Elizabeth: October 1584, 1-10

Pages 86-99

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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October 1584, 1–10

Oct. 1. Conrad Van Gelekerken to Walsingham.
Some years ago I sent your honour certain notes, serving for the augmentation and benefit of the Queen; and not being able at that time to come to England, I have now arrived to supplement what they contained by some other things of no less importance. But being little accustomed to a Court, and yet these matters requiring to be treated of in private, I pray you to give such orders as seem to you fitting.—London, in the house of Raphaelo, postmaster, 1 October, old style, 1584.
Add. Endd. Italian. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 16.]
Oct. 2. [Walsingham] to Stafford.
Upon advertisements from the Low Countries that the States had made absolute choice of the French King as their protector, her Majesty desired me to write to you (as I did by Long), to forbear dealing with the King according to her former direction sent by Fourrier; but as she finds that the “coorse” is not so forward as she thought, and that divers of the United Provinces oppose that choice, you are to proceed to deal with the King according to her first direction, “saving that she would have you overpass that point concerning the manner of his entering into the action,” and rather press him for his resolution whether he will join with her in this cause or no, as she would be loth there should be any stay of proceedings on his part, “by the gainsaying any way of his own disposition touching the manner how he meaneth to enter into the same.”—Oatlands, 2 October, 1584.
Postscript.—Two Scottish priests were lately taken on the sea and sent hither by the Admiral of Flushing: Creighton, a jesuit, and Addy, chaplain to the Bishop of Ross, both going from France into Scotland. There were found about Creighton “plots” and discourses tending to the disquieting of this State, as you may see by the enclosed collection of the material points [wanting], but he cannot be drawn to confess his knowledge of any other particularities, or that he was an actor in devising the said “plots,” or had any interest in them but that they were committed to his keeping. Her Majesty desires you to find out what you can of his disposition and proceedings, and the purpose of his intended repair into Scotland.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [France XII. 83.]
Oct. 2/12. Bizarri to Walsingham.
M. de Strale has lately been sent to the French King in the name of this city, and with him are gone M. d'Orscot [d'Oirschot] alias Merode and Secretary Calvaert. There should also have gone, on behalf of the States of Brabant, M. de Duyn [or Dohain], master of the posts, but he was laid up with a fever. Now he is better, and when he has recovered strength, will start for that purpose. From Holland and Zeeland. has gone M. Meetkerke with others, from Gueldres M. Longolius, Chancellor of that province, and from Friesland the same. God grant that the agreement between the States-General and France may have good success, and that they may prefer liberty to servitude and tyranny.
Forces are being raised here to succour Brussels, and for the same purpose, the cavalry of this city and of other garrisons is taken to Malines.
On the 7th, about two hundred vessels came hither from Holland and Zeeland, laden with victuals, without any injury except one scuta laden with corn, half sunk by the enemy's artillery. In spite of this, they have towed it into safety. The engine goes forward, together with the other preparations to drive the enemy from the dykes, and the fort of Antwerp is now rendered defensible.
The cavalry of the enemy at Lierre, in the absence of the cavalry of Antwerp, three days ago came almost up to the walls and carried off some cattle, some peasants and three or four burghers.
The English soldiers and captains here have lately received their pay, and the States are not wanting, so far as their powers extend, to do their duty.—Antwerp, 12 October, 1584.
Postscript.—It is said that Brussels has been succoured by our people without any opposition, for which God be praised.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl XXIII. 17.]
Oct. 3. A paper in Robert Cecil's handwriting, giving lists of the princes of the blood and other; dukes, marquises, counts and viscounts; officers of the Crown of the long robe; marshals of France, admirals, chief colonels, masters of camp, grand priors, vidames, officers of the household and guards; lieutenants-general and governors of provinces; and the principal duchies, marquisates and comtés in each province. Signed: “Finis. Robert Cecill. 3 October, Paris.”
Fr. 12 pp. [France XII. 84.] Cf. paper on p. 83 above.
Another paper, also in Robert Cecil's hand, but not signed or dated, giving the alliances of some of the great houses of France.
Fr. 10½ pp. [Ibid. XII. 85.]
Oct. 3. W. Herlle to Walsingham.
