Elizabeth: December 1585, 26-31

Pages 238-273

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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December 1585, 26–31

Dec. 26. Walsingham to Leicester.
As in the great decay of our bands “there,” your lordship may cass some to supply the wants of others, I must entreat you that this bearer may not be cassed, although his band, as he fears, is greatly decayed in his absence through the negligence of his officers; which his friends mean to supply with some well chosen soldiers out of Dorsetshire as soon as they can. Therefore it may please you to continue him still in pay and to give order that his band may be strengthened till his further supply come. As I crave your favour “in respect of his 'value' and good desert, which may there be sufficiently witnessed to your lordship,” I hope you will think it well bestowed and the rather upon my recommendation and for that the gentlemen belongs to me.—London, 26 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland V. 140.]
Dec. 26. Sir Thomas Sherley to Burghley.
I know your lordship has received by Mr. Gorge and others the beginning of this journey, and of his lordship's arrival at Flushing and Middelburg. From thence he went to Dort, a journey “exceeding tedious and discommodious unto the whole company, being by mists and contrary winds detained five days and four nights upon the water, with lack of victuals and all other ease.” Since, he has been to Rotterdam and is now at Delft. In all these places he has been so welcomed and has found her Majesty's name so much honoured, as cannot be more so among the best-affected in England. The general desire here is that the amity with England may be everlasting; “and there is not any of our company of judgment but wish the same, for they that see the goodliness and stateliness of these towns, strengthened both with fortification and natural situation, all able to defend themselves with their own abilities, must needs think it too fair a prey to be let pass; a thing most worthy to be embraced.”—Delft, 26 December, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. V. 141.
Dec. 26. Sherley to Walsingham.
To the same effect as that to Burghley, above—Delft, 26 December, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 ¾ pp. [Ibid. V 142.]
Dec. 26. Ortell to Burghley.
The merchants of the United Provinces, now going to the Court to present their humble complaints to her Majesty's Council, have asked for a word to his lordship. Prays him, as he has already done the Admiral, to consider the great wrong done to them. [To the same effect as in his memorial, p. 236 above.]
As to the other two points of the treaty, mentioned by his lordship on Friday last, he hopes to bring the answer to-morrow; begging him to consider also those further points which he left with him in writing.—London, 26 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 143.]
Dec. 26. Andrea de Loo to Burghley.
I send enclosed a verbatim extract of what Signor Carlo Lanfranchi of Antwerp wrote on the 14th instant in relation to the treaty with her Majesty, it being the first time that he has ever written to me on the subject; and the letter which your lordship has, of the 17th, is the second and last.
I was the most astonished man in the world to see him, a merchant, put his hand to this great work, and then wish to give the charge of it here to my poor self. Not knowing what to do, I resolved at last to have recourse to the Master of the Rolls for advice, who encouraged me to put it before your lordship. I pray you as the highest favour that if it does not appear to be for the public good no ill may follow to me thereby. Cum prœter omnem prorsus expectationem mihi evenerit quod de re tam magna mecum tractarit, nec vel unquam quidem tale quippiam in mentem mihi cecideret. And not to fail to give your lordship some light on the person of the said Lanfranchi, may it please you to know that he is a very industrious man, powerful and with great affairs in the world, with whom I have had many dealings, he being in great credit with his Highness, and by his favour holding me in better conceit than I deserve. It may be that M. de Champagny is in part the cause of it by the affection which he in his kindness bears me.—London, 26 December, 1585 (fn. 1).
Add. Endd. Italian. 1⅓ pp. [Flanders I. 50.]
Probably the enclosure referred to:
Carlo Lanfranchi to Andrea de Loo.
I believe that though the Queen is sending troops to Zeeland and Holland it is more to confine the war to those parts and from the fear lest it should fall upon her own shoulders than for anything else, for I do not believe that she wishes to take what is not hers, or to do to another King what she would not have another do to her or her kingdom. And that if there were some who would treat with her thereof, an agreement might be reached; since discoursing with this Prince, I find him so gentle and friendly and desirous of peace that I think he would agree to anything fair that he was asked to do, to bring that and this kingdom into peace; and also, that being able to do much with the King of Spain, he would do for the quiet of the world what other governors would not wish to think of.
I shall have good means to work here with this Prince. If you find a way to treat with the Queen, I will send you a letter from me to communicate to her and not to the Council; for perhaps, learning what I have to say, she will not be displeased, and who knows whether it might do good offices, by which may be acquired praise with the world and power with the princes.
Copy. Italian. ¾ p. Without signature or date. [Ibid. I. 50a.]
Dec. 26. News from Portugal.
As the talk went in Lisbon, a hundred sail of Flemings which have been stayed there this half year mean to come for England; also there are forty “Biskins” and two argosies, with ten cast pieces in their stern, which brought Canary wines and are to go in the fleet also.
About two months ago there was very great scarcity of corn, but twelve sail of Hamburg men came “about” Scotland and Ireland, brought corn and filled the country.
“The places from whence the hundred thousand cometh":—The Pope, 30,000; Germany, 30,000; Spain, 15,000; Galizia, 15,000; Portugal, 10,000.
In Lisbon Castle, where were only a hundred soldiers, are five or six hundred. Belle Isle Castle is newly replenished with soldiers, and St. Jyllions. “The Portugals do curse the King of Spain, and say without peace they cannot live.” Sent “per Jervis de Portismowthe.”
Endd. by Burghley, “News from Portugal, unlike to be true.”
¾ p. [Newsletters. XC. 20.]
Another copy of the same.
Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XC. 20.]
Dec. 27. Walsingham to Davison.
By Mr. Killigrew, who is to repair thither presently, you will understand the state of affairs here. I find her Majesty disposed to yield to your revocation, “both for that she meaneth to use your service otherwise,” as that you may attend to your own business.—London, 27 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¼ p. [Holland V. 144.]
Dec. 27./Jan. 6. Pietro Bizari to Davison.
Your sudden departure and my going to London prevented me from thanking you in Dort for the four angelots you so kindly gave me. Not being able to do it in person I send you these few lines to tell you that your noble present was as grateful to me as if you had given me four diamonds or rubies worth a hundred thousand crowns. But what shall I say of your great courtesy and affection shown to me at divers times; as in Dort itself, where besides your royal munificence, you deigned to recommend me to the magistrates of that noble city. Truly the eloquence of Demosthenes or Tullius would not be sufficient; but though I cannot make either tongue or ink declare my mind, I shall always be most ready to serve and honour you with all its power and most desirous for your health and happiness.
I embarked at Dort on the 3rd instant, but contrary winds only allowed me to go a league in three days, and I doubt I shall be still slower. But in all this I must submit to the most holy will of him who commands the sea and the winds, and if he be pleased to prosper my voyage and return, you will find me always grateful and affectionate to you and all that love you.
I beg to recommend to you my friend, formerly captain and Waitmaster of Antwerp, who is worthy of all your favour.—From Pietershoek (Peter Ouck), a village a league from Dort, 6 January, 1586. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Holland V. 145.]
Dec. 27. Leicester to Burghley.
I have no new matter to write of, but of my coming hither to Delft, and the honourable entertainment I find everywhere; testifying the good affection borne to her Majesty. The other towns I have passed by are very goodly but this is the fairest of all, and stands exceedingly well, within three English miles of the Hague, whither I go this morning, “being glad that my lets by the way were such as may yet give me some hope of the coming of Sir William Pelham and Harry Killigrew, . . . hearing nothing yet of them. And no small luck shall I have . . . having no man either for war or peace a sufficient counsellor here with me of any experience. The only help I have is Mr. Davyson, who indeed is a very able, sufficient gentleman, and without him had I been able to do nothing. He hath done her Majesty as much honour and service here as any ambassador that I have known in any foreign place”; he hath great credit among all sorts here; is acquainted with almost all persons and places; has been through all Holland, Zeeland, Brabant and Flanders; knows every town in them and has observed all that has passed since the first employment here, and “hath kept, as I have heard by our Englishmen, a very good countenance and chargeably.”
I trust her Majesty will never have cause to repent her favour to these countries. “If any fault hath been, it hath not been sooner and more regarded, especially by sending some more sufficient than myself, or at the least better assistance than I have . . . . Both Sir William Pelham and my Lord Grey too, were little enough to wade through the dealings that we should and must have here to do. And great pity that so noble provinces and so goodly towns, with such infinite ships and mariners, should not be always as they may now easily be, at the assured devotion of England.”
And seeing that her Majesty is thus far entered into the cause and that these people comfort themselves in hope of her favour, it were a sin and shame it should not be handled accordingly. “The matter rested now upon my well-doing, not one being here, if God call me, that I think her Highness will commit this charge unto.” There should be some other here, not only acquainted with their estate but ready to supply my place, and the sooner the better. If she had all Pelham's and Lord Gray's lands and goods, they would not be so profitable to her coffers as their services here might be beneficial to her.
Touching the Brill, I hope the next good wind will bring your son; God send him safe and well. “We all here, God be thanked, have our healths exceeding well, and the country . . . nothing so rheumatic as we thought it, but the contrary; all men less troubled with it here than in England.”—Delft, Monday, 27 December.
