Cecil Papers: Febuary 1599, 1-15

Pages 55-72

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 9, 1599. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1902.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


Febuary 1599, 1–15

Anne Whight to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 2. There has been a suit depending in law more than four years between my son-in-law Mr. Henry Welbey and his half brother William, who wrongfully withholds certain lands from my said son, being his inheritance. I pray you speak to the Lord Keeper, before whom the cause is to be tried, in my son's behalf. My Lord your father in his lifetime, about a year past, did speak unto my Lord Keeper concerning the same, and he found it to be a just cause on my son's side.—The 2 of February, 1598.
Signature. ½ p. (59. 46.)
John Cave to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 2. I desire to go to Turkey, in the journey which is now ready to go, for my better bringing up and experience in the world. Grant me your letter unto the owners of the ship, which is now ready to sail, for my passage.—This second of February, 1598.
Holograph. ¼ p. (59. 47.)
William Typper to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 2. After my departure from your Honour, I went to Sir John Fortescue, signifying that you would gladly have conferred with him about Sir Edward Dyer's cause. Sir John cannot come to Court to-day, having taken a great cold, but to-morrow morning, between 8 and 9 o'clock, he will meet you if your leisure permit. He has appointed me to prepare somewhat for his further instruction in the matter, or I would wait on you. I crave to know if you can spare any time in the morning.—This 2 of February, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ¾ p. (59. 48.)
Sir H. Brouncker to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 2. I have sent you enclosed a true copy of my letter unto her Majesty, containing my opinion for the service of Ireland, in many things I hope not much differing from your judgment. I leave both it and myself to your censure. With what respect I have carried myself towards your lordship and that action, I refer to her Majesty's own report and to as many besides as have heard my speeches. How little my faithful service, my long experience and my honest dealing doth avail me, your lordship knoweth and the world seeth, to my exceeding shame. He is very unhappy whom no desert can advance to anything. You may observe that I depend on no man (mine own nature and her Majesty's commandments well agreeing therein) yet could I never conceal my love to you. But seeing neither that nor anything else can bring preferment to a man always unhappy, I will trust no longer to desert but betake myself to some trade more profitable.—The second of February, 1598.
[P.S.]—If you have perused Sir Henry Wallop's letter, I beseech you to return it. He hath some enemies and I should be sorry to increase his trouble.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (176. 89.)
Sir Henry Docwra to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 2. The bearer has served as a gentleman of my company almost two years, having before been an ensign to Captain Worlock in Ireland, under whom he was maimed in the right arm in service there, for which he obtained a small pension in the county of Norfolk where he was born, which being in danger to lose by his absence, he desires letters from you to the same shire again, that he may not be prejudiced by his willingness to continue in the wars.—From Flushing, this second of February, 1598. Signed. Seal. ⅓ p. (176. 90.)
Sir George Carewe to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 3. The bearer, Mr. Thorpe, a citizen of London, has sustained great wrongs by means of the late Lord Mayor Sir Stephen Slany, and is still followed with the same extreme dealing by Mr. Soame, the now Mayor. He beseeches you to read the endorsement of his present petition to the Council, that it may be the better known to you when presented at the Table, and that he may then be assisted with your favour according to the equity of his cause.—From the Minories, this 3 of February, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (59. 49.)
Examinations of Ralph Shobbrook and Thomas Brickyer.
1598/9, Feb. 3. Ralph Shobbrook. Born at Bishop's Lidiard in Somerset. By trade a weaver. Went to Bristol a month before the prest came for the service to Cales. He and 21 more were pressed by Captain Haynes, who brought him and his fellows to Bath, and there Captain Harcourt made choice of 12 of the 22, whereof the examinant was one, and dismissed the rest. He marched with Captain Harcourt's company towards Plymouth, and was billeted at Liskeard. The company was shipped in a Flemish fly-boat called the Hunter of Ancusa. After he came to Cales, while marching with his company to the bridge, one of his fellows hurt him in the leg with his rapier's point that wanted a chape, which festered and grew very evil. Wherefore, with about 100 sick and hurt of Sir Christopher Blunt's regiment, he was put into a Spanish flyboat called the Peter of Ancusa, wherein there were 8 horses of Lord Thomas Howard's. They had direction to go for England. Eleven galleys laid them aboard as they passed by Farroll in sight of the English fleet, and after losing 25 of their men in fight, they yielded. The fly-boat was taken to a place called Villa Nova, and there unladen, while they were dispersed into divers galleys, brought to Lisbon, and imprisoned in the Castle; where most of their company died of sickness. About Xmas last twelvemonth the rest, about 33 in number, were discharged, and he and two others shipped in a Scottish ship for Ireland, but were stopped at Bayonne and sent back to Lisbon to prison, till that now they were discharged, and he with 90 more were sent to England in a Flemish bottom laden with salt, and arrived at Dartmouth on St. Stephen's day last.
