, and in other some none at all for relief of our distressed inhabitants, whereby a miserable want is grown amongst us and a cruel famine is to be feared if some supply of corn be not granted.—Southampton, 4 March 1596.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (38. 94.)
Zacharias Lok to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 4 Extreme weakness will not suffer me to write much, but the duty I owe you hath power to “inhable” me to a line or two. I received the enclosed from my father last night, which I thought fit to send to your Honour, the rather because he commands me so. I have somewhat else of importance that way fit your Honour's knowledge, which I can no ways commit to writing; and, therefore, I must respite it till God make me able to wait on you, unless you please to send Mr. Willys, or whom else you please, with direction to conceive it from me and report it to your Honour. I am now but half myself, for one month made your Honour's case and mine alike, though mine in a far meaner sort. Dolor et œgritudo invicem alacriter mecum concertant. The Lord be my comfort, and the same Lord ever have you in His holy keeping! I humbly pray your Honour pardon my boldness.—From my bed this Friday night the 4th Martii 1596.
Signed :—Zachas. Lok.
P.S.—My answer from Her Majesty by Mr. Cæsar was, touching that pension, that she thought I would prove but a bad soldier, but she would willingly do me a good turn in anything fit for a pen, for she had heard of my good deserving and service to my Lord.
Holograph. 1 p. (173. 49.)
The Town of Hull to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 4. “For some aid by her Majesty's ships against the Dunkirkers. To be moved to the Lord Admiral.”—4 March 1596.
½ p. Fragment only. (213. 24.)
J. Guicciardini to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 4/14. Would have endeavoured to effect his commandments by any service he could have performed to the gentleman his lordship recommended if he had come so far as Florence. The cause of his stay his lordship shall be informed of by other means; herewith he shall only receive answer of the letter written to his highness in that behalf. Received the relation of his lordship's last journey a month since from Mr. Reynolds his secretary. Has not had of late any occasion to entertain him with letters, and to stuff them with compliments thinks now altogether needless.—From Florence, 14 March 1597.
Holograph. Two seals over red silk. 1 p. (49. 62.)
Examination of William Thomson.
1596-7, March 5. About September was two year being in Louvain at the chamber of one Talbot and one Thomas White of Waterford, whom he knew to be priests, he heard them confer of divers practices against the state here, and doth well remember that White said he had vowed the death of the Lord Treasurer, and if ever God gave him time and means to come into England it should cost him his life but he would be the death of the Lord Treasurer; saying, if he were gone, the Catholics should have merry days in England and Ireland, and that Cardinal Allen he knew had an Italian which served him, very skilful in poisons, to whom he would write for some receipt for that purpose. Talbot answered that John Cony was a fit man to employ in such an action, “for” said he, “let him have but 100 crowns in his purse and he would do it or lose his life.” White replied, Mr. Owen would give so much of his own purse with all his heart. Saith he heard it of the report of Hopton pr[iest], a fortnight about Michaelmas, that the same White was come into the realm about half a year before, and Talbot also in his company, and a third priest whose name he remembereth not, but an old man who had some extraordinary authority, who was sent for Ireland. White he judgeth to be some 28 years of age, a little man with a black beard, not much hair on his face and a crabbed look, and is well known to Amyas whose kinsman he is; but what other friends he hath on this side or to whom he is like to resort he knows not. The last he heard of John Cony, about a year ago, he was in the land of Waast in the regiment of Mons. la Buhe and served most amongst the Italians. Saith since his last going over about four years ago, he was by the means of Dr. Worthington placed with Mrs. Allen, where he continued two months, and thence went with Amyas to St. Omer and served as a drawer in an inn; and then went into the land of Wast, and there as a soldier served under Captain Fundawharfe about a year and a half, and there stayed till he came over.
Signed. Underwritten :—“Examined by us, Tho. Flemyng, Fr. Bacon, W. Waad.” 1½ pp. (38. 93.)
George Brooke to Sir Robert Cecil, his brother-in-law.