Postscript.—“I pray you, my lord, forget us not here, poor exiles. If you do, God must and will forget you there.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland V. 146.]
Dec. 27. Sir John Conway to [Walsingham].
Lest silence condemn me, I make bold to offer you the trouble of my ill-hand, and the report of our chief General's good passage since Dec. 17, when he embarked at Middelburg, and sailed by Camphere to Armewe, where the people showed their joy by vehement cries to God for the Queen's health and happiness for sending him, and gave him a brave volley of shot for so small a town. In the night the fleet was stayed by a great mist, which held us till Monday morning, when we held on our course, “touching the point of an island lately won to be firm,” called “Williams State,” after the late Prince of Orange. There my lord rested two hours, and after he had walked about the fortification, embarked and laid at anchor till the morning tide.
The Admiral of Holland came to welcome him, and made our number near two hundred sails. We were greatly distressed for victuals, and our want had been greater, if our General had not sent out boats, whereupon the town of 'Syriczea' sent a relief of beer, bread, butter and cheese for all the fleet, “of free gift.” On Tuesday afternoon we landed at Dort, where his lordship was received “with great show of love and joy, all his companies kindly and well used; no man needed to be at charge for diet and lodging, but lavish spenders.” The town well furnished with men and munitions; twelve ensigns presented their companies before my lord, a sufficient number as the site of the town is an island, “able, if they were English and true, to defy the King of Spain and all his power.”
On Thursday afternoon, Dec. 23, his lordship embarked for Rotterdam, where we landed about six in the evening and were as joyfully received and kindly entertained as in former places. “The town not great, the buildings fair, the coming in of more state than any the rest. It hath a very large and fair temple, near unto which, in a pretty little house (it is said) was born Erasmus, that learned man, where within and without is made his statue in his remembrance, because he there lived and died; a good teacher of youth and virtue.”
On Friday, Christmas day [sic] by our computation, the Lord General and his company went up the river in small boats, some drawn by men, some with oars, some by horses, to Delft, where he kept Christmas day and St. Stephen's day, and was feasted and entertained with great state and joy. This morning, the 27th, he is resolved to remove to the Hague, where the Court of Holland lieth.
The countries we have passed are fertile, the towns and buildings of more state and beauty, to such as have travelled other countries, than any other they have seen. The people very covetous, industrious and no doubt passing rich.
They outwardly show themselves zealous and loyal towards the Queen and there is no doubt but most of them had rather come under her regiment than continue under the States and burgomasters of their country. If she please to proceed in this beginning, she may retain these parts hers with their good love and her great glory and gain.
“I would she might as perfectly see the whole country, towns, profits and pleasures thereof in a glass as she may her face. I do then assure myself (in great wonder what King Philip meant te reject them) her Highness would with careful consideration receive them and not allow of any man's reason to the contrary. How imperfect soever the people be in nature, through covetousness, drunkenness and cowardice, the country is and will be itself, and from a new and better head will with time grow better disposed bodies.”
You will do her Highness a most acceptable service, your country a special good, and yourself great honour to further this service my lord of Leicester has taken in hand. The country is worthy any prince in the world, and the people so reverence the Queen, and believe that Grave Leicester is sent for their good, that “they believe in him for the redemption of their bodies as they do in God for their souls. I dare pawn my soul, if her Majesty will allow him the just and rightful means to manage this cause, that he will so handle the manner and matter as shall highly both please and profit her Majesty and increase his country's and his own honour. His beginning and proceeding hitherto is so wise and considerate and worthy towards all parties, as . . . there must needs remain an assured hope of good content.”
But we must have men and money enough, which are the sinews of war. He will find a small number of the first bands left, but so pitiful and unable to serve again as I will leave to speak further of them. There has been a monstrous fault in some, as you will understand from him when he has seen the whole. For those come with him, too many are unworthy of him, and too few able to do him acceptable service; “yet all covetous to rule which have not learned to obey.” For his better knowledge, this St. Stephen's day, he, with his preacher, has taken good course. The preacher invited all men to a general communion. His lordship, after reading his commission delivered a brief, pithy speech and offer to all, “persuading them whereto they were come hither; what obedience and service they must put on minds to submit themselves unto; that he would put no man to that peril or proof that he would not be partaker of in his own person; therefore required every man to examine his heart and living, and . . . if any found himself unable or unwilling to undertake the service, he should depart with his leave into his country with thanks due for that he had done. . . . I think it will have a working to many a man's dishonour and to the well lessening of our company.” I fear many have come hither more through hope of gain than goodwill, and now “remembering myself, I fear I have offended in making my ill-hand thus much your trouble.” You shall ever find me ready in love and dutiful service, hoping that you will command my service that I may know you love me.—“Delphe,” St. John's day, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 4 pp. [Holland V. 147.]
Dec. 27. Lord North to Burghley.
I am more willing to perform my promise to write to you than able to satisfy your lordship with any worthy particulars. My lord of Leicester's passage from Zeeland to Holland “fell out hardly.” He embarked at Middelburg on Friday the 17th, persuaded the voyage to Dort was not above twelve hours with a good wind, or at most would not be above twenty-four. He lay on shipboard till the 21st, “punished with extreme cold and the whole fleet touched with hunger.” From Dort he went to Rotterdam on the 23rd and Delft the 24th, and to-day goes to the Hague.
“Had your good lordship seen with what joyful and thankful hearts these countries receive all her Majesty's subjects, what multitudes of people they be, what stately cities and buildings they have, how notably fortified by art, how strong by nature, how fertile the whole country and how wealthy it is, your lordship I know would praise the Lord, that opened your lips to undertake this enterprise the continuance and good success whereof will eternise her Majesty, beautify her crown with the most shipping, with the most populous and wealthy countries that ever prince added to his kingdom.”—Delft, 27 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 148.]
Dec. 27. Edw. Burnham to Walsingham.
[Gives the Earl of Leicester's itinerary, to the same effect as the previous letters. Says that while waiting in the mist, they grew so short of victuals, having made provision but for one day, “that a crown would have been given for a halfpenny loaf.”] The reception and entertainment of his lordship has been such that some think that when Charles V made his entries into these towns there were no greater ceremonies. The people have received his followers into their houses with all courtesy, and it is to be noted that not one person of all his great train has given cause of offence to any burgher or other. His lordship has been urged “to call such to account as have had the fingering of their treasures; the which, as it would cause a great contentment to the people, it would breed as much discontentment amongst those that have had the handling of it; who brave and do make their profit thereof, for the number of their officers consumeth their treasure.
“Your honour taketh care for the levying of men, and that the soldiers might be well entertained and have that which is their due. Many of these captains take all the care and study they can how they may deal hardly with their poor soldiers.” Not half that came over are now left and the companies that should be 150 are not 80 strong. Many abuses have been committed, but no doubt, God willing, his lordship will see them redressed.
In my simple opinion, Aldegonde's abode in Zeeland cannot be but dangerous. I wish both he and Villiers were further from Sir Philip's government. It were not amiss to command them both to go and live in Germany, for whatever fair shows they make, they mean us no good.
My lord will make a view of his forces as soon as he comes to the Hague, beginning with such as have come over with him.
The garrison of Flushing is too small for the size of the town; and if anything should fall out between the townsmen and us “we are likelier to be governed than that Sir Philip should govern them.” It should be re-inforced to prevent the practices of those affected to the enemy, of whom there are many in the place. In the Brill and other places fewer will serve; but this town should have double what it has.
My lord yesterday caused his patent from her Majesty to be read openly to those who are come over with him, and made an oration “exhorting them all to be obedient; to forget the delicacies of England, and to betake themselves to military discipline as well in deed as in show, and instead of fine fare and good lodging to resolve himself to hardness.” If any wished to retire, he would give them leave “as gladly as he was of their company in coming hither,” and he would command them to do nothing but they should see himself as forward as one of his authority could be. They were very well satisfied and all cried “God save the Queen and my lord of Leicester.” As far as I can see, it will be a month or five weeks before Sir Philip returns to his government.—Delft, 27 Deccember, 1585.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland V. 149.]
Dec. 27. Opinion of Dr. Dale concerning the payment of the garrisons of the towns of Flushing and Brill, arguing that the treaty only binds her Majesty to make provision for their payment in such sort that the towns in which the garrisons are should not be charged therewith, “which thing might as well be done by procuring of their payment from the States as by paying them herself. . . . And although the States do express in their declaration that her Majesty shall be further bound to the maintenance of the said garrisons, over and above the number of 5,000 footmen and 1,000 horsemen, yet is not her Majesty bounden by that declaration of the States, because the same doth add divers conditions which were not in the former treaty. . . . Neither is her Majesty bound with the subscription of Mr. Davison to that ratification of the States by any letter of credence, except he had commission express to ratify the treaty with the same qualifications and conditions” then added.
Endd. by Burghley, “27 December, 1585. D. Dale's opinion upon the treaty with the States.” 2½ pp. [Holland V. 150.]
Dec. 27./Jan. 6. Chr. Roels to Davison.
We are informed by Vosberg that those of Holland do not mean as yet to decide upon the authority of the governor-general, and as in that is all our relief, you know how much it imports that it should be hastened.
The late Prince, my lord, knew our humours and our faults, and led us sometimes by gentleness, sometimes by threats, placing his confidants in the assemblies.
