Cecil Papers: March 1599, 1-15

Pages 88-107

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

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March 1599, 1–15

Thomas Windebank to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 1. I have received word, even now after nine, from Mr. Darcy that her Majesty's pleasure is to have you come to her presently. What the cause is I know not.—At Richmond, the first of March, 1598.
Signed. ½ p. (176. 111.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 2. This day there is certain news of five Dun-kirkers, men of war, upon this coast, which have taken sundry barks of these ports, and, as it is thought, lie in wait for such ships as shall pass from hence for Ireland with victuals, whereof I have here by the order of Mr. Dorrell and Jolles a great proportion, some part embarked and the rest ready to be laden so soon as I can get shipping for it. And for so much as the same goeth in small shipping such as is meet for those ports in Ireland where they are to unlade, I have thought meet to despatch this packet, humbly praying to understand your pleasure whether there shall be any waftage for them, or that they shall be despatched from hence alone so soon as wind and weather will serve.—Plymouth, the second of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (60. 12.)
Sir Anthony Cooke to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, March 2. I am ready to set sail for Ireland. Excuse me if I am bold to put you in remembrance of my last [request], made to you at my departure, that you would be pleased upon your arrival in Ireland to call me and mine near to you.
Holograph. Endorsed with date. 1 p. (60. 13.)
Dr. Chr. Parkins to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 2. I understand by Mr. Do. Caesar that you will favour my small suit, for which I render humble thanks. I understand you will best like the despatch for Denmark that will proceed from common consent, though it may happen to be somewhat later. Yet at the length divers notes have been brought forth as to be added to the writing the which by the agreement of the rest I had drawn, delivered on Saturday last : since which time we have met thrice together, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; it being now at the length appointed that the writing for the Danish despatch is to be perfected by Tuesday next. God grant it! Yet for the better expedition of the whole, it will be necessary that the Ambassador be warned in the mean season to give in writing with the first what else he hath to declare unto her Majesty, for it may well be remembered he hath made mention to her that he hath somewhat more than he hath yet signified. I understand it is for redress of some evil demeanours of the English about Iceland and Wardhouse.—The 2 of March, 1598.
Signed. 1 p. (60. 14.)
The Queen's Lands.
1598/9, March 2. Instructions from her Highness's Commissioners for sale of her Highness's lands to the Auditors of her Majesty's revenue, concerning the sale of the said lands.
Endorsed by Cecil : “Instructions for drawing particulars.”
pp. (176. 110.)
Sir Henry Nevill to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 3. I thank you for this favour to let me see my instructions before they be signed. I will peruse them with as much speed as I may, and be bold to use that further liberty which you give me, if I find any cause, and so return them upon Monday morning.—From London, the 3 of March, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (60. 15.)
J. Wheler to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 3. Your letter of the 20th February I received the first of this month, with an enclosed to Mr. Lesieur, which the same day I sent with the post for Cologne under a covert, using the means of a sure friend of mine herein and for the sending of it forward to Spires.—Middleburgh, the third of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (60. 16.)
The Lords of the Council to Lord Burghley.
1598/9, March 4. The 34 men lately ordered to be levied in Essex and the 44 from Hertfordshire are now to be sent with all expedition into Ireland. They are to be sorted with their armour, weapons and other furniture as before : i.e. one half of the whole number to be shot, whereof some fourth part to be muskets; the other half of the whole to be armed with corslets and pikes, saving some few halberds. They should be at Chester by the first of April next. A discreet person to be in charge and to see them furnished with coats of good cloth, well lined, and of a blue colour, allowing to every one of them conduct money as hath been accustomed. Four shillings will be allowed for each coat, and for the conduct money, mileage from the place of levy to the port of Chester. At Chester they will be received by such as have authority to take charge of them. They are to be delivered by roll indented, specifying the names, surnames and several armour and weapons of every soldier. A like roll to be sent to us for enrolment in the Exchequer.—From the Court at Richmond, the fourth of March, 1598.
Signed by Puckering, Burghley, Essex, Hunsdon, Cobham, Buckhurst, Montague, and Sir Robert Cecil. 1 p. (60. 18.)
Sir Edward Coke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 4. Now doth another book which I had in a readiness fully satisfy the Queen's meaning. (1) It giveth power to pardon treasons indefinitely without exception; (2) It restraineth him to grant traitors' lands in certain countries to the heirs males of the bodies of the grantees; (3) He cannot exceed the sum in the ordinance signed by the Lords of the Council, but the form in other things he may change by advice of the Council there.
Concerning her Majesty's debts, I think I have opened such a window for the more speedy satisfaction of her debts, as if it had not been too long I would have acquainted you therewith, but I have delivered the same at large both to my Lord Buckhurst and to the Lord Keeper.—From Ely House, this 4 of March, '98.
Holograph. ¾ p. (60. 19.)