Thomas Brickyer. Born at Cicyter in Gloucestershire. A tailor. Went to Plymouth with a kinsmen of his, called John Brickyer, who was pressed by Captain Norton serving under Sir Christopher Blunt. Went as a voluntary with his said cousin in Captain Norton's company and was shipped in the Peter of Ancusa. Served as a shot at the Bridge of Cales. Was sent back sick. Confirms Shobbrook's account of the capture by the galleys and the imprisonment. Finally shipped for home with 25 English prisoners in an Irishman which fell leaky. By good hap fell in with an English man of war, the Marlen of London, with a prize. She took the prisoners aboard, and landed them at Portsmouth.
Taken by me, Sir George Cary, knt., the 3rd of February, 1598.
Signed by Cary. 2 pp. (59. 50.)
Wm. Harborn to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 3. I herewith present you an Italian History of the World, reparted in four volumes, to attend on you (if they may be permitted) in this your pretended Irish enterprise, at times vacant, to recreate your most heroical mind, wearied with the manifold cares of that very honourable great action.—3 February, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (176. 91.)
Sir Geoffrey Fenton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 4. On behalf of this bearer my brother, tenant to a small copyhold in Bromleyhurst in Staffordshire, parcel of the lands of Mr. Paget, who is desirous to surrender his copy, having but his own life in it, to the end to take it again for three lives, acccording to the custom of the manor. The Lord Treasurer, not long before his death, wrote to the steward to pass a new grant. I beseech you to direct your letter to Mr. Stamford, steward of the said manor, and Mr. Ward and Mr. Sutton, officers to Mr. Paget, to accept the surrender and re-grant the same for three lives, viz., my brother this bearer, my son Wm. Fenton, and my brother Henry. It will be some small stay to him in his old years, having spent many years of his best time in her Majesty's service, both by sea and land, with good credit; and after his decease it may be some stay to my poor son, my lord Treasurer's godson; to whom I am not in case to leave one acre of ground to set his foot upon, such is my poor estate after so many years spent with toil and danger in her Majesty's service.—At Dublin, 4 February, 1598.
Endorsed :—“4 February, 1599.” Signed. Seal broken. 1 p. (49. 25.)
Lord Buckhurst to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 4. Yesterday my Lord Chief Justice moved me to know to whom this contribution money should be paid, for that such money as is presently levied should be paid before the going out of town of him and the rest of the judges, which will be within four or five days at the most. I would think that one to be chosen abiding in London, for that is nearest both to those that now begin the payment and nearest to the Receipt into which it must be paid, and, therefore, either the Lord Mayor, or Sir John Spencer, I would think were fit. For the Lord Mayor is now attended with many officers the better to keep it in safety, and Sir John Spencer hath a strong house, and both are of great ability. Yet the Queen in honour and reason must allow them for 3 or 4 clerks and keepers, as well to receive, as to look to the safe keeping thereof. If she allow 4 clerks after 12d. a day a piece, who both may receive it and be guardians to keep it, it will be but £36 10s. for 6 months. If you think better to have such as shall be receivers hereof to be at the Court, then Sir John Stanhope or the Cofferer were the fittest, for they have clerks and chests and places fit for the purpose. But then both such as should pay it to them must come to the Court, and they also must pay it into the Receipts, the carriage of which in both respects is chargeable and troublesome. You must presently this day resolve upon one, and a letter from all the Lords must be sent unto him, requiring him to take charge thereof.—This 4th of Feb., 1598.
Holograph, Endorsed :—“4 Feb., 1598.” 1½ pp. (59. 51.)
Sir Henry Docwra to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 6. Since my last despatch by Captain Wygmore, the men from the Brille are arrived, such as for their persons are no way to be disliked, but many very meanly clothed by reason they were served in the garrison and no more delivered to any than according to the time he had served for; so that divers of them, being but lately entertained, came with little or nothing more than such as they had of their own. In their arms were also many defects, but those are amended by Sir. Fr. Vere's clerk, who for that purpose came along with them; so that the number yet deficient is somewhat above 300, which I wrote unto your lordship before we were wanting amongst those that came from above, then comprising them in the number of the 1,400 which should come from Sir Fr. Vere. But since having grown to a particular account with Sir Horace Vere, who had charge to come down with me to Flushing and to see the men delivered, I perceive he taketh not upon him to meddle with more than 1,200, which were only to come from above, amongst which there wanteth indeed but 227 and one hundred and some odd men of horse from Ostend; so that it may please you to conceive the difference, that I reckoned my defects out of the whole number of 1,400 which I supposed should come from him, whereas he leaveth them of Ostend out of his account. These men of the Brille, Sir Francis wrote unto me to keep apart and not to divide them into any of the companies, because, as it seemeth, he desireth they should be specially reserved for your lordship to see and to dispose of. But because the companies he set down could not be furnished to the proportion he set them at by reason of the deficient number, I have distributed some part of them into mine own company and some into others, but with special charge to those that have them to note them by themselves; so that upon their arrival in Ireland you may otherwise dispose of them if you think good.