His Excellency must see to it that an end may be made of it, in order that he may have ample instruction, and that besides that, with good means he may go forward, for his own safety and for ours.
All the provinces have granted executoriales to establish the authority of the Council of State, under Maurice's name. The said executoriales must be drawn up in the name of his Excellency of Leicester. As to coming more often to the assemblies, save when there shall be means of hastening something with credit, it is better not to make himself too familiar.
It would be well for the counsellors on behalf of the Queen to be here, to carry out her orders, not leaving the assembly of the States General until all is resolved upon her propositions, without being made to go out as they are accustomed to do, to deliberate apart; taking the ground that the object of all of them is the same and that it is necessary above all to work with one mind without distrust.
For the credit of her Majesty and his Excellency, above all better pay must be provided for the English, or better order taken that the soldiers may not be defrauded of their pay by the captains, I dare not say robbed!
The poverty that one sees here will make the towns unwilling to receive English garrisons. Above all, care must be taken that the pay is equal in all the provinces, both for the English garrisons and others. The beginning will be a little difficult, but diligence and skill will put all in order.
This bearer is he whom I formerly recommended to your lordship to be preferred by his Excellency. I can answer for his loyalty, and that whoever employs him will find himself well served. He knows the English language reasonably well.—Middelburg, 6 January, 1586.
Pray greet his Excellency and Messieurs Sydney and Noritz for me.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 151.]
Dec. 28. Ortell to Burghley.
A severe cold taken since I was with you at the court prevents me from going thither as your lordship appointed; but I have read the treaties concerning the payment of the garrisons of Briell, Flushing and Rammekins, and cannot come to any other conclusion than that her Majesty is to pay them and the States to repay her with larger sums at the appointed time; as is expressly contained in the treaty, and as Mr. Davison on his first arrival informed the States. And the deputies here and myself have never thought of anything else.
As to the ammunition and artillery at the Brill, it cannot be doubted but that on the arrival of your lordship's son the Estates will put all into such good order that her Majesty will have no cause to complain. I am convinced that the country desires nothing save to do her Majesty all humble services and obedience, and that they will yield in all things to her good pleasure. And, understanding the will of her Majesty and your lordships, I shall employ myself, as I have done hitherto, so earnestly that they will have cause for contentment.
I humbly commend to your lordship the complaints of the merchants of the Low Countries, for it grieves me extremely that these should cause the least misunderstanding. By such disorders, our ships are stayed at Nantes, by way of reprisals, and without doubt, if not seen to, other inconveniences will be to be feared. I hope that with your accustomed wisdom you will give such remedy as the importance of the matter demands. And I beg you, on behalf of the States General, for enlightenment and declaration of her Majesty's good pleasure on the points which I left with you last Friday, as the affair requires haste and many ships are in divers places, hindered in their voyage to Spain and elsewhere. I will come to court as soon as possibly I can.—London, 28 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland V. 152.]
Dec. 28. Robert Adams to Walsingham.
Giving a “true topographical description” of the town of Ostend, with reference to a “platt” not now with the document. It stands “between a ridge of sand hills or doones.” with the town of Nieuport to the south and Blankenburg to the north, both “already possessed by the enemy.” The old or base town is now ruinated, whence the people removed to the new town, which grew to such estate and ampleness that now being dispeopled by the wars, more than half is desolate and ruinous, and the land round so wasted that “it would move any man's heart to mourn,” especially when he thinks of the former flourishing state of the country. The sandhills towards Nieuport “shrewdly threaten the stopping up of the haven,” but by the foresight of Capt. Errington, a new substantial bulwark has been built at the back of an old curtain; the walls of the base town have palisadoes both at the top and bottom of their vantmure or parapet; the quay is fairly paved and the streets wide enough for twelve or fifteen men to go “in rank”; the houses all built of brick, though most part of them now, through the misery of the time, pulled down for firewood.
A cut has been made towards Bruges, to let in the water “at full sea,” drown the low grounds and hinder the enemy's approach, but this does not answer expectation, “because it is scoured so low with the force of the sea coming out, that it draineth the said grounds at the ebb which it filled at the full sea of the flood.”
Prays his honour to comfort and protect his aged father.—Flushing, 28 December.
Add. Endd. (with full date) 2 pp. [Holland V. 153.]
Dec. 28/Jan. 7. The Princess of Orange to Davison.
You have been pleased to give me assurance of your affection to me and the children of this house, which I have so much valued that I do not hesitate to apply to you in a matter of which I am writing to his Excellency, and which at first sight may seem to you not to be of any great importance. Yet, seeing it is the will of God, I am not ashamed to declare the necessity of this house, since it has been in his service that it has fallen. I pray you to do the children and me the favour to employ yourself in the matter, and so oblige me more and more to serve you.—Flushing, 7 January, 1586.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. V. 154.]
Dec. 28./Jan. 7. Congratulations of the States General, offered to the Earl of Leicester and pronounced in the general Assembly of the said States, by Dr. Leoninus, chancellor of Gueldres, at the Hague, Tuesday, 7 January, 1586.
Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Ibid. V. 155.]
[Printed in Bor, bk. XXI. f. 4(2).]
Another copy of the same, with slight variations.
Endd. as being on Dec. 29. Fr. 2 ¼ pp. [Ibid. V. 156.]
Dec. 28./Jan. 7. Congratulations of the States of Holland to the Earl of Leicester, pronounced by Dr. Menin, Counsellor of the city of Dordrecht, on his Excellency's entrance into the Hague, where is the palace and ordinary residence of the Counts of Holland.
Endd. Italian translation. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 157.]
Dec. 28. John Robarts to Walsingham.
According to your directions, I accompanied the King of Denmark's ambassador till the 23 November, when we arrived at Hamburg, where I have taken order with Gyles Degrave for the safe conveying the Queen's letter to the Emperor into his own hands.
On the 25th we departed and travelled together till Dec. 7, when we came to Copenhagen, where finding Lord Willoughby and the King's chancellor, I delivered your letters, conferring with them severally according to my instructions. Both promised to do their best; the chancellor wrote his mind to the King and I went with my lord to Kronburg, and there in his presence, delivered her Majesty's letters into the King's hands, which he read and promised answer as soon as might be. Next morning I delivered my instructions in Latin to the Dutch Chancellor, who I understood had the ordering of my suit, requesting him that the letters might be verbatim penned, according to the said Latin copy, which he promised should be done. I rested there fifteen days, till the King's letters, one to the four cities and the other to Hamburg were ready, when I received them from the Dutch chancellor, but asked that they might be sent by order of the King, “that it might seem to proceed of his own motion,” which he granted, and the next day sent a pursuivant both to Lubeck and Hamburg. I asked for a letter to her Majesty, but was told it was needless, as the King had written all his mind to her by the Lord Willoughby. I enclose copies of the letters to the towns whereby you will see that some words of the Latin copies are left out, “belike by consent of the Lord Willoughby,” for he told me it was best to write so at the first.
His lordship willed me to give those of the Chancery eight or ten pounds in money, not only in respect of my expedition but of some other writings. I gave fifteen angels accordingly, which will cause willingness and expedition in her Majesty's affairs hereafter.
The next day I departed and by the way would have asked if the first Chancellor [Kaas] had any commands for your honour, but he could not then be spoken with, and I was in great haste (by reason of the frost) to reach Hamburg, where yesterday I arrived safely. Mr. John Shult cannot yet tell when the towns will meet, but thinks it best to deliver her Majesty's letters to Lubeck and Hamburg. To-morrow I will deliver the one to the senate here, and the next day do the like at Lubeck, and so proceed according to my commission.
It is said here for certain that a great number of horsemen are “a providing” in Germany to aid the King of Navarre, and some of the Dutch reiters that served the King of France are come home not half paid.
I doubt not you know how princely my lord hath been entertained in Denmark. “How myself have been the first and last day placed at the King's own table; what talk and communicataion he used with me, how well it liked and pleased his grace that I spake his own Holsten speech so perfect, and how his Highness hath made me free [of] toll and custom in the Sound and all his dominions,” I will tell you at my return.—Hamburg, 28 December, 1585.
Postscript.-The King's post has just come. He has delivered the letter at Lubeck, and to-morrow will do the like here.
Add Endd. “From John Robertes, merchant.” 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 31.]
Dec. 29. Stafford to the Queen.
“I am constrained to make this dispatch to your Majesty upon the news that came upon Saturday at night of the Prince of Conde's arrival into England and the events that I see here upon it, with their dispositions that are here thereupon.
“The ambassador in England writ that the Prince was arrived very smally accompanied, and less account made of him by your Majesty, and that he doth assure your Majesty will do nothing neither for him particularly nor for the general cause.