Lord North to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 5. I thank you for this kind visitation. I am retired for no ease nor to prevent other indisposition. I am violently attacked with dulness of hearing, so that I cumber my friends to speak to me. I trust the warm spring will quickly wear this away. Doctor Smith laboureth me with physic, and with two or three days more the commission and all that belongs to the voyage will have a speedy and free end.—At Charterhouse, 5 Martis.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“5 March, 1598.” Seal. ½ p. (60. 20.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 5. My ship's unexpected return from the Southwards so soon, partly by reason of the evilness of her beer and some other her provisions, as also an encounter she met withal off the Rock, in the which she lost many of her men, occasions me to crave for leave to come up for some small time. The encounter was with a ship of 560 tons that had served the King these four years, and now was thereof discharged, who had left her ordnance at the Groyne, reserving only some few pieces for her defence to bring her to St. Luke's, where she was to be made ready to go, as themselves do report, with Peter Sebears and other for St. John de Porto Rico. She had in her some 60 small shot, who, by reason of the greatness of her lying so much above mine, were so well assured of themselves as they beat back my men with the loss of seven upon their first entry, and made them glad to take their ship again. After this, the mariners, not accustomed to such encounters, could not by any means be drawn to enter her afresh, doubting that she had been better provided than in truth she was. The captain, seeing that, was enforced to lay his sides unto hers, and so battered her until at the last she was ready to sink. The enemy, perceiving this, called for mercy, and so, after the expense of 164 shot of the demi-culvering and saker, they took her. They set on shore all the Spaniards that were left alive, and, being not able to bring away the ship, burnt her before their faces. With what judgment and honesty the captain behaved himself, I desire rather that others should report than myself, because he is so near of kin to me that it may be thought I speak partially.—From the Fort of Plymouth, this 5 of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (60. 21.)
Sir Anthony Cooke to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, March 5. Though this gentleman the bearer gave me very little time of knowledge before his departure, yet I thought it my duty to let you understand that we have been mustered before the mayor and others appointed, and have presented before him my troop of fifty horses complete; that we have had them aboard now this 8 days past expecting a wind, which God send us speedily or else we must of force unship most of our horses again, if not all, for they stand so close together and so hot as they decay much in flesh, nor are they able to lie down. I hope you shall find me careful of duty in all parts of my charge.—Bristowe, this present Monday, the 5th of March, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (176. 114.)
The Earl of Nottingham, Lord Admiral, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 6. The pain of my leg is now with this weather so extreme that I am not able to stir on it. I was yesterday at Hampton Court to see the gardens, and had thought to have “barqued” there this day, but my pain was so great as I came away in my coach to rest myself. Doth the earl go or tarry, and when, think you, will he take his leave? I pray you, if the matter of the Venetians be pressed, that it may stay till my coming thither, which I hope shall be on Saturday.—Chelsea, this 6 of Ma :
Holograph. Endorsed : 1598. Seal. ¾ p. (60. 22.)
Richard [Vaughan,] Bishop of Chester, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 6. As I was addressing mine answer to your former letters and purposed to commend unto you especially Mr. Midgeley, late vicar of Rochdale, for his well deserving of the churches in these parts, I received a second from you, whereby it pleaseth you to commit to my poor discretion the naming of two other preachers and distributing of them in the most needful places of Lanc [ashire]; wherein as you have performed a most religious work worthy of yourself and memorable to all posterity, so both myself and the whole church of these parts have great cause to hold your name in most reverend account, and pray that as you have shewed rare mercy to many miserable souls ready to be devoured by popish wolves, so you may ever find more and more favour in the sight of God and her Majesty, and receive mercy with your full reward in that great day. For the due execution of your intention, myself will not fail with my best endeavour, with the advice of other of my clergy, to name sufficient men for this service, and to place them in such churches as stand most in need of their labours.—Chester, 6 March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (176. 115.)
Captain William Boyer to Lord Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain.
1598/9, March 7. I was glad to perceive from your letter the continuance of your intent, which I would more than gladly perform if I knew the means how to be assured of my poor estate here for retreat, and, in my absence, for my charge, which I should leave. Our Lord Governor doth affect and love me, but the report of trouble in these parts is daily renewed. So that I know it impossible to attempt so long a leave except for more than my own affairs.—Berwick, the 7th of March, 1598.
P.S.—If you hear any cause of sending any letter for her Majesty's affairs thither, or anything to be hearkened after or spied out there, of their dealing since their ambassador was here, or any such like employment, the business thereby would be the better performed.
Signed, ¾ p. (60. 24.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 7. By a general letter herewith is certified concerning a Scottish ship, with 50 tons of wheat, brought into the port of Looe, out of which there is brought me the two letters here enclosed, having in them written, in the later part of the one of them, some news out of Scotland; the other of a close message, as I understand it, from the King of Scots to the Conde de Puerto Alegre in Lisbon. Many other letters were found in the ship, but all concerning her lading and the recovering of some debts in Lisbon.
Though no man in these parts hath more cause to desire the dearth of corn than myself, being, as I am, at £600 rent and charges every year for the mills of this town, yet I can do no less but put you in mind that some order may be given for no more corn, except on her Majesty's service, to be transported out of these western parts. The poor complain, but know not how to find remedy, the greater part of the justices being corn-sellers.
A licence was granted to one Wardour for the passing under bond of a certain quantity of wheat and other grain for Ireland. Under colour of this licence divers lade corn in these parts, not intending to carry it for Ireland, but for France and other places.
The customer alone keepeth the warrant, and taketh Wardour's bond, who is here a stranger and not hereafter to be found. The said customer is a man so far- spent that he hath little regard what he doth so as he make a profit to himself. He giveth copies of your warrant whereby to lade corn in other ports, without making mention what is already laden thereupon or specifying what measure. So that such as will make themselves ignorant may as well consider the bushel to be of 21 or 20 gallons, according to the place where the corn is laden, as of 8 gallons, as I do assure myself your meaning is.
It doth not appear that Wardour is of himself able to lade any great part of the corn, nor will any in these parts give money for his licence to pass corn for Ireland, but only under colour thereof to transport for other places.
It hath already enhanced the price in some places more than 12d. a bushel.—Plymouth, the 7th of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (60. 25.)
William Stallenge to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 7. With this bearer there goeth an English mariner, which was of Mr. Richard Hawkins his company, and hath been a long time a prisoner in Spain. He saith he can discover divers things concerning Stanley (“Standle”) and the rest of his converts, and some other matters of importance. I have delivered him 40s. towards his charges.—Plymouth, the 7th of March, 1598.