I send a packet for her Majesty containing the substance of what I have negotiated here, but the chief cause that I handle is so tough, and these persons so slow and dull, that I cannot come to any conclusion; yet I have so “laboured” both one and the other, and propounded such equal conditions of reconcilement between them, (fn. 1) both touching points of honour and division of the patrimony they severally aspire to, that I hope shortly to end their differences, to her Majesty's commendation and their own contentment; which is the only way to assure the Religion here, and to “remburse” [qy. renverse] all outward practices or forces that may have their eyes cast upon this country and haven, where her Majesty is prayed for by all sorts, as conserver of their lives, liberties and country.
As soon as I have ended here, I will repair home through Holland. I pray you to allow of a bill of exchange that Nicholas Warner, merchant, has “answered me in” towards my charges.—[Embden ?], 3 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 18.]
Oct. 4. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I have received yours from Oatlands of Sept. 19, and thank you for your kind favour and your assurances of her Majesty's gracious liking of my rude writing. Touching my request, I saw the same difficulties that you do, yet hope it might bring some good in time to me (being put to my shifts very hardly to live by my office here), besides enabling me the more to do my Prince and country service; howbeit I submit myself to your will and pleasure. I purposed to have shortly made a step over, but if my presence here in this troublesome time may do any service, would be loth to be wanting.
I have written to Chapman, who is at Antwerp, and I doubt not but he will make speedy repair over, as required. The other party is returned into Germany and will be here again shortly. My ague has kept me these fourteen days in my chamber, so that my news is the more uncertain.
The state of the country and its present government “goeth a Vaccoustumé”; what is not resolved to-day may be so to-morrow and some say that on the 3rd of this month the accepting of the French was agreed upon, and that for assurance Ostend and Sluys should forthwith be delivered to him. Others say that the Islands and North Holland have assented, but South Holland, Amsterdam and other places make some difficulty, and another bruit goes that “most towns there call out for peace,” Thus you hear their irresolutions, “finding themselves in such a labyrinth as they cannot tell how to come out, but plunge in daily further.”
The enemy meanwhile proceeds with his matters, and having settled some order in Ghent, where I hear he has taken away all the burghers' weapons, has removed his forces to Oldenborch, half way between Antwerp and Bruges, and, as is thought, will send them to Sluys, a place of greater importance than is believed, for “it may be used, with fit shipping, as a bridle to Flushing and these islands.”
Part of the sides of the river about Callo is said to be paled, so that the breadth is lessened; and from Dermonde and Lierre they have sent twenty or thirty boats, “most 'playtes' (as they term them here) [i.e. flat-bottomed boats], well armed and manned, which are entered the breach by Burgh [Borcht] and so mean to pass over the meadows to Callo, and there either to trouble the river by scouring up and down, or else to chain them together and stop up the passage. . . They of Antwerp sent up some of their boats of war and fought with the other but were forced to return infecta re with the loss of a captain or twain, besides the common soldiers.”
They sent hither for aid, and there will shortly be ready here and in Holland 60 boats, great and small, to attempt something under the direction of Count Hollack, who has been here five or six days, and, report says, will be chief Admiral. He has been at Terneuse and other places, but as yet done nothing.
“They of Antwerp are still busied with their water-fort, and two new fashion boats, galley like, that should be shot free; but whilst they are busy with their inventions, the enemy despatcheth his matters, to their greater annoyance.”
They talk of cutting a ditch on the Brabant side, to bring in the water in such force that there will be a channel even under the walls of their town, “but these be extremes.”
The English and others still lie about Antwerp, “employed to nothing, most often without money and victuals.”—Middelburg, 4 October, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl, and Fl. XXIII. 19.]
Oct. 4. Ortell to Walsingham.
I have received letters from the States of Holland in answer to mine sent after I had spoken to her Majesty at my last coming over. I have had so much as concerns her translated and beg you to show it her, for I see plainly that the States are anxious for the conference at Boulogne to go forward, and I am assured that they will send thither persons of trust and quality to confer with those from her Majesty. You will show the States great favour if you will let them know speedily by me what prospect there is of the said treaty.
