Elizabeth: November 1585, 21-25

Pages 175-179

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 20, September 1585-May 1586. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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November 1585, 21–25

Nov. 22/Dec. 2. Chr. Roels to Davison.
According to my promise I send the copy of Count Maurice's Commission, with the Instruction included. The chief instruction in forma has been sent us, but so far those of Zeeland have decided nothing, even about the commission, which is given out in the name of Holland and Zeeland, who exceeded his commission. I fear truly that these are such machinations as are not for the good of the country, nor of the poor young Count. However, all may be set right by the presence of the Earl of Leicester, who should have letters from her Majesty in the terms of the treaty, that they are to pay his Excellency the same respect as to her own person, seeing that she will not recommend him for governor, which, under correction, she really ought to do, under pretext of our distractions, which she desires to obviate for the good of the country; and that therefore they must treat him in like manner as other Governors General, or as the late Prince of Orange; viz.: that to establish his authority, he should be invested with the chief government of the United Provinces.
Time will bring wisdom, and I believe truly that his Excellency's presence will remedy many improprieties committed partly perhaps by malice, partly by ignorance.—Middelburg, 2 December, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland V. 52]
Nov. 22. Thomas Digges to Walsingham.
Stating that the captains at Flushing are desirous to be mustered, but as he has not yet received instructions for the allowances to all sorts of soldiers and officers, he cannot make up any perfect books. Requests directions, and will wait for them “chargeably,” although he would gladly go to view the camp, as some of his friends do, “with less charge and more contentation.” Has appointed Chillester, one of his clerks, to attend upon his honour, and bring over the instructions.—Flushing, 22 November, 1585.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland V. 53.]
Nov. 22. Capt. Robert Sidney to Walsingham.
Is emboldened by his honour's favour to write so often to him and now beseeches him to be mindful of him as touching his cornet of horse. As “my lord” promised him one, he doubts not but that he will perform it, but prays his honour to put him in mind of it.—Flushing, 22 November, 1585.
Seal of arms. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 54.]
Nov. 23. Davison to Leicester.
I have this morning received copies of the Act and Instruction for Count Maurice, whereof, for haste's sake, I have sent Mr. Secretary only a rough translation. “The Estates here appear unwilling to ratify it till your lordship's coming, and with your approbation, because it might otherwise be taken as a device to restrain your authority, although the contrary be pretended. We hear no certainty of his coming hither, which seemeth to depend upon the news he shall receive of your lordship's 'diet,' if the presence of Sir Philip do not hasten him in the meantime.” Of the General's proceeding and other matters, you will be advertised by others.—Flushing, 23 November, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 55.]
Nov. 23. Sir Philip Sidney to Walsingham.
“This is a burgess of Flushing, who now begins to take the benefit of her Majesty's grant unto them, which . . . I have assured them of, namely that they should be as custom free as English born subjects; for such be the words of the instructions. I humbly beseech you to give order that both he and all such that come with like certificate from me may be well used, for else it were such a blow to my credit as I should never recover."—Flushing, 23 November, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 56.]
Nov. 23. William Borlas to Walsingham.
Sir Philip Sydney arrived here on the 18th, and was not so received as I think he would have been if the weather had not fallen out so foul that he had to land three miles from the town and came afoot from the Rammekins hither. So the captains with their soldiers and the town “received him in such manner as the time would permit.” On Sunday, the 21 [o.s.] he dined at the States' house, where he was very honourably entertained and took his oath. On the 22nd, he went to the States' house again, where they in like manner took their oaths to her Majesty and to him as governor. He has very carefully employed himself in looking into the state of the town, which he finds in some places very weak, and the garrison very small; “for that there is almost two hundred of the soldiers sick in the hospital, and I think a thousand to be too few for so great a town."—Flushing, 23 November, 1585.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland V. 57.]
Nov. 23. Thomas Digges to Walsingham.
You honour will hear from the Lord Governor himself in what state he has received this town, but I cannot omit to tell you that the rampires and bulwarks are in very bad case, the “vamures” in many places fallen down, “the sentinel and 'cordegard' houses badly repaired and most beastly defiled . . . by whose fault I will not say; the ordnance in very bad case, having neither good carriages nor platforms.” I hope that by the Governor's good orders, the town will shortly be in other case than it is now.