Signed. Addressed :—“By her ma : servant Henry Mawnder.” Seal. ½ p. (60. 26.)
Lord Buckhurst to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 7. Even now my Lord of Essex sent a gentleman to me advertising that he hath letters out of Ireland and desires a meeting and conferring of such of the Council as are in town at any place that should be appointed, and that Mr. Mainard, Mr. Meredith, Mr. Jewel and Mr. Jolles may be there present. I have returned word to his Lordship that being we sit in the afternoon at my Lord Keeper's house about the sales, we would come to the Earl's house about 9 o'clock, from whence the Lord Keeper can easily be sent for if wanted. I must leave to you to warn Mr. Mainard. I will write to Sir John Fortescue and the rest if they be in town.—This 7 of March, 1598.
Holograph, ¾ p. (60. 27.)
Sir Charles Percy to the Earl of Essex.
[1598/9,] March 7. Since I was dispatched by your lordship at Court the wind hath never served yet for Ireland; but as soon as it shall I will not fail but to go over, for that Sir Henry Docwra is come over 7 days ago to Dublin. I do understand by my lieutenant how exceeding ill armed my company is, and whereas their commission is for 200, they are but 140; insomuch that I am checked both for the insufficiency of my arms and for my number. Wherefore I do most earnestly entreat that you would think of some order for supplying of our companies, for that if you do not supply them out of England, we shall never be able to supply them in Ireland.—From West Chester this 7 of March.
Holograph. ½ p. (176. 116.)
H. Alington to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 7. For Mr. Mills to be my deputy in the clerkship of the Court of Requests, I would willingly have yielded, not only at the first motion of my late lord your father, but now also of yours, if I had not before passed my word, and that in two sorts. First, that such should be used therein as had long served in that office, for whom some of my fellows, the clerks of the privy seal, long before had written unto me for their continuance therein. Besides that, my said fellows having always interest in the profit of the seals, they desired in my absence to have some care thereof, which Mr. Kery promised to do freely without any my charge in consideration of the commodity likely to grow to them thereby, upon which requests, since the end of the last term, I have entered into covenant for the execution thereof. For which respects I trust you will satisfy Mr. Mills that for my time (which I think will not be long) I may quietly make my profit of it, having had, by my said lord's means, the grant thereof from her Majesty ever since the 10th year of her reign, trusting that as her Majesty hath dispensed with my ordinary attendance in respect of my sickly state, so now at these years I may quietly enjoy these small things it pleased her so long ago to bestow on me. I make bold to trouble you by the occasion of your late letter and of the present return of this bearer your servant, for whom his mother and I do most humbly thank you.—At Tywell, 7 March, 1598.
Holograph. 1 p. (176. 117.)
Captain Robert Davis to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, March 7. I notified you that some of the companies were come hither without their armour; it is now come this day from Mr. Gravener, and now they will be all ready to depart to the shipping this afternoon to be embarked. Some which were in readiness did embark themselves yesterday, near a thousand; but I do not hear as yet if they be gotten forth of the river or not. Here is arrived, in all the companies, but seventeen hundred. The Mayor was very importunate to have sent away the companies without their armour, and the captains very loth in doing it, but now all will be remedied.—From Chester, the 7th March, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. 2/3 p. (176. 118.)
Thomas Honyman to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 8. The Judge of the Admiralty, who before made show of haste to give sentence of good prize, is now suddenly deterred, saying that Rogers has told him of a letter to the contrary from your Honour of the 21 st of January, at which date there was no appearance that Portuguese or Spaniard might be interested in any part of these goods, neither was it known that they had done that wrong with their ships and carried her Majesty's subjects into captivity. The converse of the Hamburgher and Portuguese considered, importing her Majesty ten thousand pounds, and the sudden alteration seeming strange to me, make me impart the matter to you. The Hamburghers, by report, have threatened to be revenged by the King of Denmark's means, which I also thought good to acquaint your Honour withal, that they may be thankful to the Ambassador of Denmark as you shall see cause. There be divers factors in Hamburgh that be Portugueses, one of them hath sent a counting chest, for whom I know not. The papers within for the direction of the opening of it, be in the Portuguese language. It is reasonable fair. I have it in my custody.
There is speech of shipping preparing by the States to go upon the West of Spain. They may easily spoil the ships at Ferrol and the Groyne. If these Hamburghers will, as their desire is, proceed upon the voyage, three or four hundred soldiers being put into them to join with the States' ships, may do this exploit.—London, the 8th of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (60. 31.)
Sir Edward Coke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 8. After we had examined certain de circumstantibus, and could not find much, we confronted Harrison with Swifte. Harrison charged him with such confidence and countenance, as albeit Swifte be armed with impudence, yet I might perceive his guiltiness by his countenance. Descending into particulars, we find him in divers repugnant to himself, whereupon, we moving Harrison out of my study, Swifte fell down upon his knees and with crocodile's tears (mourning for that he was “taken with the manner”) bewailed much, and did impliedly confess it, and yet in words denied it (fearing as he said the Queen's Attorney). Some thought this sufficient, but I being of a contrary mind, as was also Mr. Solicitor, did in the end persuade him to confess it to him whom he had most offended. Thereupon he hath written to your Honour confessing his fault directly, but extenuating it as you may thereby perceive.
I have also sent herewith additions to the former instructions according to direction, and this an account of our evening's work—Hatton House, this 8 of March, 1598.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (60. 32.)