They also write that they have desired M. de Pardailhan to lay before her Majesty their present state and extreme necessity, and I doubt not that he will do so. I am sure she may command them in all things and all places—notwithstanding any treaty begun with France—as if they were her own subjects. M. de Pardailhan tells me that last Thursday the deputies set forward with the said treaty, but as my letters from the States of Holland and Zeeland of the same day (the 7th inst., stilo novo) do not mention the matter I cannot well believe it; but they may have sent conditions into France, or delivered them to M. des Pruneaux, which, if the King accepts without reserve, they may then consent to. I shall not fail to inform you of anything I learn, and pray you to do the same, if you hear anything from France before I know it, that I may inform the said Estates of it.
I believe that if her Majesty would succour our desolate State in its extremity, good means might be found to do it without its costing her a penny; viz. by a general voluntary contribution from all the strangers in this kingdom, every quarter or half year, so long as these troubles last. She could advance what would convey three or four regiments over, exercise them in war, recall them and use them whenever the needs of her own State required, without cost, nay rather her own treasure would be enhanced. For it is not reasonable that the strangers living in this country in peace and having gains without measure should be so entirely at their ease, while their brothers on the other side carry the burden alone, and that returning when the country is reduced to tranquillity, they should enjoy [that won by] the blood of those who are now overwhelmed by miseries, taxations and calamities. Thus her Majesty will do a deed of pity, pleasing to God and commendable to all the world.—London, 4 October, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 20.]
The States of Holland to Joachim Ortell.
Desiring him to thank her Majesty for her good affection and inclination to aid them in their extremity, and to pray her to continue the same. Will not fail to inform her of all things negotiated with the French King, that nothing may be done without her knowledge and advice, and beg to know whom she means to send to Boulogne.
They have sent the communication mentioned in his letter to all the gentlemen and towns of Holland, that regard may be had of each point and answer made by the generality with all speed.—Delft, 7 October, 1584, stilo novo. Subsigned, C. de Rechtere.
Translation, “out of Dutch.” 1 p. [Holl and Fl. XXIII. 20a.]
Oct. 4/14. M. De Treslong, Admiral Of Zeeland, to Ortell.
I understood by your letter of Sept. 16 the good offices done with the Lord Treasurer and other of her Majesty's Council to hinder the transport of victuals and munition from thence daily to our enemies, and that her Majesty and the said Treasurer have renewed the restraint of it; yet it is daily practised, and if any are overtaken, they have their “coquets” for Flushing or other lawful places, so that, being brought in here, they are thereby cleared and discharged, for we cannot know whether the coquets are false or true. I send you two, found on some that were brought here, only to know whether they are good or not.
[Margin. Nota, that these two Englishmen have confessed that they were bound to Dunkirk, and are thereby condemned.] I would gladly have “a project of ordinary form of their coquets,” to be given to all bringing merchandise hither, with some token or privy mark, to show that they are not counterfeited, for otherwise we cannot punish them, though their practices be evident enough.
Not long ago, there was brought in one John Westeury, an English merchant, with a ship with four packs of English cloth, taken between Calais and Gravelines, sailing to Gravelines or Dunkirk. He acknowledged that he had no coquet, and the captain of the man-of-war sent hither by her Majesty to fetch the two Scottish Jesuits, having examined the merchant's boy and seeing there was no coquet, said that both the merchant and skipper ought to be hanged and the ship and goods confiscated, yet shortly after, the matter being before the Admiralty of Flushing, the merchant had got and exhibited a coquet in his defence, and now threatens us with letters of mark, if he loses the process. I pray you advise me how to deal in such cases.
[Margin. Nota, that within two or three days after the taking of this ship, there was a fair at St. Thomas of cloth and such like wares, whither it may well be thought he meant to go; for we have intercepted billets of the fair, “that there were more English ships looked for there, and that the first coming should do best profit.”]
I rejoice that her Majesty takes in such good part our small service in sending over the two Scottish Jesuits. I would that in matters of greater weight I might show her my desire to do her service. Let me know how the two Scots are sped and whether any secrets of importance are understood by them.—Ostend, 14 October, 1584. Signed, Willem van Bloys alias Treslong.
Translation, “out of Dutch.” 1¾ pp. [Ibid. XXIII. 21.]
Oct. 5. Walsingham to Davison.