“Hereupon is there such rejoicing here of those that desired no better and especially Queen Mother; that whereas afore she sought all means to have me make your Majesty to conceive well of their slight answer, for fear they had of the event of things; an were within this sennight in a mannering to have disavowed Pinard, whom they sent to me with it, now there is no speech but of the utter ruin and overthrow of the King of Navarre and them of the Religion, which is also egged forward the more by a letter that Shomberg hath written from Nancy hither that he assureth the Duke Cazimyr will not march, and that if the King send good assurance of that which is owed to the reisters past, that he assureth none shall come for them of the Religion. But if that which the ambassador hath written out of England be as false as that which Shomberg hath written, I shall be very glad for your Majesty's service and the public cause, for I know that which he hath written to be false and that it is a letter he hath been made from hence to write only to hearten the King. Such art they use here in all their actions, and that fruit is come of it that the [King] though by all tokens that any that know him best can judge of, he is melancholy at the very heart at it to see that by necessity he is brought to aid them that he hateth at the heart, though he love the other never a whit better, yet seeing the stream to run that way he is brought to follow it, and hath since yesterday caused six score thousand crowns to be sent to Monsieur 'de' Maine, which he hath all this while hitherto, though pressed of all that side greatly, kept back, and laughed in his sleeve to see him and his company starve where he is; and Queen Mother hath sent unto him both Schomberg's letters and them that came out of England, to encourage him, with assurance that order should be given presently for the contenting the reisters and Germans. And they have withal sent presently to the Duke of Lorraine to desire him to answer for four hundred thousand crowns to them. Whether he will do it, or whether his subjects will suffer him to do it, both these are things doubted of. . . .
“Queen Mother, I can assure your Majesty, in a very secret private conference yesterday, where there was none but herself, M. Retz, Madam Montpensier and one more, were the jocundest and the merriest that might be at these news; the Queen Mother rejoicing that now there should be an end of all, that the happiest turn that ever happened to this action was your Majesty's enterprise in the Low Countries, which so far carried you that way as they were sure you would provide for nothing else; that never any thing that you did, did them so great pleasure, for they were sure you had so many irons in the fire that you would open your purse but to quench one fire at once, and that they hoped having once the hand here that you should have time of tasting of that exercise which your neighbours have felt this twenty years and more. And withal that she now assured them that seeing that there came nothing from you, others would be cold and so their succour either very long or nothing at all, which made her assure herself that she should bring the King into it now headlong. I beseech your Majesty make your profit of this and keep it to yourself, for the discovery that you know it would discover the party I had it of.
“I do contrariwise all I can to them that I know will carry anything they have of me to the Queen Mother, as under the way of private familiarity, which I desire not to have uttered again, assure them that your Majesty doth determine by all means impeach the greatness of this Spanish faction that is in France and spare nothing in it, as a thing which by necessity you are to look unto in respect of the furtherance of the enterprise you have taken in hand in Flanders, adding to it all the reasons I can and whereof I do sometimes show some counterfeit letters of advice. I beseech your Majesty take in good part my plain dealing and my good will, and note their evil wills, which is so sure towards you as nothing can be more assured to you. Provide for it now that occasion is presented unto you so fair as you never had, and do not doubt of it but the end of their malice is at hand if you will now but help to make up the 'beetell' that shall knock them in the head. A very few thousands will now do that which many millions hereafter will not bring to pass, and in my conscience you can put your money no way out to [so] fair an interest and so great a gain for it is as you may now, for I do not doubt besides the succour of strangers, which must be the strength whereupon they all must build upon of retreat, but if you will, with a small thing you shall bind and engage to you a great many of the parts of France, and that as well honest Catholics as others. In the meantime you Majesty hath, if the advertisement the ambassador sendeth be true, a prince with you, who is in the same rank in France now as this King was when his father died; if instead of evil using which the ambassador sendeth be true, a prince with you, who is in the same rank in France now as this King was when his father died; if instead of evil using which the ambassador braggeth of, you use him honourably and well and give him cause of contentment, you bind one to you that is of the same wood that Kings of France be made of and is not so far off but he may requite it; besides you being all his and last of all you give reputation to the general cause as far as they seek to take it away, which is of no small importance; and one thing I dare upon my life assure you and upon my allegiance to you, that I do better know him than anybody in England, that though his outward show be not the best, his inward parts be better then he maketh show be not the best, his inward parts be better then he maketh show of and that he is as honest a man and as grateful as liveth under heaven.
“This my duty bindeth me to write unto your Majesty, to advertise you how I see the course of things here, and what good I see and assurance to you and your estate will follow, if you take the opportunity, and spare not for a small cost, as also the contrary if you take not time when it is offered you. I hazard rather your Majesty's censure upon my rough plainness than to let an unwitted (?) harm come to you and your estate by my fearfulness; the one your Majesty may pardon with your accustomed goodness, the other I were never worthy to have pardon for neither at your hands nor at your posterity.”
Copy. Endd. with date, and as sent “by young Painter.” 3 pp. [France XIV. 116.]
Dec. 29. Sir William Stanley to Walsingham.
My lord tells me that he has written to your honour touching the levying of soldiers in Ireland, most of which he has “disposed under my leading; which I fear will hardly be brought to pass without some reasonable imprest to soldiers and officers, and to be taken up by such as they do specially affect, whose names I write underneath” [wanting]. Also may it please you to take order for their good shipping and victuals, for their “staying for wind” and passage by long seas. In my opinion they will be “very sufficient for this place, in respect of their hardness and well training of their weapons; considering withal the weakness we found ourselves in here, contrary to my lord's expectation, being unable to put ourselves into the field without present supply. And that it may please your honour to write unto my Lord Deputy in the favour of such as are here nominated, being the most of them of my own followers, and that they may be licensed to make choice of their officers out of the old bands, such as I find we have need of at this preset.—The Hague, 29 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. [Holland V. 158.]
Dec. 30. Memorandum by the Sieur de Quitry.
The number of which the army ought to be composed to be worthy of the presence and to be commanded by Duke Casimir has been discussed, as the said Duke has himself declared.
For enabling the said army to march there only remains 100,000 crowns, of which her Majesty offers 50,000, and the other 50,000 we hope to take up in money, rings or credit.
The Sieur de Quitry, in the name of the King of Navarre, humbly prays her Majesty to give permission to whoever shall be sent on her part, to deliver the above sum of 50,000 crowns into the hands of Duke Casimir or his colonels, or some other prince of Germany, chosen by his advice, and the mediation of those to whom the King of Navarre has given the charge, to command the said army, in case he cannot march in person.
And as to the difficulties which might be made, that the desire of the French to return into their country should make them undertake the matter rashly and without sufficient number for the desired result:—
The said Sieur de Quitry offers that the judgment of this affairs, to wit, of the sufficiency of the chief and of the number of the army to produce the said result, be referred to Duke Casimir, and also humbly prays that without any delay, the money may be delivered as soon as the consent and opinion of the said Duke shall be given, either for the chief or for the number of the forces which he desires to take with him; always at about the number which has been spoken of. And if the Swiss should be prevented by their own affairs, they may take lansquenets in their place.—Undated.
Endd. by Burghley. “30 December. De Guitry's writing.” Fr. 1 p. [France XIV. 117.]
Dec. 31./Jan. 10. William Lewckner to Edward Lewckner.
M. de la Vallete is departed for Dauphiny, and has “defended” the commerce between Marseilles and Lyons, “to hinder those of the Religion of the impost they took of merchandise which passed.”
The Estates are assembling at Valence; for this city is gone M. Delange and M. Polalyon. It is chiefly for the affairs of Dauphiny.
We hear for certain that the King of Spain is making great number of ships in Italy as well as in Spain. The bishop of Paris that lately went to Rome, sent his courier post to the King of France, “who” has returned with the like expedition. “It seemeth some practice is in hand, the rather for that the Pope maketh solemn processions that he may happily accomplish a holy desire which his Sanctity hath.”
Last week M. de la Noue was at Geneva, and visited the walls and fortresses. Some provision is made there, “either upon a true fear or on untrue rumours from the Duke of Savoy; but I hope his provisions are not so ready as his intention.” M. de la Noue is now returned to Basel (Bassell).
We understand here that the King of Scots has been forced by his nobles to be ruled, not at his own will, but answerably to God's law and equity; yet we hear “that he hath been since solicited by the Catholic King to sundry practices against our safety in England, and that there be divers Jesuits suborned and gained to gain him if it be possible to their part and his perdition. It confirmeth with the answers of the Jesuits here, when they were told of the change in the King of Scots, saying it skilled not; all things went but well, for he should have succour shortly.”
The Prince, M. de Nemours (Denamoer) and his mother arrived here two days ago, and to-day depart for Paris; the Prince to marry the Princess to Lorraine.—Lyons, 10 January, 1586.
Add. Endd. 1 ¼ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 118.]
[Dec]. Printed pamphlet entitled “Lawes and Ordinances set downe by Robert Earle of Leycester, the Queenes Majestie's Lieutenant and Captaine General of her armie and forces in the Low Countries.”
On the back of the title-page, the arms of England.
Black Letter. 10 pp. [Holland V. 159.]
[Dec.] Gerard de Prouninck, dit de Deventer to [Leicester].
A long dissertation on the state of the Low Countries, and the measures to be taken for restoring them to prosperity.
The writer begins by saying that those who go to congratulate the accession of princes, bring with them willingly the most precious things they have. The bearer, whom he sends to salute his lordship can carry nothing but this little trait de plume, little as regards the condition of the sender, but for its contents, the greatest which he can offer.
In alluding to the late Prince of Orange he says that he many times complained that every opportunity of doing anything was lost from lack of authority.