Sir Maurice Barkeley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 8. Excuse my presuming upon your Honour. A servant of mine, John Simms of Taunton, Somerset, is accused of a robbery, wherein no murder or other outrage was committed. Witnesses, though he be able to produce many in his behalf, are not available in the like cases, but if I could procure his reprieve until the next assize, the mean time would sufficiently clear him. Please you, therefore, to write to Justices Fenner and Wamsley to this purpose, and save the life of one whom I assure myself is innocent.
Signed. Endorsed with date. Seal. ¾ p. (60. 33.)
George Beverley to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, March 9. I have received your letter of the 4th ordering me to Ireland to advise the Lords as to supplies. According to my duty I will acquaint the Lords and Council of the best means for the same, and how an abstinence may be effected between the former receipts and issues for victuals. The charge of Ro. Newcom in Ireland should be accounted for by itself. The victuals and money delivered to his charge during the last 4 or 5 years will amount to a very great sum, and a difficulty may arise from the purveyor's reckonings in England not being yet collected.—Chester, the 9 of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (60. 34.)
The Mayor of Bristol to the Lords of the Council.
1598/9, March 9. Our delay in sending our certificate of the view of the 200 horses to be shipped hence for Ireland, was caused by the embarkation being stayed by contrary winds. Sir Anthony Cooke and Sir John Brooke, knights, with their several companies, embarked on the 7th of this month, but had to put back. However, they departed yesterday morning, and we immediately despatched by the post unto your Honours the muster roll of the three companies. The hundred horses under the charge of Sir Henry Danvers, knight, are not yet embarked, the shipping from Barnstaple appointed by the Commissary not having arrived here. I have now taken other shipping for them and hope to have them ready by the 12th of this month.—Bristoll, this 9th of March, 1598.
Signed :—William Ellys, E. Gorges.
Endorsed :—“From Bristol, 9 of March at 10 o'clock in the forenoon.” 1 p. (60. 35.)
Richard Rathburne, Mayor of Chester, and Sir John Shelton to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, March 9. According to instructions I Sir John Shelton made my speedy repair unto this city of Chester with intention to view and muster the 2,600 footmen appointed hither, and upon my coming hither I did acquaint the mayor of Chester with so much of mine instructions as concerned him. But I the mayor being commanded by you and the rest of the Privy Council to cause the companies to be embarked so soon as the wind should serve for their transportation, did cause so many of the companies as are mentioned in a list here inclosed, which first came to this city, to march down to Liverpool and other places in the same list specified, with their arms and furnitures, and caused the same to be embarked and the men to be billeted and cessed at the towns nearest to their shipping for their more speedy embarking. By reason whereof, and in regard the men are so scattered abroad in the country, we cannot take that exact view and muster of those men, their arms and furnitures, as by you we are commanded, whereof we humbly beseech your pardon.
Touching the view and muster of the rest of the 1,600 men that are either remaining at this city or which shall repair hither, we will follow your instructions and send you a certificate of our doings therein so soon as we shall finish that service.—Chester, of March the 9th, 1598.
On the back :—For her Majesty's special affairs. . . Haste, haste, post haste, haste. At the city of Chester, the 9th of March, at one in the afternoon. Richard Rathburne, Mayor. At Nantwich, at five the same evening. At Stone, at 10 in the evening on the same night. At Lichfield, at ij in the night. At Cosell, after four. At Coventry, past 6 in the morning. At Daventry, at x in the morning. At Toster [Towcester] at . . . . same day. At Brickhill, afternoon. At St. Albans after . . . of the clock at . . . . At Barnet at xj of . . . .
Signed, ½ p. (176. 119.)
William Goring to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 10. I beseech you to befriend my son Harry Goring who has had to appear before you and the rest of the Council. He has submitted himself to the Bishop of Chichester, and the Earl of Essex only did not intercede for him because he thought the Bishop was satisfied. My son will bring sufficient sureties for his appearance at any time if he be not now committed. Saxbee, the bishop's man, whom my son did hurt, did call him base Goring and otherwise abused him, as may be proved. My son should have shewn himself very simple to have digested such words. May it please you further to understand that my good Lord your father (I would he had lived) promised that I should have certain lands of her Majesty near me in the manor of Byworth, if sold at any time. It is very barren, sandy land and the yearly rent is not above £24. I hear her Majesty is selling land, and would give as much for this land as another. The woods upon it are almost all sold.—Burton, this 10th of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. ¾ p. (60. 36.)
W. Meredith to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, March 10. Sir Francis Vere had a company of 150 footmen in Briell, which, upon the alteration of the establishment in September last, was reduced to 100, but he being appointed governor of Briell, has had the band of 200 which the governor of that town always had. I have paid both the bands their weekly imprests, but not Sir Francis' own pay as Captain of the 100 since the 25th of September last. The money is in my hands. My Lords have directed me to signify this to you.—From the Court, this 10th of March, 1598.
Holograph. Endorsed :—12 March, '98. ½ p. (60. 37.)
Sir Thomas Challoner to Anthony Bacon.