1596-7, March 5. The just grief I conceive for the extreme danger wherein I see my father, without hope of recovery, joined with the perfect feeling of mine own unhappiness necessarily depending upon his loss, shall not amaze me so as to make me senseless of your free and unexpected kindness. I will not dissemble that I am ashamed that what degree of favour soever I have with you is merely of imputation without merit : therefore have I no means to remove this inequality unless you will grant me this suit, that as you have in part applied unto yourself the affection that my sister bare me, so you will wholly claim the interest that she had in me, and if I be not altogether good for nothing make use of it by commanding me with all security—From the Blackfriars, this 5 of March.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 95.)
The Bailiffs and Aldermen of Worcester to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 5. Render him thanks for his great favours to their city. Have presumed out of the fruits of their barren country to present him with six cheeses.—Worcester. 5 March, 1596.
Signed. Seal. ⅓ p. (38. 96.)
Thomas Phelippes to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 6. Finding by Mr. Wade that both yourself as also her Highness think much that the cipher you sent me should remain so long in my hand, imputing it unto me as a fault, I must trouble you with a few lines for my justification. You may remember that at the very first I sent for the original, affirming it was true that the copy taken by a man ignorant of the secret of this knowledge would prove a very false ground to work upon, as I have found it, having evidently shewed Mr. Wade, being one of judgment, the proof. I signified likewise how diseased I was both in body and mind. I did not signify withal, which I might, that I had no private place till within these few days to do anything in; neither that I was from all my help of observation used in former time, which I cannot come at. All which considered, it is not to be thought much that I should be so long busied therewith, seeing that the original itself of Count d'Olivares letter in Sir Fr. Walsingham's time, whereby the Spanish invasion was discovered, held me twenty days in work, when I was in better heart than I am now, untired with troubles and grief. And the same cipher after set Mons. St. Aldegonde aground, so as bringing over a great despatch of the King of Spain's deciphered by him, I was fain to decipher the letters that were in that alphabet. And for this (if it be not a supposed one, as for anything I yet see it may be) it is likely, considering how all their old ways have been beaten upon, that it is of such kind as will ask time to tread it out. I protest before Almighty God I was never more blind in any, which I must impute and do to the want of sight of the original, which with all the circumstances were wont to be communicated unto me and served my turn oft better than other pain or industry. And that you think it not strange there should be fraud used in these things, I can if ever I come at my papers shew you letters but supposed written by the King of Spain in cipher, and found to be such sent to Mr. Secretary Walsingham by one yet living, and divers others of the like nature. But to conclude, I will employ the whole poor powers of a distracted mind to find out what may be of this, and so I humbly pray you inform her Majesty. I hope her Highness will not expect I should do more than a man can do upon an ignorant man's transcript unless I were a Daniel that could tell the dream that was forgotten. I never was put to the like travail before. I must needs confess I am unfitter far for this exercise than I was, for that as Sampson's strength lay in his hair, so my cunning depended upon the Queen's favour, which being lost my spirits became dull; but it may please her to revive and make me as able to serve again in time as ever, which I will endeavour.—6 March, 1596.
Holograph. Seal. 1⅓ pp. (38. 97.)
L. Lowther to Mr. Archibald Douglas, Ambassador from Scotland.
1596-7, March 6. Since my being with you I have received several letters from my father, wherein he doth importune me haste in his affairs and commands me make friends for the money and it shall not be unrequited; so as if you could possibly pleasure me at this time it shall be truly repaid, and if ever your friends or kinsmen have use of my father for horse or money or other friendship whatsoever, you shall in all kindness find him ready.—Temple, 6 March 1596.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (38. 98.)