Stating that her Majesty wishes him to repair to Nonsuch to take leave of her, as she has fully resolved on his going into the Low Countries.—Barnelms, 5 October, 1584.
Postscript, in his own hand.—“Would be glad to confer with him before he repairs to the court, so prays him to come this night, and “take an evil lodging.”
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 22.]
Oct. 5. Conrad Van Gelekerken to Walsingham.
Has already informed him of his coming to England on account of some “annotations” which some years ago he sent to his honour, and which are and will be of great utility for the welfare of England; viz. to extirpate idleness and to aid many now falling into ruin; for the help and comfort of the poor and desolate; to save many persons daily executed by justice; to plant many good industries in the kingdom, which are one of the principal causes of the riches of the Low Countries and are being lost by the present war; the putting into effect of which good designs will greatly increase the riches of this realm.
Means must be found to effectuate this without charge to her Majesty or injury to her subjects, and then it may please her Majesty and her Council to weigh the matter, whether to carry it into effect or leave it alone. He and his partners demand nothing for their inventions but that her Majesty may declare what part of the profits which may result therefrom it will please her to give them. Being informed that his honour is too much occupied with the affairs of the kingdom to give much attention to the matter, he prays him to appoint others for the purpose and that they may be English, so as to give him help in the English tongue.
And as, on his way from Cologne to Holland he was robbed of his all by soldiers, and so has not the means to stay long in England, he begs to know his honour's intentions as soon as possible.—London, 5 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. XXIII. 23.]
Oct. 6/16. Bizarri to Walsingham.
The loss of Ghent has brought with it many and grave evils for what little now remains of the confederate provinces, for the enemy, besides money, has found there great store of artillery, munition and ships. The navigation is now almost entirely stopped, and this city finds itself in great [straits and many] (fn. 2) urge greatly an accord with Spain, that is all the Catholics as they are called, and also no small number of those who make profession of a better doctrine and religion.
If help does not come quickly from Holland and Zeeland, with which, and with the forces here, the designs of the enemy may be broken and navigation freed, it is impossible but that great trouble or else a speedy accord shall follow.
The number of vessels they have brought this way, very well armed, is said to be 23 or 24, with which at first they came to Burchem [Borcht], a place near the city, on the other side of the river, almost over against the walls, where formerly the castle was; and from thence have entered the dykes and gone along the road towards the river, breaking more dykes in order to join with those of Callo and other forts which they hold, and thus disturb the navigation and close the passage.
The Prince of Parma, amongst other conditions with the Gantois, demanded twelve heads of the principal men, but then, by intercession [reduced it] to six and then to three, who now [rest of sentence lost].
Three ministers were cruelly murdered.
For the rest, I doubt not but that you are fully informed, knowing that wherever they are victorious they set up Popery again, excluding others from the exercise of their religion.
Brussels and Malines are both in evil case and in danger of being lost, if affairs do not take a different turn.—Antwerp, 16 October.
Add. as consigned to Sr. Filippo Cataneo in London. Italian. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 24.]
Oct. 9/19. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I send this bearer to say that I will not fail to write to M. de Gourdan about the Earl of Shrewsbury's (Cherosbery) ship and if needs be, to the King, that he may command restitution to be made of what has been taken. I will also write to the King of Scotland and the Bishop of St. Andrews for the Scotsman who is in trouble about some letters which he has lost, in order that they may use less rigour towards the poor man, if my credit may ayail in it.
I pray you to hear this bearer concerning a petition which he will make to you and the Lords of the Council for some poor French gentlemen and some young soldiers who are prisoners here and reduced to the greatest poverty and misery in the world without any fault of their own, as this bearer will tell you. And by the same means to procure the release of another Frenchman, preceptor of Madame Gillebert's children, from the prison where he is detained in the belief that he is a priest, a thing, I believe, of which he has never even thought. I asked M. Douglas (du Glas) to speak to you of it, it being a very just and reasonable thing; for I would never ask you anything that was not.—London, 19 October, 1584.
Postscript.—I pray you once again to look upon the innocence of these prisoners, who are not guilty, either in thought or deed of that of which they are accused. One of them has been a page of the King of Navarre.
Holograph. Add, Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France XII. 86.]
Oct. 9/19. The Elector Of Cologne to Walsingham.