[1598/9,] March 12. I have had often a very earnest desire to write to you but wanted means conveniently to send. The carnival hath produced here in Paris matters of small consequence in respect of masques and other pastimes usually presented by the King's predecessors. Instead thereof there is passed the Edict in favour of the Religion, which notwithstanding dependeth in the Chamber of Accounts, whereby the imprinting thereof is yet hindered. But without having the benefit of the “press â coquelaine,” as they call it, [it] hath had free passage, wherein the king as most noble is first named with the chiefest of France. The invention thereof seemed so gross unto me that I thought it unworthy of your sight. On Tuesday last, about 10 at night, M. de Joyeux, tanquam sus ad volutabrum luti, is re-entered into the Order of Capucins, which the morning following was published in the pulpit by the preacher of the Court of Parliament, to the great wonder of all the assistants, who with tears lamented his folly. The Catholics report that of two years since he hath endeavoured to take himself to that sort of life and that mere devotion incited him thereto. Those of the Religion, noting him for a man extremely passionate, melancholique and cowardly, judge this sudden change to have proceeded from some desperate humour or fear of new broils to begin in France. They allege also a probable reason of his return to that life that he was urged with poverty and at Christmas last received a great affront in Tholouse, whereof he was governor, for having procured the Sheriffs of the town to nominate thirty of his faction that had always maintained the League, out of which number the Parliament chooseth eight by the name of “Capitouls,” the Parliament, misliking the choice in general of the thirty aforesaid, nominated eight who were not in the list of election. The certain cause of his retiring I cannot avow. Only, for the manner of his carriage, the selfsame day that he took on him the Capucin's frock, I can inform you that he demeaned himself as licentiously as ever he used to do, and to take leave of the world he went to salute his mistress, Madame de Semiers, and publicly passed through Paris in a coach accompanied with many Dames : towards evening he went to the Hostel of Guises where he continued sporting and kissing Madame de Guise till it grew very late; and after having with many farewells borrowed many kisses, Madame de Guise asked him whither he went that he took so solemn leave. He answered that tomorrow morning he determined to take a journey so far off that she should see him no more. Herewith it was told him that two Capucins desired to speak to him; whereupon, after another farewell, he departed in their company and installed himself in their convent. Some of his friends that exalt his virtues, which were invisible to the world, say that a Capucin preaching at St. Germain beside the Louvre urged often the performing of his promise to God, which touched him so to the quick that he put on the resolution to die a poor Capucin.
M. d'Espernon on Monday last went to Mounceaux to reconcile himself to the King.
On Thursday last, three leagues out of Paris, a rich merchant of the same town was cruelly murdered by a financier's clerk, with the consent also of his wife. For which offence, yesterday, they both suffered, the man broken on the wheel and the woman hanged. The day before the execution, the father of the young man came to Paris in post to beg pardon for another son of his that is in prison in Rochelle for a murder also, and found his other son, whom he thought assuredly to be safe, condemned to die. This morning the bruit is, that the brother of Madame Anthoine executed yesterday hath with his poignard slain himself.
I will detain you no longer, only I entreat you to use your usual favour in recommending me to my Lord Marshal.—Paris, Mars 12.
Addressed, “to my Honorable Friend, Mr. Anthony Bacon, Essex House.”
Holograph. Seal. 2½ pp. (39. 9.)
Mr. Justice Grange to Sir Robert Cecil.
1598/9, March 12. According to directions, dated the 10th of this instant, from your Honour and others of the Privy Council, I made diligent search in the house of Garratt Swyft for writings whereunto your or any of their Lordships' hands were counterfeited. I found only letters in his own hand, all concerning his private causes, saving one letter, or copy of a letter, to be sent to you, which, as it is directed, I send to you here inclosed.—St. Giles in the Fields, the 12th March, 1598.
Signed. ¾ p. (60. 40.)
1598/9, March 12. A scheme to disconcert the designs of “the archtraitor Tyrone in the landing of the army at Lough Foyle.”
It appears, by his order given in Ulster for an assembly, on four days' warning, at Strabane, and by his preparations upon Lough Foyle and in Ennis Owtun, Sir John O'Dohartie's country, that, upon news of any fleet on that coast, he and O'Donell will draw to Lough Foyle. And his numbers will not be fewer than they were at the marshal's defeat at the Blackwater, i.e., 5,000 very good shot, 2,000 targets and murrions, 1,000 naked pikes and 900 horse, unless O'Donell, by some invasion from Ballyshannon be diverted from him. His own intention is to fight the army in their landing, the pikes and targets throwing themselves, by clusters, into the water at the landing of the boats, so that the great ordnance from the ships playing upon them shall be as “noyful” to the soldiers as to them. To this purpose he has dug trenches in the likeliest parts of the strand for his muskets, and great pits within 20 paces of high water mark, to ambush his pikes and targets in; but he tells his men that he will allow the landing rather than endure any great killing of them. He hopes by killing as many as possible at their landing, to make the rest slow to follow him up; and if he can but temporise and keep them in the field six weeks, he has a friend that never yet failed him, that is “the disease of the country, fatal, as you know, to all our nation at their first lying in camp.” This, with want of carriage and loss of our best men in ambushes, would in six weeks make the army only fit to wait in garrisons for reinforcements. “His Lordship” is therefore to be persuaded to place garrisons beforehand in strong places; so as to be able to force him to fight with her Majesty's forces while they are yet fresh and strong. The best places for such garrisons are Belfast and Tewme, in the Clandeboyes, and Colrane, in the Rowte. The first two would deprive him of 700 horse and foot “of his best risings out,” and the last of Sir James McSaiorlie, his brother Bandall, 500 of his best shot, 200 bowman, 120 horse, “besides the creaughtes of the cows that such a defection from him will instantly spoil him of,” and bereave him of his strongest fastness in Ulster, “as yourself in your personal experience of these parts do know.” These garrisons will require : Belfast, 600 foot and 70 horse, whereof only 30 