Captain Morrysone and Captain Chamberlayne have earnestly importuned me for their going into England, and the necessities they allege are such as though I were very unwilling to spare either of them, yet upon so great occasions as they pretend I could not refuse, but leave them to make their excuses to your lordship. Capt. Chamberlayne hath promised to make all the haste he can to meet me in Ireland, and in that respect (knowing he may be there as soon as I) I was the easier persuaded to yield his request, and partly withal that by him you may be fully informed of the state I stand in and the particular impediments that have hitherto kept me from being no forwarder; being now resolved, if the wind come very fair, to put forth as I am, but else for a day or two to attend a supply, though I have but little hope of any except your letters sent by Muse do procure it, for from Sir Francis I have received a letter alleging much difficulty, and of a doubtful resolution. I have been constrained, by being merely frustrated of my hopes from the States, to take up upon Sir William Browne's credit about the value of 20l. for mine own particular provision, and that in the nature of victual taken for the fleet, because in that case only he was authorised by the Lords of the Council to assist me. I beseech you it may be allowed upon his return of my bill, or else at least put upon my accounts for mine own entertainment.—From the Rmmekins this 5th of February, '98.
Holograph, Seal. 2 pp. (176. 92.)
Stephen Le Sieur to “the Admiral of her Majesty's ships emaining in the Narrow Seas.”
1598/9, Feb. 5. You may perceive by this her Majesty's safe conduct that I am employed in her service beyond the seas, for which purpose I am to pass from hence to Calais with safety and speed. I pray and require you therefore in her Majesty's name to assist me with a ship or a pinnace to transport me with all conveniency to Calais as you tender her Majesty's service and will answer to the contrary.—From Dover this 5th of February, 1598.
[P.S.]—I pray return me by this bearer my safe conduct and your answer here to the Greyhound.
Underwritten : “The Admiral Sir Richard Leueson is at Gore End, to whom I must defer you for appointing you a ship to pass you over, without whose order I cannot go, or warrant from my Lord Admiral, being now upon special service to the westwards upon the first wind. Alex. Clyfford.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (176. 93.)
Thomas Harrison to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 6. I am committed to the Gate-house by your warrant upon the complaint of Mr. Topcliff, my proved enemy. The cause I desire to be heard by your Lordship. Five years past I was discharged of the same and gave him, his counterfeit poursuivant and the rest, a shameful overthrow by my Lord Chamberlain. Let me answer it with my life if I cannot prove that he procured the Council's warrant for me, whereby I was thrice apprehended, driven to put in sureties thrice by the counterfeit poursuivant that my Lord Chamberlain openly discovered; my sureties examined, their bonds delivered in that the poursuivant with money had taken to give me liberty; the conspiracy openly confessed, their plots found out, the spoiling of my goods; and lastly, if by the same sureties and witnesses I prove not that my Lord Chamberlain swore that for the same conspiracy against me wrought he would never sit at Council-table unless he put Mr. Topcliff out of commission, and thereupon set me at liberty and committed the counterfeit poursuivant, to yield restitution of my goods, with the rest, to the Marshalsea; if I prove not restitution in some part made, my Lord threaten to strike Mr. Topcliff for their vile conspiracy, to the mighty disgrace of Mr. Topcliff, let me die the death. My poor wife and children feel the smart and have cause to curse him. If, since the death of Mr. Secretary Walsingham, I have done amiss, I have received my desert. If, before the death of Mr. Secretary, I have done divers special services for the good of the land, been two years for her Majesty's service kept in miserable captivity in Arras in Artois, arraigned twice for a spy in Tournai before the Prince of Parma, once racked and condemned to die, and saved only by means of Mr. Secretary, my honourable friend to his dying day; this and other services, yet was never recompensed. I crave no favour if I prove not the former conspiracy. And I will put your Honour sureties to be bound body for body, and for the trial of my truth in service (say to the contrary Mr. Topcliff what he can) I will hazard at my own charge to do your Honour within three months better service than he, or the best friend he hath, dare attempt. For the course of my honest living and performance of the same, if my good Lord Cobham please to enquire from Sandwich and Cant[erbury], where I last taught, if I have not deserved well, let me bear the shame. Beseeching your Honour and the good Lord Cobham to pardon what is past, for the which I confess I was by his means favourably dealt withal and discharged; trusting you will not allow any action of debt to come upon me, which is Mr. Topcliff's drift, I humbly take my leave.
Endorsed with date. Seal. 1 p. (59. 52.)