William Lyllé to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 6. This taking of Amiens hath bred in this people such a terror of the Spaniard as if the King be not holpen from his friends all this country will be lost, together with Normandy; every man now affirming that if our troops had not been here all had been gone this winter. The King is infinitely blamed for his retiredness, and his Council that they desire nothing but their own particular gain, and to have a peace or truce the better to make the same. The taking of this was very strange for that it consisteth of 8000 or 9000 households, and those very well peopled, no place of France so well, and 800 or 900 men only going forth to make a bravade to the town only, yet knowing the weakness of the governor and little command he had within, with the small guard they kept, hazarded the entering the same and had the effect of a wonderful matter. The Count St. Poul being first escaped upon the fear and prise thereof, the next day they sent away his wife, ransomed at 4000 crowns, with all her family, and then and ever since never made quarter in the town, but divided their forces into four parts and keep so court de gardes, having left only one port open and guarded and commanded every burgher to keep his house, while (as I think) they attend more force; and so come to every man's door and ransom them at very small rates. This wolfish trick in my poor opinion on both parts and to both parties is very dangerous. If they can have succour they hold the best and richest town of France, never spoiled, and in it the magazine of all the King's artillery and munition and such treasure as he had, as the best town to lay it in and most commodious for the wars that most threatened him; and for the enemy consequently, for all their destined wars of France the greatest, prey that can be. Now if the King can invest them before their succours arrive no doubt but he shall bring them to a great inconvenient; when the town shall know the enemy's force that holdeth them, their own to be greater, and aids without, and that they both “necessited” within, may make them resolve to some strange accident. Count St. Poul, being not then out of fear, sent at his coming to Abbeville for our general and then sent for all his cavalry to repair to him with all speed. So are they, and the King himself is now at Corby, the nearest garrison to it, and la Boysiere is on the fields with 300 or 400 horse between the town and the enemy, and hath already defeated certain companies that came to this succour. Now when all these the King's troops shall be arrived, then shall we see what issue this wonder will work; their forces being not yet accounted but 500 horse and 300 foot, and most of their hope consisteth upon the arrival of the D. Daumal, who was not wont to do any great matter. The Cardinal hath made a great provision of all things at St. Omer, and is there attended every day, of whom no doubt we had heard more if these overthrows of his men in the Low Countries had not happened. Of which and all the rest I hope shortly to send you the certainties, being here lame in two sorts, of a wrinche [sprain] on my leg and my horse dead; but if I can I will to the army in 4 or 5 days to see the field, no grief being so great to me as to be out of this company. This I protest, that these troops and this occasion hath rendered her Majesty infinitely renowned in France, with a general confession that she hath been the conservation thereof.—St. Valeries, this 6th of March, 1596.
Holograph. 2 pp. (38. 99.)
Lord Admiral Howard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 6. I send you Sir Henry Palmer's letter to me whereby you shall see how it goeth at Calais. I am here at Rochester with a most contrary wind as can blow, so as no ship can steer, for it is in their teeth; yet you shall see I will do what may be done. I have certain intelligence that this next spring there will come out of Dunkirk 10 ships, 2 galleys, and certain double shallops. I doubt their meaning is to do some spoil upon our coast to divert our men and ships for the rescuing of Calais. I hope in God to find the means to have some ships abroad to beat them. I pray assure for me there shall not lack care nor travail for it. They triumph and this day is theirs; another day will be ours, and I hope ere it be long and we may meet with them. I do not think Calais will be so soon carried as it was thought, and I believe it will be hard embarking our men at Dover as the wind is. Sir, I pray you present the humbleness of my heart unto the fairest sweet hand that is and kiss it, and I wish they had no life that doth not wish her that owneth the hand the longest life of any that liveth.—This 6 of March at 4 of the clock.
Endorsed :—“6 April (sic) 1596.
Holograph. ½ p. (38. 100.)
Sir Anthony Mildmay to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 6. The taking of Amiens by the Spaniards hath made a great alteration in this state already, and such an amazement on the sudden as I should hardly have believed if I had but heard it reported and not seen it. The secret underhand practice of peace with Spain hath begotten a new and a sudden war, an unlooked for fruit from such a tree, yet such as was suspected by some wise men here would prove untimely because it was too artificially and with too great security nourished. The King went out of this town very meanly accompanied and is yet at Beauvois. The Duke Montpensier is sent to Rouen both to assure that town and to gather together as many horse as he can upon this sudden to send to the King, whose foot consist of 800 Switzers, 1200 English and 2000 French. Cannon he hath none nor munition in a readiness, all such provisions were lost in Amiens, as 26 cannons mounted upon their carriages, 40,000 bullets, 8000 milliers of powder, six score thousand crowns in ready money, 8000 sistiers of wheat. If he may by the small means that remaineth assure the rest of his towns in that quarter from revolting, it is as much as can be expected of one that is constrained to take a defensive course. How unprofitable that will be against so mighty an invader your lordship in your own experience can judge. It pitieth me greatly to think on the misery to come on this wretched state, but I hold it very hard to be helped, their own want of government and inconstancy being evermore the cause of their ruin.—From Paris, 6 March 1596.