English; Tewme, 200 foot; Colrane, not fewer than 1,000 foot and 120 horse. Recapitulates the advantages to be gained. These forces need not be embarked until his lordship's personal arrival at Chester, where he may wait until certified of their placing and of the effect, “which, brother, I dare assure you, with the favour of God, will not be long, neither unworthy of his lordship's dwelling upon it for a time.” These 1,800 foot and 150 horse are to be shipped from Chester to the Isle of Man, where those for Belfast and Tewme must be placed in wood boats and small barks of that island, Scotland and Strangforde, and landed in Strangforde river, near the Graie Abbey and 15 miles from Belfast. The arrival of wood boats at Strangforde being of daily occurence, they would not be suspected, and might suddenly drive the prey of the Greater Ardes over the ford to Belfast, and have the killing of Tyrone's “bonnaughts,” which are not above 200 in that country. The gain of so many cows would lose Tyrone 400 foot “besides his bonnaughts, which may hap to have their throats cut by this course by the country gentlemen themselves, who now hold with Tyrone more for fear than for love, by an ancient hatred between the Neales of Tyrone and Clandeboyes;” it would also daunt Tyrone and his followers. At the same instant the men for Colrane must land at Carrickfergus, “from whence, with the assistance of Neale Oge McIlne McPhelomye, now admitted by the State to be my vice-constable of Belfast, and Rorye Oge McWilliam, being both mortal enemies to Sawrlye Boye his sons, marching overland to Colrane, they may drive the country before them and take some thousands of their cows, and certain churches by the way, wherein there will be found great store of butter and corn for horsemeat. Besides, by the guiding of the aforenamed gentlemen and God's favour, some of the Scots may be put to the sword, which are the best men that Tyrone hath.” At Colrane, where stands an abbey and a small “but” of a castle, they shall entrench themselves, lodging the horsemen in the abbey. This will draw away, from Tyrone, Sorlie Boye's sons, i.e. 100 horse, 500 good shot and 300 bowmen; for they will seek to be received in if the governor be one whose word they trust, as they still offer their rent to her Majesty and seek to excuse the killing of Sir John Chichester, as being in their own defence. Tyrone would be forced to abandon the country between Dunganan and the Bande river, or else to employ all his men to defend it and O'Cane's country, who is one of his chief followers and gives him 60 horse and 200 foot. Sir James McSorlie, being of a very proud nature, does not stick to threaten Tyrone to his face “that he would— (blank) to the gates of Dunganan with his Scots, if he do him not the'right which he shall demand.” He is much disliked by the Irish gentlemen of the Route, who follow him for fear, and who are charged with his household and his second brother's, and with the “bonnaughts” he keeps for defence against Agnus McConnell, lord of Kentire. This garrison depriving him of his Irish followers, he must submit to Her Majesty; for he will have no means to maintain his “bonnaughts” against McConnell, from whom he withholds the county of the Glines, for which McConnell offers rent to Her Majesty. And McConnell has lately slain McLane, who kept him at war at home in Kentire; so that he is free to invade the Rowte and Glines next spring with 3,000 men, for he has boats enough to transport 5,000 at once. I know the fashions of these Scots from Randall McSorlley, second brother to Sir James, who in Sir W. Russell's time being a pledge in Dublin Castle, “I, a Councillor at that time, stood him in some stead.” In return he has sent me intelligences, and of late, when Belfast Castle was besieged and like to be taken by Shane McBryan, he relieved it, and sent me word by bearer, Capt. James Carelell, that if I came amongst them he would give me half a year's beef for my retinue, were they 200 men.
To conclude “with your Lordship,” these garrisons of Belfast and Colrane, “being by your Lordship sent in the next month,” will not only deprive Tyrone both of the whole forces of Clandeboyes and the Scots, but turn them against him, and deprive his cows of pasturage and render him unable to maintain his “bonnaughts,” by whom only he makes war and maintains the universal rebellion of Leinster, Munster and Connaught. The garrisons must be placed before the landing in Lough Foyle. Otherwise, “if his Lordship shall at his first landing here,” think good to spend some time in Leinster and send some forces to win a footing “near the bowels of his fastnesses, which is the Clandeboyes, the Route and the Glines,” Tyrone will lose thereby 2,000 horse and foot. States a scheme for employment of the remainder of her Majesty's forces. The first thing will be to make an entrenchment at Belfast capable of containing 4,000 cows, that the inhabitants of those parts may defend themselves against any running camp of Irish or of Redshanks, whereof Agnus McConell, being broken to O'Donell's mother, might bring 5,000, a number sufficient of themselves to ransack all those parts. This “bawne” might form the foundation of a town and Neal Oge McHughe McPhillime, who is to be my vice-constable there, should have the charge there in the absence of the garrison. The next thing will be to raise the fort of Tewme, and, thirdly, to make another entrenchment at Mount Sendall, near Colrane, to assure the inhabitants from invasion by Redshanks in the absence of the garrison and assure the fishing of the river.
Endorsed :—“For Sir Henry Brouncker, 12 March, 1598.' 9 pp. (139. 54.)
Paul Bayning and other Merchants trading to Italy to Sir Robert 4ecil.
1598/9, March 13. The furthering of the discharge and sending away of the ship lately brought from Lisbon with Italians' goods, so greatly importeth us, that albeit we forbear to present ourselves before your Honour in multitudes, yet we may not let humbly to appeal by letter or petition that a kind and acceptable answer be made to the letters to her Highness from the Duke of Venice, with restitution of the goods. Otherwise our goods and ships will be stayed not only at Venice but throughout the whole Seigniory where we have any trade, as at Zanit, Zephelonia, and Candii, in which places there is at this time belonging to our company and freighted by them 20 ships at least. The seizure and stay of these, both for this late stratagem and for other wrongs pretended to be done to Italians by Englishmen, will, before they shall be released again, cost the proprietors of the ships and goods there stayed, double the value of the goods brought away from Lisbon. Be a mean to her Majesty that she be informed of this peril wherein so great a number of her subjects do stand, whose peaceable trade, so long as it is not interrupted, doth bring a good benefit to her Majesty in her customs and relieveth their own particular estates.