Richard Meredith, chaplain, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 6. My Lord of London's answer is that he hath chaplains of his own, and in conscience must first provide for them; but, as opportunity shall be offered, he will, for your sake, remember me. I render most humble thanks for your letter.—Dat : 6 Februarii, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ¼ p. (59. 53.)
Lord Mountjoy to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1598/9], Feb. 6. This morning there hath been with me a messenger, as he saith, sent by you to let me know that it is her Majesty's pleasure that I should wait upon my Lords of the Council about 9 o'clock this forenoon. I hear that the Queen was offended at my last being there upon their Lordships' commandment. Let me know if now it is by her commandment, or excuse me to their Lordships.—This 6 of February.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (59. 55.)
Lord Mountjoy to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1598/9,] Feb. 6. Asks to be excused from attending their Lordships, as he understands that the Queen was displeased with his having been at the last conference.—6 February.
Holograph. Seal. ¼ p. (59. 54.)
Geo. Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 8. I received by Sir Thomas Knowles your lordship's letter and failed not according to the contents to do my uttermost in his behalf unto the States General. But seeing their resolution such as they meant not to charge themselves wih the entertaining of any more colonels or captains (which they excuse and attribute to the want of means, and not of any goodwill or desire to favour those gentlemen which shew to affect their Estate in offering to serve it) we found it unlikely to do any good in that point, and therefore used all endeavour to procure them to deal the more favourably with him, which they protested to be the forwarder in for the respect they bare to you; and so were contented to grant him a company of 200, to be commanded by such a sufficient lieutenant and officers as he should appoint with their liking, and he to go and serve in any other place as himself should think good. I could have wished his fortune better and their dealing more larger; but all things presently considered, I trust my poor goodwill will be accepted of accordingly. I wrote unto your lordship of late, since which time there is little change fallen out, th'Admirante having for the most part been quiet, only hath now and then passed some of his men to and fro on both sides of the Ehine, so to make a show and amuse us as if he would have done somewhat, as I think he will so soon as the season shall serve; and the whilst conveyed into Deuticum some provisions. The Emperor hath published of late a decree against him and his, and after a long repetition of their disorders and extortions, he chargeth them upon pain of life, wheresoever they shall be gotten, to depart from the territories of the Empire, and to make restitution and amends for all harms done unto any of his subjects and their goods; and such as, being vassals of the Empire, have or shall take the Spaniards' part and favour them, he declares as disobedient and rebels to the constitutions of the Empire, their bodies of good prize, and goods confiscate. This doth somewhat trouble those of the other side, and yet do not cease to go forward with their business. Certain of the States' horse did lately scatter and overthrow some of the enemy's troops that were gathering a head together in Brabant to have attempted some enterprise, and since the Cardinal notwithstanding did put it in execution upon Breda. But he that laid the plot, having made afore his Excellency acquainted, handled matters so well that they missed of their purpose, and in the attempt lost of theirs, whereof we know not as yet the particulars; and if they had opened unto the practiser the time when they would have done the exploit, his Excellency might have laid an 'attrapp' to have received them in better sort, though we make account that, above the loss of his time and charges otherwise, the failing in his purpose will discourage his and greatly strengthen this side.
The Earl of Bothwell sent a couple of fellows hither with letters of credence unto several captains to try if any could be won to do some piece of service for him by betraying of any town or otherwise, but prevailed nowhere; and one discovering the matter at last, the instruments were apprehended and like to be used as they shall be found to have deserved. His Excellency laboureth here to advance the new levies and hopeth to be in field as soon, if not afore, the enemy.—From the Hague, this 8th of February, 1598.
Signed. Seal. 2 pp. (176. 94.)
Sir Edward Denny to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 9. I look to be called upon very shortly for my debt to her Majesty, and finding no good means to furnish myself with money to that purpose but with the sale of Bedwell and Berkhamsted, I thought good you should have the first offer. Pardon if I do not attend you myself in this business, who being merely ignorant in these affairs, am enforced to use a gentleman's help and make him my substitute.—Written the 9th of Feb., 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (59. 57.)