Holograph. Seal. [Birch's Memorials, ii., p. 292.] (38. 101.)
William Lyllé to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 7. Yesterday arrived here the baron of St. Blanquart, brother to Marshal Biron, who, desirous to part the town early in the morning, sent to me that he might have the gates opened the sooner; whereupon repairing to him, I craved his knowledge of this strange surprise, for that I told him, the time considered and the rest of the circumstances, it could not but be admirable to all their neighbouring princes. Whereupon he told me he was informed that the governor of Orlers, being a man amongst the Spaniards known faithful but not esteemed of enterprise nor valiant, to make the world know the contrary framed this enterprise of long, not to take the town [of Amiens] but to possess a gate and a convenient piece of the town to put the whole in question; and without doubt had some intelligence therein, whereof the Count St. Pol had mistrust, both he and St. Luc divers times advertising the town thereof, whereof they made little account. The gate whereat he designed was a very convenient place, with the high ground about it to command the town, the same being but little and either already or easily might be surrounded by water, the river parting that part from the rest of the town. In this place the King would have made a citadel as the place he feared most to be taken by the enemy and best to command it when he had fortified it; but the town would not condescend thereunto, but urged the King to his promise that they might enjoy their ancient privileges, that the town might guard itself as heretofore. This Portocariro, attending the day that the people would solemnly follow the preacher that brought the Jubilé thither, made ready 500 horse and mounted behind them some 400 soldiers, appointed some 60 in habit of paisans to get into the town with pistols to possess the gate; of which paisans by a poor woman the guard was advertised, but no account was made thereof. These paisans had two carts, the one laden with hay and the other with wood, that were by them squat under both the gates so as the portcullis could not come down. By this mean these men entered and killed some 8 of the guard; the port possessed, the rest came in a soft pace on and entered, little bruit made nor any resistance. Count St. Pol himself sayeth that first he ran to the gate and would have assembled some together there, but could not; that he retired to a churchyard to have done the like, but could have no help, and after went to the rampart to see what he could do there, but could never have five together. In this case, not yet ready, for that he was at their entry in bed, he resolved to run away, as he did, leaving his wife there at the mercy of fortune; his fear being not off from him, for it continued the day after when we arrived. Portocariro finding thus no resistance, only the mayor and eschevins assembled and some burgesses, to one of which a butcher of the town laid hands and stabbed, whereupon the rest being route every man fled to his house that could and many tumbled over the walls for fear; whereof he was glad, for he saw himself possessed of more than he hoped and more than he could well digest. The first day they permitted all that would to run away, themselves standing in arms, willing all the burgesses to keep their houses for that they came to do them no hurt, but if they stirred they would kill them. Next day they sent away Madame de St. Pol at 4000 crowns ransom, all her family therein comprised. Then and since hath he still stood in arms and travaileth to make this citadel to command the town. To this end he hath cut the river to separate the place aforementioned from the town and barricaded it, hath drawn artillery thither whereof he hath enow. It is thought he more feareth to take in Spaniards to his aid than the regaining it by the King, his enterprise having been conducted by himself without the knowledge of the Cardinal, so as in my simple opinion if the King follow his opportunity upon this diffidence, the inability of means and men to man so great a place, the certainty that the Cardinal is altogether unprovided for it, so that he must stand upon his own wit and resolution, and the King upon these defects with speed to scale the walls, wherein he must use a great deal of resolution. Baron de St. Blancart told me that the second day they entered and the second of the month there was a French captain of one company of the garrison of Corbie with his company came to the walls and put up ladders, but could get but some three of his company to second him, that entered the town and found the Spaniards so busy fortifying their intended citadel that he killed one before he was discovered, and so retired with three Spanish pikes; the Spaniards choosing rather to give them leave so to depart than to be molested in their business or give occasion of other accident, The King hath sent for all his forces to be with him the 23rd, after their account, near Abbeville, himself being at Beauvoys where they will now receive garrison, being now extremely afraid, which heretofore they would never think of but as of poison. Our troops (saving two here and one at Crottoye) are at Longuepré, about three leagues from Amiens.—St. Valeries, 7 March, 1596.