Endd. “Discours de M. Deventer.” Fr. 27 pp. [Ibid. V. 160.
Dec. Notes on the relative values of English and Flemish coins.
The pound sterling is stated to equal 34s. 9d. Flemish, and other English coins in proportion.
Endd. with date “December, 1585.” ¼ p. [Ibid. V. 161.]
Dec. List of the forces in the Low Countries.
Endd. by Burghley “1585. The principal captains of English in Holland, Zeeland, &c.; and the forces of the States and of the enemy.” “December” is added in another hand. 7 pp. [Ibid. V. 162.]
Dec. Narrative by Lord Wyllughby of his proceedings in Denmark.
“I received her Majesty's letters the 6th day of December; dealt with the Danish Chancellor Kaas for the affairs of the Hanse towns, wherein I had good success. I had access to the King on Sunday after [12 Dec.], who with great solemnity going to the chapel gave me the upper hand; from whence returning, and having in few words delivered the effect of her Majesty's commandment and salutations, I laid before him the distressed state of the King of Navarre, and in what severe and forcible sort the French King is carried into the present action against him.
“Secondly, used the best persuasions and reasons I might that he would concur with her Majesty in so necessary an action; letting him particularly know that as the consideration of the dangerous terms the said King of Navarre standeth in . . . hath stirred up in her Majesty an extraordinary care of his safety and preservation, so would she be glad to know his disposition," and whether he would be willing to contribute for the levy of some forces for the said King, in which case she will treat effectually with Casimir and the Landgrave of Hesse for the like. The King asked me to commit this to writing, and the chancellor should have further conference with me.
“So he sat down to dinner, giving me the place above him, and beginning with many kind words to her Majesty, made a solemn promise that the first draught he would drink should be always to her Majesty, requiring also she would do the like for him.” After feasting me royally, he caused my lodging to be provided in the castle, and commanded attendance to be given me by his chiefest nobility, in such sort as is done to himself at speical feasts, with a diet apart and men of the best quality as cup-bearer and carver, “which, whether I would or no, was enjoined them to perform.”
On Monday I was so ill (being sick before I came to the Court) that I had to keep my chamber. That afternoon the King sent his chancellor to confer with me, the chief points of whose discourse were these:—
1. That in his dangerous wars of Sweden, the King had no foreign succour from any prince.
2. How far France was removed from them; and as concerning religion, he hoped the same God who had always preserved them would do so now. “In the mean season, if the worst happened, they might have liberty of conscience with life and goods in foreign countries. How they were to obey their own prince in all calamity, and to acknowledge in humility a wicked prince to be a plague of God.”
3. That he could not commence war with the King of France, having received no injury, as he should seem to do if he assisted the protestants.
4. The danger of drawing so mighty enemies upon his state, “since all the other princes of Germany were cold and none would put to their helping hand, which he wished.”
5. That he could not do it without consulting his nobility; who being of divers affections, “he knew not how they would conceive thereof.”
6. Lastly, if her Majesty demanded assistance for her own affairs, he would be contented to adventure much, yea even life and all for one to whom he bare such brotherly affection and entire love.
I replied that the King's war with Sweden “was a particular difference of right between them two and not a general cause as this of the religion is, wherein many princes are confederated together with the Pope for utter subversion of reformed religion and the godly princes of that profession”; neither did his Majesty solicit his friends, who no doubt would have been ready to do “all offices of faithful intelligence.”
France, I confessed was far off, but ambitious minds there, namely Guise, “if they had good success in their wicked enterprises would think the way near into Denmark.” Nor was it any breach of amity to the French King to assist his nearest cousin and next heir against the insolence of such a subject as the King himself had complained on, and whose rebellious endeavours tended to the subvertion of the crown. That it agreed with God's word to use ordinary means and not to wait for miraculous deliverance, “and so post over our commiseration of our afflicted brethren till they might haply find charity in some one corner of the world.”
That they needed not to have humility and the plague of God preached to them, but rather consolations, they having commended their lives “like simple and innocent sheep to the butchery of cruel and faithless pastors, as by example the late executed massacre at Paris, and many times since attempted might appear.
“As for the danger of two such mighty enemies as Spain and France, he might consider what superficial friendship he now enjoyed of them, for diversity of religions and affections. How it was better to be ascertained of a sound friend with mean forces than with a doubtful ambitious professor.”
That these Kings take open part with his enemy the Pope, who has decreed him uncapable of the crown; and will be much mightier against him when they have vanquished the remnant left; who, if they have any succours, will be able to defend themselves, and do reciprocate offices when they have received them.
That he should not follow the example of these German princes, who by their lethargy and neutrality lost friends and got enemies.
“For consultation, it was at his pleasure, but the imminent peril required speedy deliberation and resolution.”
For his affection and readiness towards her Majesty, I would faithfully deliver to her such agreeable news; and so we concluded, I being requested to put down the effect of my negotiation in writing, which I have done in the best Latin I had, being without a secretary.
The next Wednesday, the Chancellor came to conduct me to the King's presence, who commanded him to deliver to me his pleasure, which was that there was nothing he would not willingly take in h and to show his love to her Majesty, but he was most sorry that, as things fell out, he could not satisfy her request, especially in a cause he affected so well himself; praying her to consider well the weighty reasons in his declaration under his hand and seal, “which relation, as it was then delivered me is hereunto annexed, following the answer to my writing presented the Sunday before.”
4. pp. [Denmark I.75.]
1. Lord Willoughby's relation of the objects of his mission. Holograph copy. Latin. 3 pp. [bid. I. 75a.]
2. Reply of the King of Denmark, giving his reasons for not complying with her Majesty's request.—Kronburg, 14 December, 1585.
Signed by the King. Latin. 5 pp. [Ibid. I. 75b.]
The whole endorsed by Willoughby “A relation of my proceedings in Denmark, anno 1585.” [See p. 217 above.]
[1585, Dec. ?] (fn. 2) A rough pen and ink map of Bommell, showing “the old church”; “Sattingam Burse”; the “gutt”; the course of the river Maas, and “the drowned land.”
Endd. “A plot of Bommell.” 1 p. [Holland V. 163.]
[1585, early in ?] Paper endorsed by Burghley “Commodities and discommodities of the traffic between England and the Low Countries.”
The commodity to England is that the Low Countries are the great vent for her trade; the discommodity, that the country is so near “as every man . . . becometh a merchant, be he never so unskilful”; that few English ships are set on work; that prohibited goods are carried over and that customs are evaded.
The great gain of the Low Countries is “the double commodity” of the great import of goods into their country both from England and from other nations, who mutually resort thither to buy. Also, their mariners and navy are greatly “maintained” by the permission to fish upon the English coast, and “by carrying to and fro of commodities of all nations” as is shown by the great increase of mariners of late years in Antwerp and other places, “and the rulers of the towns are fain to give place to them and dare not offend them.”
Also, their rents are enhanced; there is great resort of people by reason of the English traffic, and the excise (their chief revenue) is so much increased “as the towns there have and are able to make sumptuous buildings, cut rivers out of the main land and do such things of charge as were much for a prince to do.” And the towns are marvellously peopled by artificers and the artificers enriched.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 164.] [Date very doubtful.]
[1585, May ?] P. de Çubiaur to [Mendoza ?].
Bodnam has written me that this practice shall be done without doubt, so I have given him 1,000 ducats, 600 of which he has already received. He told me here by word of mouth “that there was another, one of the Queen's men belonging to the navy, whose name he would not declare unto me, because, said he, he is known already unto your master.” I meant him to have gone himself with my letter, and advise me what you determined, but he is base-minded, and has more mind to get a hundred ducats in merchandise. For the same purpose I had here Philip de Orio and paid his charges, and to this man I have given about 3,500 ducats and other charges, looking only to the service of God, his Majesty and his Highness; “considering that this part of the country doth import more than all the rest, and yet they never have made account thereof, my heart is sad.” If his Highness will ordain it, it may now be done, “and we can discover it, by reason the nights be short and calm; and as our men must go under two decks, if you stay till the heat increase it will annoy them.
“Here we stay from day to day to understand what you will write. What a carelessness is this in a thing of so great weight. Here is so many spies, doubts and mistrustings, and such watching that his Majesty should not possess that place nor no other, because they know that shortly after they shall have troubles. Therefore I have my care here and not in Flanders.
“If you do determine, it is needful, in my judgment, that first you make some diligent proofs, going continually with ships of war to 'score the cost'” [qy. scour the coast]. There must be one captain general to command all, who must come with his 300 or more if he can carry them; “and that he only know of it, and have order to go aboard with us and he can let him come to Margate and there sometimes cast anchor, and that from thence they give advertisement to them of Dover and Sandwich, if there be any ships of victuals, and that you accompany with them until the mouth of the haven of Dunkirk.
“According to the things that here passeth, and the fear that they have of revealing, I am sure that presently they will understand that there hath been embarked so many Spaniards, and that there hath gone forth so many barks, and that they will think they come to land in some place, and by and by they will give alarum throughout all the realm, and presently will come forth some of the Queen's ships, and so you must tell the captain-general and all the rest of the captains, if there come any of the Queen's ships, that they do not fly, but lie still, and that they 'amayne' their sails and say unto them that their coming thither is to do no hurt, but to keep the poor Englishmen that go with victuals and merchandise; and when they see they do no harm and go in and out and be known, they will not care nor make no account, and then safely they may come to Margate, and there in a night take in the people coming from thence. . . .