Thomas Browne to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 9. My desire earnestly moving me, after my good Lord's departure, to seek continuance of my service under your Honour, only in this regard, and for that I conceived your great charge not like to entertain many of my Lord's followers, I was the bolder to present such my petition to your Honour, and not upon any undutiful meaning, which to my extreme grief hath been told me that your Honour should conceive by such my forwardness that I shewed small duty or remembrance of my Lord. I protest I have ever carried a most reverent purpose, and shall do so till I die, towards his Lordship's honour which continueth still in perpetual memory, and also towards his person now lying interred with all due service of his honourable funerals. Therefore I most humbly beseech you not to condemn me of any pretended ingratitude. I pray you grant me your letter to the Lord Chief Justice of England on behalf of Ralph Agas, a skilful surveyor of lands, dwelling at Stoke next Neyland in Suffolk, well reputed of my late good Lord, very careful of her Majesty's profit and renown and of my Lord and your Honour's report and dignity. He hath used means to have some punished for their unloyal speeches of her Majesty. He hath reproved others for their undutiful regard of your Honour. For this, and for his diligent pains and care in setting forth a concealed ward's lands for me (which is the only grant I ever obtained in my Lord's service and hath cost me above £200, well known to Mr. Gilbert Wakering, escheator of the same county last year, and neither can get possession of body or lands to this present for want of help from Her Majesty's Court of Wards, yet through those my expenses in discovering the original grant of the manor of Neyland, her Majesty hath recovered 37 tenures, and four several offices thereof already found, and many other tenures and offices thereof are like presently to ensue) the said Ralph's adversaries, immediately upon report of my Lord's departure, commenced many slanderous and unjust suits against him, and having made extreme and grievous riots against him and his family, yet they shame not to make Agas and his family the first authors thereof—albeit his cause be so just as his counsel hereabove doth inform him that he hath the advantage of capital law against many of them, yet his estate being weak and wholly beggared with his suits, he would rather leave off, though with his utter undoing, having a wife and six poor children depending only upon his labour and travail, if so be his adversaries' extreme malice might by any means be appeased. But they, presuming upon their wealth and countenance, give forth that nothing shall content them but to have poor Agas his carcase to perish in prison. The matter is to be heard about 14 days hence at the next assizes at Bury, where Agas in his poverty getting no counsel to speak for him, and his own speech being easily quenched, he and one of his sons, in their just cause, shall be condemned to perpetual prison. Yet I do assure you of the equity of the cause, and were the Lord Chief Justice prepared and possessed of the weightiness and heinousness thereof, by your letter to be delivered him at the assizes from my hands, then should poor Agas not only escape the fury of his adversaries but their mischief should return upon their own heads.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“9 Feb. 1598.” Seal. 1 p. (59. 58.)
Sir George Cary of Cockington to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 9. By your letters you have commanded Mr. Seymor, Mr. Sparry and myself to send you the examinations taken touching the christening of two of Mr. Anthony Flears' children, supposed to be christened by a Jesuit or Seminary. I send them accordingly, and think you would do well to send also for Peter Trehane who first revealed this matter and now denieth it again.—London, this 9th of February, 1598.
Signed. Endorsed with certain examinations concerning the disorderly christening of Mr. Flears' children. Seal. ½ p. (59. 60.)
Sir Thomas Knollys to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 9. I am sorry to see your kind favours so unkindly requited by him who by your especial graces hath aspired unto the height of that fortune where now (as he thinks) he is settled so surely that, do what he will, he can hardly be removed.
Touching these indirect orders taken contrary to your orders and expectation (I mean for the breaking and quartering of the companies and for the cassing of the captains and officers), as it is a thing devised by his own plot—howsoever he doth now put it over to the States, who upon his earnest entreaty will seem to take it upon them, for his better excuse—so hath it bred as many inconveniences and as ill a precedent as hath been seen in these our days, breeding through this insolency a mere disagreement between England and the Low Countries, a hindrance and a further charge to her Majesty's now intended service, a crossing to your present proceedings, a disgrace unto myself, being used more like a commissary than a colonel, and without your most favourable dealings towards them, an utter undoing unto most of the captains and officers, who without any regard or recompence are thus suddenly discharged from their companies; and lastly, a mere confusion here among themselves. To tell you of the general discontentment here, I refer rather unto the report of this bearer and such as come from hence than set it down in writing, as a party thereof. Their hope is altogether in me, and mine wholly in your lordship, so that except you reserve some such place for me whereby they may receive some contentment, all our hopes not only fail us, but we have also made a most comfortless and unprofitable journey.
[P.S.]—All this hath been done to advance Sir Francis Vere's followers; he is so great and so addicted unto the States that he maketh small account of anything set down by your lordship in England. He maketh little esteem of his government of Brill, having not yet been there.—Hague, this 9th of February, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (171. 83.)
Sir Thomas Knollys to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 9. I have so large and ample a theme to discourse on by reason of the contrary and indirect courses which have been held here that in few lines I am not able to express sufficiently the disorderous dealings and insolencies which are used therein. His Excellency the Count Maurice touching these affairs pleadeth ignorance, and told me plainly that he never understood either by the Queen's letters or the lords of the Council of England that there was any intent ever specified whereby whole companies should be drawn from hence, but only that 2,000 soldiers should be withdrawn in exchange of 2,000 men that should be supplied out of England. The States plead the like, saying it was a mal entendu, and wondered much that the Queen would send entire companies with their captains and officers unto them. Sir Fra. Vere answereth that the States had long determined this course, and so seemeth to clear himself of that which I know assuredly to be only his own doing and device. He hath not stirred or withdrawn one man out of his own regiment to go into Ireland, and he hath supplied his own company and divers others of his regiment with 400 of these new men. As for those broken companies which are appointed for your lordship unto Ireland, I know it by the officers who brought them into Zeland, that they made choice of the worst men and worst furnished that were in the companies. He hath sent 300 of these new men also to supply the wants of the number which Sir Henry Dockwray should carry with him, and yet I think he hath not his full number. These are no good courses. I would it had pleased you to have employed the 2,000 men which I brought out of England, then I am sure you should have been better served both with men and arms. Pardon me, I beseech you, if I write what I see and know.