[P.S]—They entered the first of March at the gate of Mountrem. From the gate the foot marched straight to the market places; the cavalry took both the ramparts on both sides, as well to the Pont Celestine as to the Port St. Pierre, and so passed the bridge towards Abbeville and to the quay, and made their rendezvous all in the market places as their first design. Of the town, as I could comprehend the same as one chalked it on the ground, I have marked the plotform, beseeching you to take the same not as anything well done but in haste, having knowledge neither in perspective nor “ingenerie.”
Holograph. 3 pp. (38. 102.)
Sir Thomas Chaloner to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7], March. The scarcity and small worth of occurrences have been such as I thought better overpassed than certified, especially knowing that the way of Venice is surer and of better ability to give satisfaction of those things which either are past date before they reach Florence, or by their uncertainty give no assurance to inform. The state of Florence at this instant is refreshed with the coming in of grain to Ligorno, which together with the English commodities help to hold out famine, as they term it here, at the arm's end. For before the arrival of these ships the great Duke was unprovided fully for two months victual. The Duke hath caused the English merchants to be feasted, in requital whereof on Sunday next the chief courtiers are invited to feast on shipboard with the English. The week passed a Colonel Milanese parted from Florence, being designed to levy in the kingdom of Naples 4000 soldiers. Their pay aforehand is said to be very liberal, 30 crowns to a head; and for their employment, England is the common rumour, though smally credited. This present day are 23 prisoners to suffer at Rome, some bandits, other some for divers criminal offences; amongst whom are two or three who are condemned for violating a late edict of the Pope's, prohibiting any whatsoever upon pain of life to certify any news from Rome by private letters or gazettes. Whereby there is suddenly grown with us at Florence a great calm and want of discourse. The controversy between the Duke of Mantua and the Marquis of Castiglioni is not yet accorded; the Marquis is retired to Milan hoping to prevail by the Spaniard's assistance. A knight of St. Stephan and a principal gentleman of Pistoia is committed to the Bargello, and hath been tortured for killing a canon highly in favour with the great Duke. I have herewithal sent the copies of two Florentines' conceits, which in respect that they be new and only of one day's age, and in few men's hands but my own, I thought good for recreation's sake to present your lordship withal; that the weight of graver matters, wherein your lordship is always conversant, might be allayed by interposing some man's capricious conceit.—Florence, Marzo 7o.
Holograph. 2 pp. (38. 103.)
Roger Aston to Robert Cecil.
[1596-7], March 8. Commends his friend the bearer to Cecil that he may by his means be relieved of a privy seal he is charged with of 30l., which to his knowledge, if he were able to perform it, he would as willingly as any other double his ability; but he has many children and has been ever of good hospitality, whereby he is much weakened.—“From my lodging,” the 8 of March.
Holograph. 1 p. (38. 87.)
The Forces in the Low Countries, &c.
1596-7, March 8. An estimate of money due upon bills of exchange and wanting for the payment of her Majesty's forces.
In the Low Countries, 2,700l.; in Picardy, 1,600l. : 4,300l.
I cannot give any exact reckoning of the money wanting in the Low Countries, because I do not certainly know how much Becher hath broken for. But I am sure that 2,700l. is the least that is wanting. Thomas Sherley. ½ p.
Underwritten :—“Sir, My lord [Burghley] is desirous to understand to whom the monies that was lately received out of the Receipt, both for the Low Countries and Picardy was paid, and who received the same at the Receipt. Yours always at Court, H. Maynard.”
¼ p. (38. 106.)
Edward Wylton to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 8/18. Upon news of the loss of Amiens the country beyond the Somme and good part on this side is become abandoned and the people grown desperate of their safety. Three days after the surprise we received order from the Count St. Pol to rise and march to Herenques, seven leagues short of Amiens, in hope there to meet with the King's troops. Because we would not be the last we dismarched light, leaving all our baggage behind us and those that were sick. We are now lodged at Dampier, a league nearer the town than the former. The Count St. Pol is marched from Abville to Picceine, three small leagues beyond us, but he lieth enclosed within walls. In his pass he gave us to understand thut the King meant presently to send into England to mediate for the loan of cannon and munition and such other commodities as he shall need for the war; that if the Queen shall assist him herein he will be content she shall take Calais, and that he also will besiege Dorlens, and the one army to be always ready to second the other. On Friday next we shall know how the King will dispose of us : in the meantime the Colonel hath written to the King and signified the shortness of our time limited by the Queen, and that without further order we cannot pass that term.—Dampier, 18 Martii 1597, Stilo Novo.