“Seeing it hath cost me so much money and pains, I will not lose this advantage, and if in Margate they can give us the people now in summer, because I will not adventure to go in and out to Dunkirk September once past.” There is great reason you should arm out and send to the Downs and Margate a couple of the biggest ships, that can carry most men, and that they find means that we may receive the people by night. I have spent all I am able and suffered injuries of many a knave, “and none have spent a rial of plate but I, and they have not adventured nothing, nor done their duty [till] his Majesty have enough.”
I am advertised by a courier that Secretary Walsingham called him to him and asked him if when despatched by the merchants he would take a letter to Captain Yorke at the camp; “and he would not go because they are heretics and knaves. I know not whether he would have given him some order to kill his Highness.” They will no doubt in some way send that letter, therefore his Highness must put a person of trust about Yorke, to see what he receives and says and does; “and that he trust no Englishman, and that Westmorland take heed to himself.”
Endd. “Copy of 'Cebure's' letter deciphered, 1585.” 1½ pp. [Spain II. 53.]
Probably written at the beginning of May, just before he was arrested.
[1585, May ?] Paper in Walsingham's hand, headed “A memorial for Phillyps.”
“1. To cause articles to be set down for the examining of Taxis.
“2. To cause 'Sebure' to explain the doubtful places of the letters.
“3. To set down the imperfections of his answers.
“To will him rather to deal plainly than to profess to deal plainly when we know he dealeth doubly.
“That he do especially declare his knowledge of those things that concern this estate.
“That I find it strange, having been discovered many ways to have been so evil instrument in this estate, he should [think ?] that he should [be] free for his costs (?) by Bertye, having given no cause to deserve the same.
“That he be admonished to take heed how he abuse the favour hath been showed unto him.”
1 p [Ibid. II. 54.]
Endorsed with minutes by Phelippes:
Jaques Corneillis to be sent for.
Palavicino to be advertised of what Subiaur writes of Signor Cronari [qy. Cornari], “who showed me great favour in Spain.”
“Bateman advertised Subiaur sithence his being in prison how the Lords had examined him straitly concerning his dealings with the said Subiaur.
“That Joyse van Harpe be examined what money he hath had of the Earl of Arundel to exchange over,” as Subiaur writes to Mendoza that he doubts Von Harpe has betrayed the Earl in more places than one.
Bateman bid Subiaur take heed of Van Harpe, as he was a friend of Justice Young's.
Jhan Manier (?) and one Stephen and Cornelius carry letters for Subiaur and trusted of him.
[Sept. ?] Mauvissière to Signor Florio.
I send you these few words for “M. de Raglay,” which you will present to him, to ask him if he will come to-morrow evening to sup or dine with the Sieur Gozi; for I cannot go to the Court until Wednesday, on account of important business; and also because Madame de Chasteauneuf will be there. I will return with M. de Raglay on Wednesday if he will come to-morrow, and he shall arrange everything as he likes. M. Gozi eagerly expects him. Do all you can, and return here to-night, but quietly, so as to save your horse. Give my remembrances to all my friends, both gentlemen and ladies, and to the Admiral.
Postscript.—Do whatever you can for Gyrault.
Add. Endd. in pencil, “1585.” (fn. 3) Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 119.]
Oct. 3/13. A long notarial instrument drawn up by Cosmo Cavalho.
With certificate that it was written by the said Cosmo Cavalho as Lisbon on the above date, signed by John Laylarte (?) Consul, Robert Flick, William Lane and two others.
Portuguese. 5½ pp. [Portugal II. 16 bis.]
Found amongst the Spanish papers, under a wrong date.
[1585 ?] Charles Thynne to Walsingham.
I have not yet done any service whereby I might deserve to be known to your honour, but as I may now be able to give some light and help to the danger of this time, I hope the offer of my duty may be acceptable to you. Besides, having opened it by Mr. Hakluyt's means (whom I know to be faithful and secret) to the ambassador, his lordship has willed me to declare it to you and deal therein according to your direction.
“The matter is this. I have been sought unto by a Jesuit, the Spanish ambassador's confessor, who, understanding that I appertained unto Sir Walter Ralegh somewhat near, did judge that I was not altogether ignorant of the Court of England and that I should, at my return be able to do something with him.” After many questions, such as how I liked the Church of England in respect of the Church of France &c. he took occasion to dispraise the one and praise the other, and ministered to me certain points of religion, in which I seemed to uphold his humours, to see what he would say. Afterwards haunting my lodging, he conceived a good opinion of me and had great hope that I would become one of his flock; and growing more familiar, asked me in secret whether I would be content to speak with the Spanish ambassador; which I refused with thanks, alleging the danger I should incur if seen in his company. He has also sounded me about Sir Walter Ralegh, saying “that her Majesty's life was not immortal, and that he marvelled that whereas the King of Spain was shortly to take possession of England, Sir Walter Ralegh, whose state then should be most uncertain, doth nevertheless undertake voyages to seek to hinder the Spaniards, and doth daily show himself an enemy to the Catholics; adding thereunto that it was nothing to be favoured of her Majesty, in respect of being favoured of the King of France and especially of the King of Spain; who gives more in one day to his favourites than the Queen is worth.” To the which I answered that indeed he was greatly favoured of her Majesty, and although he were not so rich as the favourites of richer princes, I thought he was well contented. Having certified my lord ambassador of this, he has caused me to write to know your honour's opinion, and whether I might have liberty from you and Sir Walter (to whom also I have written) to sooth this confessor in his propositions. I am the bolder to offer my service because I see the small number of those who, having good affection to their country, can have access to that ambassador, the mortal enemy to our State. And it may be that by frequenting his company, I may have opportunity to sound his meaning, or some part thereof. If I am to do so, I desire your direction in writing, how far and in what sort I shall proceed; but if you command me not to deal therein I humbly beg you to accept my goodwill to be employed by you in any affair that my private fortune and ability may be able to undertake.—Paris [Undated].
Add. Endd. in pencil [1585]. 2 pp. [France XIV. 120]
[1585.] Inventory of goods belonging to M. de Mauvissière, in a ship taken by one of Flushing and an Englishman after his departure from England.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. XIV. 121.]
1585. “A note of the King of Navarre's forces, both of horse and footmen.”
1 p [Ibid. XIV. 122.]
“A Sonnet upon the breaking out of those of the League, 1585.”
” Vous dont la saincte frenaisie
L'ambition, la jalousie
Tient un grand peuple revolté:
Est ce la vostre saincteté?”
“Viennent donc de Dieu les tempestes
Foudroyer vos rebelles testes,
Supplice par trop meritée
Pour fin de vostre saincteté.”
Endd. as above. 14 verses. [Ibid. XIV. 123.]
Memorandum by Sir Joseph Williamson that in this year great “humours” were stirred up in France by the Leaguers, and Sir Thomas Leyton was sent by Queen Elizabeth to the French King, and M. de Champernon to the King of Navarre. Abstract of their instructions.
Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XIV. 124.]
[No year date.]
March 6.
M.D. to her cousin Maria G.
Jesu Maria. I send this letter to greet you and to thank you for all your pains and care on my behalf. You wrote to ask whether I had forgotten all my Latin, or was making progress therein. I thank God I have not forgotten it for the sake of vanities, but hope to progress in it for the love of God. I congratulate your happy state, and say, as my Saviour said: Mary has chosen the better part, which shall never be taken away from her. You too have chosen this better part which shall never be taken from you. May God grant me grace likewise to make choice of such a blessed life. My humble commendations to you and my cousin Anna, to whom I offer thanks for the great trouble she has taken for me.—6 March. Signed, “Tua congnat[a] M.D.”
Add. to her very dear cousin M.G. Seal, lion rampant. Latin. ½ p. [France XIV. 125.]
Ed [—] to her cousin Maria.
To much the same effect as the preceding. Has long expected to hear from her, and often wished herself with her, but wishes have not availed. Thanks God all their friends are well. Sends greetings to her cousin Anna Brooke, and asks them both to remember her in their prayers. Undated. Signed, “Tuacognata. Ed” [torn].
Add. to her dearest cousin Maria. Seal of arms. Latin. ½ p. [Ibid. XIV. 126.]
The date of these two letters is quite uncertain.
[1585 ?] Paper on coinage, the rate of exchange &c. in the handwriting of Horatio Palavicino.
Endd. by Burghley “Palavicino,” and in a later hand “1585.” Italian. 1 p. [Holland V. 165.]
1585. Brief state of the garrisons which (under correction) ought to be maintained in the United Provinces, and of the means of the said Provinces.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. V.166.]
[1585 ?] Document entitled “Errors in government” [in the States]. Under the marginal headings:-
Want of one head.
The said head, whilst it continued.
Want of counsel.
Want of due course of collecting, disposing and issuing of treasure.
Want of power convenient in the Council of State.
Inequality of pay to men of war.
Over large jurisdiction of the Admiralty.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 167.]