P.S.—I think I shall do no good with the States for my preferment, for I know I am altogether crossed by Sir Francis Vere underhand, though outwardly we are great friends, for he is jealous of my being here.—Hague, this 9th of February, 1598.
Holograph. 1 p. (176. 95.)
E. Stanhope to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 9. That the purpose of Sess. [Cessford] is altered or broken, these gentlemen can by several intelligences make known to your lordship; but the occasion thereof is rather to be conjectured than known. Some presumptions are that he either heard or suspected that it was discovered. Whether that proceeded only upon suspicion (which guilty minds are subject to) by the return of the last Scottish ambassador, who, as it is said, declared her Highness's hard opinion of Cessford, or by any other secret intelligence, I cannot conjecture. Sure I am no living creature at York knew the intent by me, for though there were one or two in the castle of honest account, that lay for breach of decrees, whom I meant to trust when we had been ready for action, yet thought I it best not to acquaint them with any part of our intent till within a day of the very instant; neither did I, or meant to have used the gaoler. I only forewarned him to have good regard lest they [the Scottish pledges] should escape and thereby (besides the displeasure) he lose the debt they ought him, which is great. The better opinion, methinks, is, that Cessford having been a great part of this winter at the Scottish Court seeking leave to travel, having grown in great grace with the King, would rather follow his fortune at home; which I find to be more likely by an examination I took the second of this month of one Ewen Brompton, who had served Cessford, came from him at Edinburgh in Christmas, and being taken suspiciously at Leeds, for that he had lain there three or four days well horsed and armed, was sent to us to York : who said his lord was suing at the Court to get leave to travel to Venice, but thought he should not obtain it because he grew in great favour with the King and more likely to be employed at home. This man I kept at the pursuivant's because he might have proved a spy and did linger at Leeds for some employment in this action. And now Mr. T[homas] P[ercy] his relation of Cessford's return to his country confirms that report.
But though our labours have not taken the effect that was expected, yet this advantage your lordship hath won for her Majesty, that the letters of his own hand do testify the falsehood he intended. Now, my good lord, there resteth for me to regard that which you wrote as a special caution from her Highness, to give order that they should be very surely kept and guarded from escape, which with God's grace (so far as trust may be given to gaolers) I will with all care and diligence prevent. For as it may be judged, they will seek way if they can for themselves, when they see their helps taken from them; so seem they to be in great penury and need, which of itself will force men to break stone walls.
And therefore, whereas heretofore I have acquainted you that they had urged the Archbishop and us to move your lordships [of the Privy Council] that they might send some into their country to solicit for money, as well to pay for the victuals they ought for as for their diet to come, I leave it now to your good Lordship's consideration that they may be remembered in some sort, for otherwise some of them may perish for famine, and the gaoler and other poor victuallers beggared by trusting them. I am told also to acquaint you that the 28th of last month we received a blank packet, endorsed the 26th of the same, wherein was commission dated the 29th November to his Grace, her Majesty's Council here, and some others, signed with her Highness's most gracious hand, for 400 men for Ireland to be levied, mustered and armed in such sort, time and place as your lordships should direct. Wherefore, receiving no part of your lordships' minds therewith, we wrote back with like speed to show our readiness upon your pleasures known; whereof hitherto we have had no answer. Your lordship may think whether 200 trained men might not be spared from Berwick, the better to furnish you for this present service, and 200 of these raw soldiers to supply their places for the time. And would be glad then also to know whether we should arm them here or deliver their guides a proportion for each man to provide them better arms at West Chester.—York, 9 February, 1598.
Signed. Seal 1 p. (176. 96.)