Endorsed :—“Captn. Wilton. 8 March 1596.”
Holograph. Part of Seal. 1½ pp. (39. 29.)
William Angell and William Massam to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 8. They contracted with the Council to deliver 2500 quarters of wheat, from beyond seas, for the Queen's use. The Wardens of the Bakers, who were appointed to view the wheat, find 200 quarters not to be sweet nor serviceable. Pray for warrant to pass the same from London to Absom or any port in Devonshire.—
Endorsed :—8 March 1596.
Notes by Lord Burghley and Henry Billingsley, Lord Mayor, thereon. ½ p. (1640.)
The Earl of Rutland to Sir Robert Cecil.
1596-7, March 9. Has received his kind letter; his great contentment that Cecil, amongst his worthier thoughts, pleases to remember so poor a man as himself. Entreats him to present his service to Her Majesty, with the assurance that this and all courses he shall ever take will be to render him worthy of living in her sight.—Geneva, 9 March.
Signed. ½ p. (38. 108.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1596-7], March 9. Since my last of March 3 the mayor and myself have sold the rest of the goods taken by Captain Crofts and have paid such debts as were here owing to sundry persons for the setting forth of the bark Pearce and the carvel, except what is due unto myself, with the account whereof and all things concerning that service I mean to depart from hence towards the Court on Friday next, and would sooner had I not been hindered by those that were consorted with Captain Crofts, who have been very unwilling to dispossess themselves of the goods. Captain Crofts intendeth this day to set sail; the charges to be borne by her Majesty for his setting forth (which the mayor hath promised to satisfy) will amount unto 144l. 2s. 6d.
Enters into particulars relative to his debt to Roger Leye.—Plymouth, 9 March 1596.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (38. 109.)
William Lyllé to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 9. There passed by this town a gentleman that was prisoner to the Spaniard in Artoys and returned by Calais and Heddinge. He told me that through all the countries there they have made bonfires for joy of the taking of the town of Amiens; that to this enterprise there was drawn almost all the garrisons of all the frontier towns. He found no men where he passed, scarce to keep the gates, and made an estimate that they could not be less than two or three thousand men, which is contrary to the supposition of the Comte St. Paul, which I heard him make myself, and otherwise than the Baron St. Blancart told me. If it be thus, I doubt that the town will be longer holden than we make here account of, and these great numbers of ladders to be made and provisions of spades and other such tools will be but to satisfy a French fury. The King is extremely discontented with this loss and is in choler with all his nobility, but I think he useth general means to chide St. Paul's fault. As soon as he heard the news he parted Paris in all haste; it is doubted whether it was diligence or fear that made his haste. The people there are wonderful discontented herein, insomuch as in the streets they cried, “Drown the hore, hurl her over the bridge!”; she being here also amongst the people esteemed the cause of God's wrath and so the loss of the town. All the nobility of Picardy are come to the King and brought all their subjects to do all they can, knowing that there are many parts thereof not well fortified, and that there are not men sufficient to defend the walls. Portocarrero refused men at the first to come unto him, whereof he may repent. The Marshall Biron being come down thither with three thousand horse and divers regiment of foot, yet ours were the first advanced and the bravest there and the best commended of all that speak of the army : these troops keep the town guarded that nothing can in or out. The King hath vowed that he will not stir till he have it again, and will leave his crown there if he fail of it. He goeth about to arm the paisans and offereth the spoil to the takers. I fear nothing but length of time will quench this heat, and that all these truces and parlers were to no other end but to facilitate this enterprise, which is confessed to have been long known for that St. Luc advertised the Court thereof, and particularly of the gate; so as there is to be presupposed an intelligence and so a party, which maketh me esteem that the town will hold out the longer. This is all I can gather up of the passers from all parts and those which come to us from the army, hoping to better myself very shortly and to have all the contents of such things as are then, these being but shows of my desire to do you service, attending better commodity and assureder matter.—St. Valeries, this 9 of March 1596.