[1585 ?] Petition of M. de Cauwdeburg, that having lent the States about 23,000 guilders, in satisfaction whereof he was granted a third of what accrued from confiscation of such victuals, munitions of war &c. as he should find and prove to have been sent to the enemy by the inhabitants of the Low Countries, conveyed without licence through English ports, contrary to the edict on that behalf, and for the recovery of which he might proceed against the transporters by arrest or any other course of law:—And forasmuch as divers “making their entries in the ports, for England and France,” convey their goods to Calais, Boulogne, Dunkirk and Nieuport:—
That he may have a note from the customers of the ports “here” of all such entries; letters to the officers of the ports to be assisting to him in his search, and a like letter from the Lords to Lord Cobham.
Endd. in later hand, “M. de Cawenburg's requests” &c. [The number 85 occurs in the endorsement, but it is doubtful whether this is a date.] 1 p. torn. [Holland V. 168.]
[1585, between Leicester's appointment and arrival.] Notes concerning Holland and Zeeland and the land of Utrecht. Treating of situation, strength of the towns, number of ships &c. &c.; how best to prevail against the enemy &c.
Says it is notorious that after the loss of Zieriksee the country found itself in great perplexity; so much so that the late Prince [of Orange], as the writer has heard him say, was in great doubt what he should do, until the other provinces, now disunited, set themselves against the Spaniards, being aided by the death, so miraculously happening, of the Grand Commander [Requesens]; soon after which the pacification of Ghent was concluded, in which the said country was included, and by virtue of which the Spanish King was constrained to withdraw all the Spaniards from the Low Countries.
Recalls the proceedings of the Duke of Alva, up to the siege of Leyden, to prove the importance of making sure all the frontier towns, which cannot be done without garrisons. Therefore his Excellency will do very well, on his arrival there, to negotiate with the frontier towns separately, representing to them their danger if they do not quickly take good advice; how other towns have fallen into the enemy's hands for want of garrisons. Also that he hopes that better order will be kept and the soldiers already in garrison held in better discipline, to serve as examples to others and to remove all occasion of sinister thoughts from the burghers.
There are 29 places to be provided for [list given], not including Walcheren, which will be treated separately, of which the most important, in relation to the sea, are the Brill, Texel, Enchuysen and Amsterdam; and on the land side, Ter Goes, Ter Thole, St. Geertruydenberg, Dordrecht, Gorckum, Hoesden, Bommel and Utrecht. [Discusses in detail the question as regards these towns.]
Concerning payment, he does not wish to touch upon her Majesty's finances, but will only say that if his Excellency will investigate the matter, hopes he would find that by making a small imposition on foreign beer, wines, corn, salt and oats, he will have means to entertain a camp of 20,000 men. I remember well that the late Prince often tried to do this, but could never accomplish it, although by strong reasons he showed the truth of it. As to provisions for the garrisons, the country could furnish beer, fish, cheese and butter, and Amsterdam alone could supply corn; besides the flesh which might be brought from Frise and England.
The maintenance of the garrisons is important, not only for the safety of the country but for the preservation of his Excellency's authority.
Moreover, it would be well for him, immediately upon his arrival, to erect a chamber of finance, consisting of persons pleasing to him, not only to manage the revenues of the country, but also what her Majesty means to employ there on her part.
There are four principal outlets of the country 1. The chief, Walcheren. 2. By Enchuysen and Amsterdam. 3. The passage of the Rhine, Waal and Meuse. 4. The Scheldt. By these the country is preserved.
The first, concerning the navigation to the Westward, may be secured by putting competent garrisons into Flushing and Rammekens, making a fort on the canal of Middelburg, and for better assurance putting garrison into Terveere and Armuyden, seeing that the island is the great key of the country.
To secure the second “issue,” serving for navigation to the Eastland, it would be well to make a firm alliance with the King of Denmark and the Hanse Towns, and above all, money would be well spent in securing the important town of Embden.
The third outlet depends on the preservation of Bommel, Hoesden, Wyck, Rhenen, Wageningen, Arnhem and a place belonging to the Duke of Cleves called Tolhuys, where the Waal and Rhine separate. As to the Meuse, it is at present of no use, as the enemy holds Maestricht, R[ur]emunde and Nymegen.
As to the fourth outlet, towards Brabant and other provinces towards the south, it should be very well guarded, being exposed to the jaws of the wolf, to which end it would be well to see whether Martensdyck and Willemstat might be made of use.
Finally, his Excellency would do well on his arrival to negotiate with each town particularly; the enemy should be cut off from victuals, both by sea and by land; his Excellency must secure the persons of those in the country well-affectioned to the enemy, or if only suspected, find some pretext of merchandise or public offices to send them into this kingdom or elsewhere; it would be well to put governors or other officers into some of the towns without garrisons who, without meddling with their affairs, would be able to inform themselves of what was passing.
And as the Low Country is a member of the Empire, it would not be amiss for her Majesty or his Excellency to send to the Protestant Princes to inform them of their reasons for what they have done, and to have resident with them certain persons by means of whom they might understand the “success” of the affairs in those countries, and with whom his Excellency might keep good correspondence.
In conclusion, I pray that my prolixity may be taken in good part, for this enterprise being of great consequence it must not be done piecemeal, but in good earnest, and we must firmly hope that in a cause so just God will not abandon us, but will support his Excellency in all his actions; as I pray with all my heart. Amen.
Endd. Fr. 14 pp. [Holland V. 169.]
[1585.] In 1577, on 5 December, Gebhardt, Archbishop and Elector of Cologne, bound all the subjects of his diocese, and among them the town of Berck [Rheinberg], by an oath of allegiance. At the beginning of February, 1582[–3], owing to a conspiracy, the Spanish army entered the Archbishopric and the Elector yielded to his enemies. Adolf, Count of Neuenaar, then at Bonn, offered him his services, was appointed guardian of the Lower diocese, was paid 12,000 dollars and allowed the use of all stores in the arsenals there. When the men of Berck refused to admit the Count as governor, he occupied the town with his forces and garrisoned it. Meanwhile the Elector went to Westphalia and to Heidelberg, where he contracted with the Elector Louis, now deceased, and his brother, the Palatine, John Casimir, to supply a no small force of horse and foot.
Last year, 1584, when Count Adolf was elected governor of Gueldres and Overyssel, and was obliged to go with his whole household to Arnhem, he left no governor in Berck and Urdingen, but arranged with Thomas, Baron Krichingen, to undertake the governorship of those places. The Elector thereupon appointed him governor of Berck (for in his contract with the Count he had reserved, among other things, the right of appointing governors and magistrates). When the Baron showed his letters of appointment to the magistrates of Berck, the commander, Hernhoff, at first promised obedience, but afterwards sent some of his men to the Court at Arnhem, and one morning, when the Baron gave him the keys to open the gates, forty horsemen burst in at the gate where Hernhoff's men were on guard, and occupied the market place. Thereupon Hernhoff occupied the citadel, kept the keys and refused to obey the governor, who was forced to leave the town. Soon afterwards Theodore Eilius, the Rector (vulgarly called the Drossart), also appointed by the Elector, was imprisoned in the citadel. As a consequence, Urdingen was soon taken by the enemy.
The question is whether the Count, in virtue of his commission from the Elector, or in view of the above-mentioned contract between the Elector and Duke Casimir, was entitled to act against the Baron and Eilius, nominees of the Elector, exclude the Elector from Berck, use all the profits and rents thereof at his pleasure and treat everything as his own.
Latin. 2 ¾ pp. [Germany, States III. 87.]
[1585 ?] The Queen to the Landgrave of Hesse.
We doubt not but that you are informed of the faithful service which the Sieur de Combes, the bearer, gave for fourteen years to the late Prince of Orange, in recompense of which the said Prince and the States General assigned him a perpetual pension of 200 crowns. This was paid up to the time of the Prince's death, at which time he was a prisoner, because of his services to him and the States. For three years he was in the hands of the Prince of Parma, and after his deliverance, as Prince Casimir knows well, he was taken in the town of Bonn. Having been released and sent into Holland he found only ingratitude on the part of the States, as is their usual way with honest men who did good service to the Prince and to them. He retired into England, where, from compassion, we employed him in certain affairs, of which he acquitted himself well and faithfully. He is worthy of recognition and employment and we beg you to show what favour to him you can; while we ourselves will not fail to assist him as we have done hitherto.
Note or draft for a letter. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 88.
[Date very uncertain.]
Memorandum. That Mr. John Herbert (Judge of the Admiralty) was sent to the Polish King in 1584, 85, to procure a residence in Elbing for the English merchants trading to those parts, with liberties and immunities belonging to a Society of Merchants.
Endd. ½ p. Apparently in late 17th cent. hand. [Poland I. 39.]
[1585 ?] “Bundle A.” Notes of “proceedings with those of Elbing upon offer made by them of their city for our merchants to repair unto, 1582.
“1. Attestation of the public notary of Danske touching the speeches of John Hancthon.
“2. Project of the articles for the privileges of Eastland.
“3. Mr. Dr. Hammond's opinion touching the trade to Elbing.
“Privileges between those of Danske and the merchants of England.
“Divers letters from the Senate of Danske and Lubeck from and to the King of Poland and the Elbingers and from Daniel Rogers.