Captains Nicholas Saunders, Geo. Leycester and Francis Maddison to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 9. Having according to our direction conducted over our companies into Flushing, from thence we, whose names are underwritten, were by order from his Excellency appointed into garrison at Bergen-op-Zoom; where being arrived, there came directions, both from England and the States General here, for the cashiering of all us that came commanders over the 2,000 men now out of England, Sir Thomas Knollys his company only excepted. That news at first was so strange unto us that had we not seen it we could never have been persuaded to believe so rare a precedent, that any, after so great expense, without desert, should incur so great a disgrace. But seeing for the furtherance of her Majesty's service it is thought fit in your lordship's wisdom that our companies be cast, we beseech your lordship to some considerations of our great expenses, but especially of our credits, more dear than our lives, and that it may stand with your good pleasure in this journey to Ireland to give us leave to attend on your lordship in such places as shall best stand with your good liking; for the blot wherewith we are touched hath so deeply stained us that no means is left to be cleared but such as may be gained under your conduct in face of the enemy. We have made bold to trouble you with this our humble suit before our coming, being as yet detained about the delivery of our companies, hoping that your lordship hath some places left yet unbestowed, and that you will extend your favour to us that will live and die as willingly in your service as any else whosoever.—From Bergen-op-Zoom, 9 February, 1598.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (176. 97.)
Thomas Smith, Clerk of the Council, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 11. On presenting to my Lord Marshal the letter that is to go to Bristol for the muster of the horses there, I told him that you referred the nomination of the parties to take the muster unto him. He held it not fit that he should nominate those to take the muster of the horses provided by himself, of which Sir H. Davers' charge is part, and left the nomination to you. I told him you were gone to London and that it would be too much loss of time to defer it. He thought I might nominate those appointed for the muster of the foot under the charge of Sir Ar. Savage. I looked in the books for their names, but the letter was not entered; so, lest the delay might be inconvenient (the horses of Sir J. Cooke and Sir Th. Brook having no doubt arrived at the port some days ago) I have adventured to set down the names of some gentlemen, besides the Mayor, living near Bristol, who are of good reputation. If you approve them, the messenger may either have the letter sealed at London by Mr. Wade, and pass from thence, or come back again hither.
Holograph. Endorsed with date. Seal. 1 p. (59. 61.)
Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 11. Give me leave to advertise you by this enclosed of the backwardness of our Northern parts. I have but mentioned one parish, but you in your wisdom will, I know, thereby measure the whole country, wherein those dangerous persons have mightily increased since the death of the late Lord President, and it is to be feared that a longer interim will daily increase them much more. The place I have referred to, being situated along the sea coast, is of the more danger, having in it sundry creeks fit to receive such persons as come for evil intents, who do ever shun great ports.—London, 11 February, 1598.
P.S.—Whitby Strond is a corner of Yorkshire reaching from Scarborough northwards upon the sea coast beyond Whitby.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (59. 63.)
Alan Percy to the Earl of Rutland.
[1598/9], Feb. 11. The many great favours received will not permit me longer to hold my pen from making my excuse for not coming to offer my service when I came forth of the Low Countries, which was neither ungratefulness nor forgetfulness, but only my sudden departure from thence. I make no question but you have more certain news what is done in these parts than I am able to advertise you.—Paris, this 11th of February.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (176. 98.)
The Sheriff and Justices of Lancashire to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 12. On the 2nd instant, the Sheriff received by the hands of one Platt, a messenger of the Chamber, the Queen's letter of the 16th January to the Commissioners for Musters in Lancashire for putting in readiness 200 men to go into Ireland according to directions to be received from your Honour. On our assembling at Wigan to-day, the letters were read to us, but we cannot proceed in the work for want of your directions.—Wigan, the 12th of February, 1598.
Signed : Richard Houghton, Sheriff. Richard Molyneux. Thomas Preston. Richard Assheton. Richard Holland. 1 p. (59. 64.)
Mons. de Normanvill to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 12/22. Ce gentilhomme allait vous trouver. Je l'ai charge de ce mot, et par iceluy m'acquitter de mon devoir de bouche, en attendant que l'effect s'en ensuive par ce present escrit. Je requiers pardon si ne me suis allé acquitter de mon devoir moy mesme. Prenez la mort de feu Mons. de Mouy pour suffisante excus.—De Paris, ce xxii de Feuvrier, 1599. Signed. ¾ p. (59. 96.)
Edward, Lord Stourton to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1598/9,] Feb. 12. I lately received a letter from you which mentioneth that you are informed of my refusing to contribute towards the charge of the Irish service. True it is that the tithing-man, with others, were with me to demand some small payment for the ease of the tithing, which I refused, not in regard of any backwardness towards her Majesty's service, but that I held it an injury to myself to be cessed by so mean officers. For proof whereof, you shall find me ready to perform what shall be imposed on me by you or by any that shall have authority to command me, as far as my small ability shall extend.—From Stourton, the 12th of February.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (176. 99.)
Robert Gulliford to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 12. Three years past, being received into the number of your household chaplains, since which time a discontentment in mind against my ministry fell out in some of our city of Bristol; whereupon they exhibiting articles to the lord Archbishop of Canterbury, by your letters to the said lord Archbishop the matter was privately heard and ended, and I was then restored to my liberty of preaching in the cathedral church of Bristol, but not in the city besides. The let hereof resteth only or principally in the mayor and some aldermen. If therefore you would vouchsafe your letters to the said mayor and aldermen, that I might with their love and liking enjoy the former liberty of preaching among them, I doubt not but they will work such effect as is desired of the most there and wished for myself.—Bristol, 12 February, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (176. 100.)