Acknowledging his letter of September 28. and thanking him for his good affection. Prays for his continued interest with her Majesty, seeing how greatly his own affairs “import” to all princes of the reformed religion. M. de Ségur will have informed him at length of their present state.—Honslerdyck, 19 October, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Germany, States, III. 44.]
[Oct., before the 10th.] A Remembrance for Mr. Governor to move Sir Jerome Bowes.
1. To give a note of all such goods as he brought over for his proper use, “that no other men's goods may be coloured under his name.”
2. That neither he nor his men should lend their names to colour the goods of any, whether free or not free of the Company.
3. To demand of him 500 roubles which he received of the agent to procure payment of an old debt from the Emperor to the Company, which debt was not paid, therefore Sir Jerome ought to repay the same.
4. To demand the present sent to the Emperor but not delivered.
5. To inform him that Lane and Martin, his servants, did greatly misuse William Turnbull, the Company's agent, assaulting and beating him in his chamber, and one of them running at him with his sword drawn. Turnbull put up with the injury for the ambassador's quietness, which otherwise would have been revenged by the mariners, if Turnbull had but spoken the word.
Endd. ¾ p. [Russia I. 11.]
Oct. 10. A note of stuff delivered to Sir Jerome Bowes on this date which was in the custody of Mr. Customer Smith and the Company, viz:—
Four great hogsheads of squirrel skins “untawed,” whereof Sir Jerome says two belong to him and the other two to his man Fynche.
This Fynche's father has for long time been a secret trader into Russia. It is believed Sir Jerome is “shrouding himself” under the young man to escape paying custom, because he is not free or of the Company.
Also a large and a small chest both full of beaver skins, tawed and untawed, said by Sir Jerome to be the said Fynche's.
Also two great bags, “full stuffed” with squirrel skins, untawed, likewise said to be Fynche's.
Also divers small packs, loose skins and trusses with down and feathers, said to belong to Sir Jerome's servants and delivered to them without further question.
All these and divers other things, that they might pass quietly under Sir Jerome's protection, had written upon them “For my Lord Ambassador,” As Sir Jerome's men could not say which of the hogsheads were their master's, it was proposed to carry all to the store house at the Custom House, but Sir Jerome said they should remain there and to be at all times forthcoming, wherefore the officers sealed them up and left them.
The persons who were at the delivery of these things at Sir Jerome's house:—Messrs. Thomas Smyth, jun, Barker, Harby, Wright and Robert Wake, one of their agents.
Endd. “A remembrance for Mr. Governor for diver things delivered to Sir Jerome Bowes, 10 October, anno 1584.” 2 pp. [Russia I. 12.]
Oct. 10/20. Count De Montgomery to Walsingham.
Thanking him very heartily for his kindness to his sister, de Champernon, by which he has bound her whole house and all belonging to them to his service.—20 October.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with full date. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 87.]
Oct. 10. Memorandum by Burghley.
Endorsed. “Matters in conference for the Low Countries and the King of Spain.”
Poole's [qy. Robert Poley] offer to the Duke of Norfolk and the Earl of Ormond. Treaties refused.
Tergoes. Qualification. To have all the levies continued.
By forces foreign rather than by English.
Present war. Money. Subsidy. Traffic impeded. Doubtfulness of the people in Holland.
King of Spain's intention. For malice to the Queen of England; for religion; the Pope; for the Scots Queen.
Justice of the war.
John Haukins. G. Fitzwilliams. Letters, tokens.
Don Barnard[ino] advertising the King of Spain that the Queen's Majesty would be satisfied from the King of Spain for his entry into Ireland.
Casimir (with 10,000). The Bishop of Cologne. Indies. Navy of the sea. French King. Scotland. King of Navarre.
Overleaf. The King of Scotland; the French King; Elector of Cologne; Duke Casimir.
To send into Holland. Act of Parliament. The King of Navarre.
Holograph. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 25.]
Oct. 10. Papers in relation to the proposed aid from Her Majesty to the Low Countries.
(1) “Discourse of the present state of the Low Countries upon the death of the Prince of Orange. Whether her Majesty shall further assist those countries or not.”
pp. [Ibid. XXIII. 26.]
Calendared, under three headings, very fully, in the Report on the Cecil Papers, vol, iii, pp. 67—70.