P.S.—Since my letter made up I saw one from one of Amiens to a Flemish factor here, that the Spaniard used them in the town well; that they took small ransoms; that they have delivered all the arms of the town to the governor; that he keepeth them all in one house and hath guard upon them; hath commanded that no burgher shall stir upon any alarm, upon pain of death. The merchant writeth that at the first there entered fifteen hundred, since they are increased by three or four fifties. I asked him what means he had to have this letter and he told me by a priest. The garrisons of Mountrell and Bullen would have passed this day but yet are not. I fear some other accident while we are thus intentive to this, and these places where we are, being very fit to help Amiens and annoy Abbeville, the whole country with wearysomness of wars being sufficiently addicted to the Spaniard, supposing his government to termine their misery.
Holograph. 1½ pp. (39. 1.)
The Governor of Bayonne to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 9/19. Complaining of losses to the towns of Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz and the neighbourhood, caused by English pirates. Since he has been appointed governor, many principal men have represented to him that they and their families have been reduced to beggary by these, and that appeals for justice to the Queen of England have been fruitless. Quite recently, the seigneurs Docquindeguy and Guirault de Sanzon, principal men of St. Jean de Luz, have complained that a ship called le St. Esprit de St. Jean de Luz, whereof Miguel de Sanzon was master, which they were sending from Seville with rosin and other merchandise to trade with in London, was boarded and taken.
If such outrages are not suppressed, his people threaten reprisals, and for the sake of the friendship between the King of France and Queen of England and their people he prays redress—Bayonne, 19 March 1597. Signed, Gramont.
French. 1 p. (39. 32.)
Count John of Nassau to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 10/20. Thanking him for his kindness to his son Count Louis Gunther of Nassau, both in his voyage to Spain, going and returning, and at the Court of her Majesty in opening his way to the Queen's acquaintance and favour. As her Majesty has honoured the writer with a letter full of good will, he sends a reply which he begs Essex to present to the Queen, and to thank her for her kindness and honour bestowed on his son.—Dillenberg, 20 March 1597.
Signed. French. 1 p. (147. 124.)
Ottywell Smyth to the Earl of Essex.
1596-7, March 10. Doubts not his Lordship has received letters of the surprising of Amyans by the Spaniards, which has brought unto this State a great astonishment as the like has not been seen heretofore, especially of them that have not been leaguers. The loss of the town is not so much as the great provisions that was made ready to go against the Spaniard this summer. There was thirty pieces of ordnance all new mounted, with two hundred thousand of powder and shot great store, with all other things necessary for the same, and above three score boats to pass over rivers to go into Flanders, and above 100,000 crowns in money : great store of wheat and wine, besides other things necessary for the wars. This loss has so astonished the King and his council that if they be not helped by her Majesty and the States, the Spaniard will get the rest of the towns in Picardy, for he hath both money, munitions and victuals, and the King hath neither. The Leaguers that hold of the Spanish side do rejoice at this and do mock them that were the authors of the alliance betwixt her Majesty and the French King, and now do hope that the King, being brought unto this necessity, will be an occasion to make his peace with the King of Spain, if he will, although it be to his great disadvantage.
It is thought the French King will make means to have it, if he have no help forth of England and the Low Countries. It is good not to leave him now in his necessity for fear he do run into some desperate course and to make his peace with the Spaniard, and then we shall repent it, for the great necessity he had was the cause he went to mass; so I pray God he be not forced to make his peace with the Spaniard to the hindrance of our estate and his own And as is certainly known, he never had any mind to have made his peace with the Spaniard, although it was treated underhand by the Leaguers that be of his council, by the great preparations he had made secretly in Amyans and other places to have done some good this summer. Desires his boldness may be excused, but thought it his duty to advertise what he hears, being often with some of the King's council that be sore aggrieved to see how ill all things fall out against them, and now they say the Spanish army is for France and not for England.—Paris, the 10th of March 1596, in haste.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (173. 50.)