I send enclosed some orders for musters, which I have desired to be confirmed by the Lord Governor, and hope the bands will be hereafter maintained in good and serviceable manner. I look daily for Chillister to bring me the instructions from your honour and the books of allowances, without which I cannot make any muster books perfect. I have been sent for to take the musters at Ostend, where I hope to be in a few days “to take a view and plott of the town. . . I find it by opinion of the sufficientest men here a place of marvellous importance for many respects.” When I have viewed how defensible it is I will advertise you more at large.—Vlissinge, 23 November, 1585.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 58.]
The orders for musters above mentioned.—23 November, 1585. Signed, Th. D.
1 p. [Ibid. V. 58a.]
Nov. 24. M. de Villesaison (fn. 1) to Walsingham.
Being arrived in “this town,” we find here by your favour and M. de Vircmor's diligence three ships and a bark ready to sail. We are waiting for a favourable wind to embark and go towards M. de la Garde, whom I shall not fail to inform of you kindness. We fear however that these vessels will not be large enough to receive our soldiers, and therefore beg you to take order with the magistrates of this town, that if any remain behind they will furnish them with a good ship.
As I have not been able so quickly to carry away the butter for which you granted me permission, I have left the charge thereof to M. du Perray, my host, praying you to make out the letter again to him. If I am ever able, in gratitude for your kindness, to do you any service, I shall employ myself in it most gladly. M. de Merle sends greetings to you.
Add. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 p. [France XIV. 109.]
Nov. 24. Colonel Norreys to Walsingham.
Recommending the bearer, John Thurston, who was sent over with 120 pioneers, “in which service he hath painfully and well discharged himself.” Some few escaped from him at Gravesend, whose names he knows, and with his honour's leave and warrant, doubts not but to take them very shortly. Desires all lawful favour for him “in some reasonable suit which he mindeth to attempt, in respect of some long time spent in her Majesty's service."—Utrecht, 24 November, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland V. 59.
Nov. 24. Leicester to Davison.
“Her Majesty is much troubled to hear that St. Aldegonde doth go up and down without being committed under good guard, as he doth, except he be lately restrained. His coming thither so boldly doth increase very great suspicion in her. She was a little angry with you, hearing that you had been at his house with him and did not rather seek to the magistrates to commit him. And if he be not, you and my nephew must use all your credit that he be laid up.
“I have shipped these two days six hundred and fifty horses; I think as good horses and as handsome men as ever you saw for so many. There is near . . . four hundred and fifty gentlemen to ride them and to serve with them.
“I bring with me into Zeeland only the principal gentlemen and captains, and thirty or forty of my gentlemen to attend me. I bring as few as I can, but send the most, both gentlemen and others, into Holland with our horses. My desire is that you deal with the Count Morrys and the Council there to send some person of credit to use them well, wheresoever they land, which I have willed to be as near Utrecht as may be. . . . My care is, for that most of them be gentlemen of good likings and calling in their countries, though my servants, that they be courteously used for their money.
“I take shipping at Harwich about Wednesday or Thursday next."—24 November.
Postscript.—” I pray you let the Count Morrys know how glad I shall be to do his father's son any service, and that I trust he will love [me] as well as when I was last there.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 60.]
Nov. 25. Stephen le Sieur to Walsingham.
“As yet I hear of no order from the Prince of Parma upon the answer I have made unto the articles of examinations presented unto me the 5th of this present. The rest of my company were once set at ransom, and one of them should have gone into England to fetch the ransom for all,” but now the bailiff says he is to let none of us go till he has further order from the Prince. The four gentlemen taken before us remain as when Mr. Richard Tomson left them; “only that for victuals, they and we within these two days are constrained to live with two days are constrained to live with two stivers and a half a man the day, and threatened to have neither bed, straw, light, fire nor knives. What they will do with us, the Lord in heaven doth know. . .
“One Mr. Stephen Scarborowe, one of the Merchants Adventurers and taken with us, is released and sent to Antwerp, having left surety here for four hundred guilders ransom.” This day Mr. Bodenham has shown me a letter of Mr. Tomson's, written on the 18th in London, saying that he has been to Pedro 'Cibiur' in the Tower, whom he found in good health; and that if all the English prisoners here my be released for him, he doubts not but that the said Cibiur will be set at liberty. Adding that in eight or ten days he hoped to be here with letters of here with letters of the said Cibiur, affirming the same. Mr. Bodenham (who much wishes for Cibiur's liberty) has desired me to write to your honour, humbly requesting that this might take effect, and promising that as soon as Mr. Tomson comes with the letters, he will go with all speed to the Prince, “and so deal that the liberty of us all here, or of me especially and some others may be obtained in contrechange with the said Cibiur.“—The prison of Dunkirk, 25 November, 1585, stylo antiquo.
Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders I. 43.]


  • 1. Sent to England by the prince of Condé His latter of recommendation, dated Nov. 10–20, is at the British Museum. (Cotton MSS., Galba E. vi, 102.)