If the Venetians fall to seizure of our ships and goods, their example will draw on the Duke of Florence to oppress all English merchants in his ports. Already there cometh not an English ship into his port of Leghorn, but they are bound with sureties not to molest any ship coming from or towards the same port, especially Spaniards or Portugals. Those troubles once brought upon us, we shall have no traffic in all the Straits, the inconvenience whereof we need not to enforce to your Honour, who knoweth that, the trade of the Straits being barred, there is no employment of English ships of any great burden. To expect this peril we have the greater cause, for that we find the Italian messenger so peremptory that he giveth out he careth not what answer he returneth withal, for that the State of Venice are resolved of means to help themselves.—London, this 13 of March, 1598.
Signed :—Paul Bayning, Edward Holmden, Richard Stapell, Thomas Cordell, William Garway, Arthur Jackson, Andrew Hayning, John Eldred, Thomas Northeus, John Bate, Hugh Hamersley, Thomas Ivatt, Morris Abbott, Charles Glascocke, Thomas Symonds, William Hawett, Nicholas Pearde, Robert Offley, Edward Collins, Robert Cockes, Richard Wragg, George Salter, Nicholas Leatt; Henry Anderson, Richard Martin, Robert Sandy.
2 pp. (60. 42.)
John Blytheman, Mayor of Plymouth, and William Stallenge to the Lords of the Council.
1598/9, March 14. Last night we received your letters of the 11th of this instant, whereby we perceive it to be still your pleasure to have the 1,700 quarters of Dutch corn made up 4,000 quarters with wheat of this country.
By our letters of the 15th of February we certified you that the same might be had at 24s. the quarter or thereabouts, Winchester measure, if we might be here furnished with money to pay for the same, and withal present order be given, no more corn to be transported out of these Western parts. We advertised also that we had bought only 200 quarters at 24s. the quarter.
Upon receipt of your letters of the 22nd of February, we signified by ours of the 2nd hereof, that unless we were furnished here of money, we could not provide the rest of the corn, those that sold at such prices doing it only for want of money and requiring therefore present satisfaction. As yet there is bought only 300 quarters, 200 of which at 24s. and 100 at 24s. 4d.
The warrant for the staying of corn hath reference only to this port of Plymouth. The like commandment should be given for all the ports of Devon and Cornwall, from whence much corn has already been transported, or the price will rise.
Mr. Bagge is now at the Court, with whom may it please you to take some course how the money may be here paid. We will do our best in providing the corn, and do hope, if present order be given, to buy it for about 26s. the quarter, which we hold will be so good cheap as the Dutch corn at 24s., the charges and foulness thereof considered, besides the difference in the sweetness of the corn.
The letters found in the Scotch ship were sent up to you by Mr. Bagge's direction.
The adventurers that set forth the man-of-war which did take this Scottish ship (as they inform us) have taken very sufficient order that the corn shall be in safe keeping till your pleasures be further known. Notwithstanding, we mean to send a man to Looe, where the ship is, to see what course is taken therein.—Plymouth, the 14th of March, 1598.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (60. 43.)
E. Stanhope to the Earl of Essex.
1598/9, [March 15]. Upon the several advertisements whereof I wrote to you the 10th of this month, of the intention of the Scottish pledges to break her Majesty's Castle and escape, I thought it the best course (rather than to rest always jealous of them) to use some means to feel their intention. Whereupon I conferred with Mr. Redhead, the gaoler, if he knew any in the Castle meet to be trusted by us and likely also to have credit with them. He bethought him presently of one Laurence Canby, a tall fellow of his hands, who was in the Castle for killing of a man, and said that if he might be put in hope of his life, he durst trust him, and knew him to have credit with the Scots. He was wished to adventure it; and Canby undertaking to feel their minds, Mr. Redhead, to give him greater credit with the Scottish men, made shew to keep Canby straighter than heretofore; who thereupon sorting himself with the Scottish men, told them he feared if he stayed till the assizes his life would be shortened, and therefore wished himself in their country if he could get out of prison. Thereupon the laird of Whitto, with some of the rest, laid themselves open unto him, saying if he would take such part as they did, and be their guide when they were forth, they would ere long undertake to get out of the Castle, and had laid their plot (lying four in a chamber) to break the walls to come one to another, and so to break the iron bars of a window and to leap down at the postern or water gate of the Castle, and so through a close called St. George's : and that they had one who had promised to receive them into a boat there to cross Ouse, and then to travel westwards towards Lancashire. And if he would be their guide, Sir Robert Carr should so reward him as he should never lack whilst he lived. He encouraged them greatly to prosecute this attempt, promising to be the foremost man in the action, and presently revealed it to Mr. Redhead; so as they having now found so fit a man in the Castle for their purpose, the plot, being but laid on Thursday last, they determined to execute as yesternight, being Wednesday following, resolving that eight of them only would escape, being the only men of worth, leaving the other seven (for one of them died four days since) as men of no value behind them. I was made acquainted from Sunday hitherto by Mr. Redhead, twice a day, how the purpose went forward, and finding them exceeding “hote of the haunte” and resolutely determining it as this Wednesday night, making sure of a boat likewise for their purpose, I sent for half-a-dozen more of my men out of the country, and nevertheless thought meet to acquaint Mr. Hesketh and Mr. Pern of this Council with their purpose to escape, shewing that I had resolved of one Mr. Redmaine, a justice of peace dwelling at Fulford, that he should gather strength to come that evening to lie in ambush off the country side of Castle Mills, and myself, with a dozen of my own men, by Mr. Redhead's direction would place ourselves that evening in a house called St. George's over against the Castle, and so near the window which they should break and leap down at as we might easily discern their coming down, and after they were all come, rushing upon them, intercept them from the boat and apprehend them. Mr. Redhead likewise promised to come thither to me after he had set all things straight in the Castle. This plot was well liked of by the Council, but