(2) Sir Walter Mildmay's opinion.
Dangers if her Majesty do not aid the United Provinces.
The King of Spain will overrun those countries, overthrowing their religion and ancient privileges and subjecting them to his will.
Being settled there, he will be moved to pick quarrels with this country by his nearness to it; the shipping which Holland and Zeeland will yield him; his quietness in other parts; his riches from the Indies, increased by the Low Countries.
Of all which will follow a dangerous war, with interruption of all the traffic of this realm by sea, to the great loss of her Majesty's revenue, and “perilous for mutinies “from the people's lack of trade and “vent,” and with need of continual maintenance of a navy to protect them.
He will hope more easily to breed trouble here through the ill-affected subjects when he is settled near them.
Her Majesty letting slip this offer of these countries may never have the like occasion to stop the King's designs. Much better for her to keep him occupied abroad than bear the war at home, when he shall be stirred up by the pope, jesuits abroad and papists at home, and “like enough” also by the Scots Queen and her son.
Dangers if her Majesty shall aid them.
The breach of the ancient league, without cause given by the King.
“The enterprise not just to aid subjects against their King, and therefore against honour and conscience”; which will draw on a war between him and her Majesty, bringing with it great danger and inestimable charges, the burden whereof she cannot bear herself, and doubtful how her subjects will like to contribute to what most will think an unnecessary war.
The offers he will make to the Scots Queen and her son to trouble her Majesty, which is more perilous than any other war, “considering the readiness of their dispositions”; and his stirring up evil-disposed subjects to join with him.
His ability to maintain wars greater than the Queen's. “Small surety to find in the Low Countries a sufficient party, or steadfastness in them, seeing they are in effect but a popular state without a head, the most part of the noblemen being severed from them,” and danger of corruption by the King's large offers.
Little certainty of contribution by them, seeing how slackly they dealt with the Prince of Orange therein; and doubt how they may treat the Queen's forces, “by the example of Casimir.”
Her Majesty may deal with Holland and Zeeland alone, but she must take upon her the protection of all the provinces which do not disunite themselves, and if by the charge of the war she should be driven to leave them, then is their danger greater, for now they may make reasonable composition both for their privileges and religion, which, if they might obtain, “those countries should be as before the revolt, and her Majesty have traffic and neighbourhood with them as before, and no more danger thence than heretofore.
Endd. “10 October, 1584. A consideration of the Low Countries, by Sir Walter Mildmay.” 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 27.]
(3) Burghley's Report on the Conference.
“The resolution of the Conference had upon the question whether her Majesty should presently relieve the States of the Low Countries of Holland and Zeeland or no.”
“The arguments were very many on either side; on the one part to show the great perils and dangers to her Majesty and her realm if the King of Spain should recover Holland and Zeeland, as he had the other countries, for lack of succour in seasonable time, either by the French King or the Queen's Majesty; and on the other side many difficulties were remembered to depend upon the succouring of them by her Majesty.
“But in the end . . . it was concluded to advise her Majesty rather to seek the avoiding and diverting of the great perils than in respect of any difficulties to suffer the King of Spain to grow to the full height of his designs and conquests, whereby the peril were to follow so evident as if presently he were not, by succouring of the Hollanders and their party, impeached, the Queen should not hereafter be any wise able to withstand the same.
“And therefore it was thought good that her Majesty should presently send some wise person into Holland, first to understand whether the French King and the States had fully accorded how they should be succoured against the King of Spain, and if it appeared manifestly that they should be succoured by the French King and that he had fully assented to enter into hostility with the King of Spain for their succour, then the party might say that her Majesty would be most glad to hear that they should be relieved from the tyranny of the King of Spain.
“But if it should appear that there was not a full conclusion made for their succour, but they should, for lack of relief, be over-run by the Spanish King and be subject to his tyranny, then her Majesty would strain herself as far forth as with preservation of her own estate she might, to succour them at this time. And to that end the said party shall require them to declare their minds, with what reasonable conditions they would require to be succoured, . . . so as if the same conditions might appear to her Majesty reasonable to be accepted, they should be well assured not to be left to the cruelties of the Spaniards.”