H. Maynard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 13. Mr. Attorney of the Wards is of opinion that it will be best to have only two parts of these indented articles, one part to remain with the Countess of Bedford and the other with Mrs. Bellott. Mr. Pawlett desiring to be gone to-morrow, I have caused one part to be written to-night, whereunto it may please you to put your hand and seal. For that the return thereof is uncertain, unless one should go down expressly with Sir Anthony Pawlett, I mean to direct this bearer either to go or follow Mr. Pawlett, to bring the same back. I will signify as much to Sir Anthony when I deliver the writings to him to-morrow.—Westminster, this 13th of February, 1598.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (59. 66.)
Sir Thomas Knollys to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, Feb. 13. I am so importuned by this bearer and divers other discontented captains to write to your Lordship in their behalf, that, considering their fruitless and unfortunate journey, I could not refuse them so small a suit. I hope you and the Council will content us, I mean in following you into Ireland with a regiment of these cashiered captains, which I think you may justly demand, seeing how ill her Majesty's service and your proceedings have been supplied out of these countries. I understand by divers of the captains that, at their removing out of Zeland, all the boys which were left behind out of their companies, were entertained amongst those which were to go into Ireland. As touching mine own . . . . . , the States are contented that mine own company of 2 [00 should remain] in their entertainment. My demand of them is [to give me] a regiment (the which by reason of Sir Francis Veer's crossing . . . . . be granted) or else to have my foot company 300 and a troop of 200 horse. They seem to yield to my demand for my foot company and one hundred horse, but I stand not yet sure of either. Please you to cause Sir Nicholas Parker to resign his company of horse unto me, which is here. You may make him satisfaction some other way. I have 700 or 800 pounds due to me for my company in Ireland, and have the Deputy's and the Council's of Ireland hand for the same, all which I would willingly quit only to have this company of horse.—Hague, the 13th of Feb., 1598.
Holograph. 1 p. torn. (59. 67.)
John Danvers to Sir Charles Danvers.
Feb. 13. (fn. 1) So fit a messenger as this could not be slipt without great shew of that forgetfulness which I hope never to be touched withal, being rather desirous to exceed in the abundance of duty than to be faulty in the least degree of negligence. So wishing I were able to satisfy your desires and that the fruits of my study were worth the presenting to you, which, until I find them in myself exact, I dare hot presume to offer unto you, thus I take my leave.—From Paris, this 13 of February.
Addressed :—“To my loving brother, Sir Charles Davers (sic), give this in London.”
Holograph. Two seals. 1 p. (176. 9.)
Thomas, Lord Burghley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 13. I thank you for letting her Majesty to understand how willingly I desire to see her, but I would rather desire to see her at her own house than at Wimbledon until my strength be able to entertain her. I think it will be almost this fortnight before I shall be well able to come to the Court, for that I enter into a little physic to hasten my better amendment. I have read over that note you sent me, a discourse in my opinion upon false grounds and malicious, though I think all men assure themselves of the malice of Spain; but Scotland hath neither a good purse nor a good argument to make her hateful unto England.
Holoqraph. Endorsed :—“13 February, 1598.” Seal broken. ½ p. (176. 101.)
Stephen Le Sieur to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 14. Before my departure hence, where Mr. Edmunds upon your letter hath most effectually yielded me his best assistance, I would not omit by this offered bearer to acknowledge the same, and withal acquaint you with the little respect had to her Majesty's safe conduct, which I sent to such as commanded her Majesty's ships in the narrow seas, at my late coming to Dover, as may appear by a letter which I pray my cousin Percival to show to you; so that if I had not met with a Dutch man-of-war whom I found most willing to transport me over to Calais (though bound for another place) I could not have used that diligence which her Majesty's service committed to me requireth. I was persuaded to have found post horses ready at Calais, but I was deceived and forced (not without the authority of the governor there, who showed his desire to assist me in regard of her Majesty) to take cart horses to carry me to Boulogne and a cart thence to Abbeville, which is the cause I could not before to-morrow morning depart from this place, yet I hope I shall come in good time to effect her Majesty's commandments and your expectation.—Paris, this 14th of February, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (176. 102.)
Michael Stanhope to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, Feb. 15. Her Majesty willed me to write to you not to proceed with that great book until she speak with you, or you send her attorney that she speak with him, for she is in no sort satisfied in those two points whereof she spoke with you last. This was before you were well of the ague.
Holograph. Endorsed with date. Seal. ½ p. (59. 69.)


  • 1. This letter cannot be of earlier date than February, 1598/9, nor of later date than February, 1600/1601. If it belongs to the first of these dates, John Danvers must have begun his travels at an early age.