that they wished myself not to be at it. The same day at noon Mr. Redhead returning to us said that some other of the Scottish men having gotten intelligence, four more of them would needs enter into the action, so as now they would be 12. Whereupon we thought meet to increase our number; and having made two commissions, the one to Mr. Redmaine and the other to my company, we resolved to acquaint the lord Archbishop with it about three of the clock that day, and required to have half a dozen of his men for our aid; which his Grace willingly yielded unto; yet not acquainting them with it till after supper, nor then whither to go but to follow me and my direction. At which hour, when it grew dark, having gotten of the alderman of the ward the keys of two of the city postern gates adjoining of each side of the Castle, and twenty of my men with his Grace's, well appointed, sent them with those keys to go in several troops to that house of St. George's, whither by 8 of the clock Redhead came to them. But it seems the Scottish men were so eager of their purpose, as not expecting the dead time of the night, before 9 o'clock got all together to the window where they meant to break out, being above four fathoms from the ground; which broken, they leapt freshly down one after another to the number of 6, whereof Canby was one. But being so timely of the night, the rest of the prisoners of the Castle not being in bed made noise, so as the laird of Whitto, being behind, and other six, having broken two doors, they ran to the other side of the Castle and there leapt over the wall, where Whitto broke his leg and there he lay. When Canby who came forth with the first company saw them down and that no more followed that way, he gave some inkling; whereupon Mr. Redhead, with those our people that were at St. George's, issued forth and making towards them drove some of them into the water at the Castle dyke, and the others that leapt over the wall with Whitto fled up along the Castle banks. But seeing themselves beset and pursued with our men without hope of escape, and Canby (who seemed to be one of their company) ready also to apprehend him, yielded and were all taken without any hurt doing; saving that the countrymen which were on the other side of the Castle bridge with Mr. Redmaine, hearing the noise, came in amongst them with their bills, and not knowing our company from the Scots, some of the ruder sort of them hurt one of my men in the hand and wounded one of my lord Grace's men very sore in the face. But light being then presently brought out of the Castle, all was appeased without more hurt, and these twelve false pledges undernamed brought in again and surely laid up in irons, saving Whitto who was fain to be brought into the Castle of one of our men's backs of his broken leg beneath the knee. This treacherous intent of theirs, my good lord, was exceedingly well discovered in time by means of this Canby; for this Wednesday at night, after I had sent my men to the place, Mr. Richard Bowes, brother to Sir William, came post to his Grace and me, ten miles from beyond Hexham since Tuesday at noon, only for this occasion, that it was discovered unto him by his talesman that the plot was thoroughly contrived in Scotland that eight of the principal pledges in York Castle would presently escape, expecting only a guide. And he perceiving it to be presently intended, came with all speed that he could ride to York to advertise it, not an hour before the escape was made; whereby it is evident both by the Scottish men's promises of Sir Robert Carr's great rewards, and this last so particular intelligence from that border, that eight only were meant to escape, that the plot was laid by him and devised from thence. The fellow with whom they practised to lay the boat to convey them over Ouse, I doubt not but to take presently and by him to learn more. And now, since the first intent was altered by some accidents that the principal contriver of these things cannot be taken in his own snare, I am very glad that it hath been my good hap so far to discharge my duty to her Majesty in this service as to apprehend them in their very escape, which I thought was meeter (though the more hazard), to the end to have them in danger of her Majesty's laws and the law of nations, than to have stopped them in the prison, though we were able to charge them that they had practised their own escape. Mr. Bedhead hath been very careful, politic and secret in this service, although to his great danger of loss of very near 300l. which they owe him for their diet and lodging, and hath wished me to recommend unto your lordship's favour the service of Laurence Canby, that either by your letters to the judges he may be reprieved from trial these assizes, or commended to them to have favourable trial, and then to be reprieved before judgement to expect her Majesty's most gracious mercy. For it is said that if he have but indifferent trial, his offence will extend but unto chance “mealey,” or manslaughter.
And, so glad that since this service commanded me from her Majesty by your lordship came not to that pass which was expected, yet that we have brought it to this good head, that as your lordship hath received from me heretofore letters of Sir B. Carr's own hand whereby to charge him that he had most treacherously laid this plot contrary to his affiance given to her Highness, and that now he hath wrought the effect thereof by heartening them to procure their own escape, being 12 of the principal men, though his intent was to have left 8 of the basest sort of men of no worth behind them, her Majesty hath the life of these in her hands—as I pray to Almighty God she may by your victorious arm have her greatest rebels in Ireland in like sort in her power—I humbly cease. P.S.—Of this accident, although my lord's Grace and we mean to acquaint the lords more at large by examinations, yet I thought it my duty to give you the first knowledge to impart to her Highness, because by your so special charge given to me from her Highness to prevent by all means their escapes, I have had so vigilant an eye over them ever since as they could practise nothing in the castle but I had always knowledge.
Underwritten :—14 March, 1598.
The names of those that broke the gallery window in the Castle that leapt out of it that day in the night.
William Hall. Robert Frissell, laird of Everton.
Ralph Bourne. Richard Young.
James Young of the Coo.
The others that being put from that place leapt the Castle walls.
Simond Armstrong, laird of Whittoo.
William Tayte.
Richard Rotherford, cousin to the Earl of Huntly.
Thomas Eynesley.
William Elwood, the elder, of Harderscarr.
Dandy Pringle.
William Elwood, the younger, a boy, one of the best pledges, got forth, stood on the wall, but durst not leap down.
Ralph Hall died a week since.
Those that stirred not.
Dandy Davidson.
John Robson.
Ralph Mowe.
Signed, Seal. 3 pp. (176. 120.)