And so being pressed to answer, the party might provoke them to offer to her Majesty for her assurance and her charges, the ports of Flushing, Middelburg and the Brill, wherein, she would claim no property but only as gages for performance of their covenants. He should also learn what the countries could contribute in monthly payments and victuals; what forces of their own they could maintain, how many by land and how many by sea.
These things he shall affirm to be necessary for her Majesty to understand, in order to determine how to aid them, for, though well disposed to succour them, she had to consider how to do it without manifest peril to her own estate.
Besides this, it was thought very necessary to procure, even if it should be chargeable, a good peace with the King of Scots; for otherwise she would be so “impeached by Scotland in favour of the King of Spain “that her actions against him would be greatly weakened, and whatever charge she should be at to retain Scotland in peace, a great deal more would be expended in defending her realm against it.
Many more things were remembered as necessary, as:—“To devise how the Bishop of Cologne, a man of great account in Germany, might be aided with some reasonable sum of money, to make head against the Spanish forces that have aided the new Bishop.”
To procure that Duke Casimir might be entertained by the States, to occupy the Spanish power in Guelderland or elsewhere.
To induce the French King seriously to inhibit the sending of victuals to the Spaniards, and to remind him of the treaty made with his brother and renewed with himself, for mutual defence betwixt him and her Majesty in case of invasion of either of their countries; declaring to him not only the intentions of the Spaniards against England but their actual invasion of Ireland.
“To devise how the King of Navarre for his titles and Don Antonio for his right might be induced to offend and occupy the King of Spain, whereby to diminish his forces bent upon the Low Countries.”
It was thought most necessary to have a parliament called with speed, which may begin the 20 or 23 of November and end before the 20 or 23 of December, in which, besides the request of a subsidy, many other necessary provisions may be made for her Majesty's surety.
The conclusion was:—
That it was better for her Majesty to enter into a war now, whilst she can do it outside her realm and have the help of the people of Holland and their parties, and before the King of Spain has consummated his conquests in those countries, “whereby he shall be so provoked with pride, and solicited by the Pope, and tempted by the Queen's own subjects, and shall be so strong by sea and so free from all other actions of quarrels, yea and shall be so formidable to all the rest of Christendom, as that her Majesty shall no wise be able with her own power nor with aid of any other, neither by sea nor land, to withstand his attempts; but shall be forced to give place to his unsatiable malice, which is most terrible to be thought of, but most miserable to suffer.”
Holograph. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 28.]
(4) Notes by Burghley.
Favour to all rebels at home by his own ministers here. Duke of Norfolk. Earl Ormond, Rebellion in the North, La Motte to move rebellion. Ridolfo sent to the Pope by the Duke of Alva.
For things past. To all rebels abroad by pensions. Stuckley. Westmorland. Dacres. Martenfeld. L. Montay (?)
Refusal of treaties. Misusage of ambassadors.
Actions hostile.
Refusal of Ambassador Wade.
His answers to such as moved. Ireland, open hostility.
Never would answer to his doings there.
Cardinal Como's answer.
John Haukyns. Fitzwilliams. Byngs.
Don Bernardin Mendosa's dealing lately. Francis Throgmorton's confession. The proof thereof by the papers found.
Lord of Portugal. East India peril.
No quarrel with any other prince. No enemy of power.
In league with the Turk in Barbary.
By Holland and Zeeland, lord of the seas and thereby the Queen's power by his ships overmatched. Neighbourhood. Glory to be acquired. A party in England for faction. Use of his soldiers in England. Reward by promises of spoil of the protestants.
Lack of power in the Queen's Majesty to resist.
No help but her own, and that but half a help, by reason of so great a party in England that favour the Scots title and the change of religion.
The helps for a present war.
A party in Holland and Zeeland. The weakness of the King of Spain in shipping. The facility to offend the King of Spain by a power of the seas that may consist both of her own and of her people that will adventure.
Many will be aiding to this action whilst the Spanish King is not in his greatness, which afterward will not.
The French King. Don Antonio. The Bishop of Cologne.
Scotland either will help or not be a party.
Holograph. Endd. “10 October, 1584, for Holland and Zeeland.” 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 29.]


  • 1. The Counts Edzard and John of East Friesland.
  • 2. This letter is much mutilated by damp.