“Bundle B.” Mr. Herbert's negotiation with the King of Poland for settling the trade at Elbing.”
List of documents.
pp. [Ibid. I. 40.]
[? End of 1585.] (fn. 4) John Finch to the Lords of the Council.
Petitions that in Feb. 1584[–5] he went into Russia, and at his coming to Moscow was immediately cast into prison, and so hardly dealt with, that being with great difficulty released he was constrained to leave the country. Arrived in London in October following and not long after was sent for by the Russia merchants, to be examined touching the dealings of their servants in that country, and was sworn the 13 of November last by Mr. William Fleetwood, Recorder of London. Divers of the interrogatories “touched the lewd behaviour of one Jerome Horsey, sometime the said Company's servant and before that one of their prentices.” Was forced to declare the truth of everything; since which time the said Horsey is arrived in England, and hath heard what petitioner said touching his inhuman dealings in those parts towards divers Englishmen, which Horsey alone had procured petitioner's imprisonment, telling him “he would cause his flesh to be shred as small as herbs to the pot” and that he should never return to England alive, which he would have brought to pass had not petitioner found better friends.
At his coming out of Russia, he was forced by illness to leave a brother of his in those parts, whom Horsey on his return thither “will not stick to make away by some cruel means,” to revenge himself upon petitioner as he has done upon others, namely Thomas Winnyngton, who, being examined here in like manner, the said Horsey would afterwards have caused him to be knocked on the head and flung into the water, but for one Wm. Turnbull, as Horsey himself has confessed. And furthermore, has threatened that if either John Hynson or Philip Beare, sometime the Company's servants, came into Russia, he would have them “whipped upon the strappado, and so laid to the fire, according to the torments of those countries,” only for certifying the truth to the Company. Likewise Horsey cruelly caused one Tritiacke, a Russian servant of his, to betray one John Hornby, an Englishman, who was sent by Robert Pecocke, the Company's agent in those parts, with letters to the said Company concerning Horsey and others, causing him “to be brought back in irons, drawn upon the strappado, there miserably whips with wire whipts, and afterwards laid to the fire” . . . as the said Hornby (sic) himself hath confessed.” Prays their lordships to call the said Horsey before them and charge him that petitioner's brother may not be any ways injured by him, but suffered safely to depart out of the country.
Endd. with brief note of purport of the petition. ¾ p. [Russia I. 22.]
[End of 1585 or beginning of 1586.] Proposal made to M. Davison, her Majesty's ambassador.
Following the discourse which Jan de Louvain and Henry Fiefuet (?) had yesterday with your lordship, and that you were pleased to desire us well to consider the importance of the matter treated of with you—after having seriously discussed it and debated it with myself, weighing the dangers and difficulties there may be in putting it into execution, seeing that by God's favour, I have had the honour to talk with distinguished personages, experienced in such matters, as his late Excellency of noble memory, his late brother Count Louis of Nassau, the late Admiral Teligny, M. la Noue, M. de Bricquemaut and others, where I have heard discussed the dangers, and on the other hand the profit which might ensue, if the affair were conducted with prudence and discretion; having been employed, with others, in many and diverse places to execute enterprises, I have seen and known how often our said Prince and lord was prevented from carrying out what he had well and carefully resolved upon, because the captains employed did not furnish and bring the number of men they had promised—may it please you to consider what is declared as follows.
Firstly; after Jan de Louvain shall have treated with the proper parties for the execution of the said business, and the time and day are fixed, there should be ready at Ostend, Sluys or some other place a man of war, which each day should cruise along the coast of Flanders, to hear the signal which shall be made, if it pleases God to bless the labours of those who have the affair in hand, which signal should be so made, either by the sound of a loud bell or by the firing of cannon, as shall be resolved; and that without delay may be sent the succour with the money, in order to take possession of the place.
Item. The soldiers who are to take possession of it should be led by discreet and wise persons, who would at once start for the place, should have ships and victuals ready to conduct the troops; to avoid all dangers which might arise if suspicion should be bred either from France or, on the other side, of the enemy.
Item. To have good and sure correspondence, we must have some qualified persons at Dover, Sandwich, Sluys, Flushing and Ostend to receive letters, and this in consideration of the time and change of wind, to avoid the delays which might follow if the letters were not sent on the day named.
Item. About three or five hundred troops should be at Ostend, awaiting the time of execution; and others at Sluys or Flushing, and this in such number as to be able to secure the place, which will be at the discretion of his Excellency and your honour.
Which soldiers or chief should know nothing of the enterprise except to have some sign or letter not to be opened until the day when the countersign is brought to them, when they should at once march with all diligence.
Item. To give the more courage to the undertakers and executors of the matter, they should be promised that they shall have (besides what you have promised to each of them) the goods and furniture of the lord of the place, as silver plate, money and accoutrements belonging to the said lord and his wife; without claiming other pillage or rights than what has been promised them, or touching any munition of war, either offensive or defensive, or anything else of what sort soever, except so much as shall be necessary to conduct them into a place of safety, each with his arms, baggage, wife and children. Which goods of the lord should be distributed to each according to his pay and entertainment, in order to avoid discord and confusion, and the discontent which might follow thereupon.
Item. After the said Jehan de Louvain has treated with some of the most sufficient, he should induce some of them to come to his Excellency or your lordship, both to inform themselves better of their determination and good-will, and the better to care for the said enterprise, and avoid fraud and deceit.
The money should be put into the hands of some indifferent, sufficient and noteworthy man, in order to avoid all doubt and suspicion, and the better to persuade the undertakers, who ordinarily are distrustful.
Item. A letter of credit should be given to Louvain made out in the form of figures and contract of merchandise, and so written that if the said Louvain were wary (fute) it would only be thought to be some contract between one merchant to another.
Item. As all events are in the hands of God, who may bless or curse the enterprise, which might be discovered, and those zealous for it fall into the hands of the enemy, in order better to encourage them, they should be promised that if it did not take effect, if it were not by their fault, to each who escaped, whether into England or these United Provinces, there should be given to each officer 200 florins and some office provided for them; or if any were taken and executed or killed, leaving wife and legitimate children, they should be provided for, on condition that they retired into England or these provinces.
French. 3½ pp. [Holland V. 170.]
[1586, early in ?] Document endorsed “A discourse delivered unto the Prince of Parma.” (fn. 5)
From our ancient friendship and long residence in these quarters, I have desired your opinion as to the issue of this war.
Hitherto I have had no doubt, but now the English Queen intermeddles quite openly. She has a wise Council, who will bring order into these confusions. The countries she has incorporated can be upheld long by a few men with small loss, and the nature of it cannot support a great army. She comes upon our backs, invading Holland and Zeeland, which cannot be gained without mastery of the sea, from which we are far removed, so that appearances point to a long, sad and grievous war. As you have been pleased to impart to me your opinions and ask for mine, I say as follows.
I hope this will be a year of Jubilee; that his Majesty will come to the goal of his long labours, and that we shall make the English return to defend their own island; in that he is preparing so powerful a sea-army, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, to come directly down upon England, and make them go back quicker than they came. And that instead of gaining these countries, she may lose her own. For his Majesty lacks neither money nor princely allies, while the Queen is poor in both, unequal to him in dominions, riches, allies and brave captains, which makes me have no doubt as to the end. According to your statement, my good friend, we shall have a good and speedy end to it. But already many years are consumed, great sums of money spent, a fine country and beautiful towns ruined, and yet we are at the same point; there coming always some accident which brings on a new beginning of the war. Also his Majesty is consuming an immense sum of money, wherefore I cannot be persuaded that things will go as you say. I doubt if his Majesty will bring a sea-army till all other means are tried, seeing that the Queen is well placed, strong at sea, and, joined with Holland and Zeeland, is powerful in ships, mariners, artillery and munition, and has besides all the ports and coasts while we have none, and cannot trust to French courtesy to admit us into theirs. Also our fleet will be subject to tempests &c., and if any disaster happen, by accident or separation, it would be a very serious thing, seeing that on this sea-army depends the safety of both the Indies and our Low Countries.
Certainly you give me food for thought, and according to all the histories, a prince ought never, unless forced, to venture all at once. Spain profits more than any by temporising and gaining time. But fortune might be tempted by indirect means, as was done by a Count de Lume[y], or by making incursions like the corsair Dracque (supported by the Queen).
You say, since he can wait for a favourable opportunity, why should he hazard a business of so much weight in a single day. Any day an accident might happen in England which would make her conquest sure, as by Scotland, the death of the Queen without heirs, internal sedition, or a disagreement with Holland and Zeeland, as happened to the French. The Most discreet judge that this will come before long, and for the above reasons, I cannot persuade myself that the King would proceed with such violence, seeing that by his power and brave chiefs he has so well temporised and gained time that the fruits are enjoyed of so many towns and countries gained, of the reduction of so many of the nobles and other confederates to chase away the French, as no doubt, by his Highness' prudent conduct, when the opportunity arises, he will also chase the English, and reach a good haven.
Your reasons are good, but it seems to me that you might speak of some means more ready to hand. According to reports in England, and to a little book published by the Queen, (fn. 6) she seeks only his Majesty's friendship, and rather undertakes this from regard to the safety of her person and realm than from her affection to the action, or the protection of Holland and Zeeland; and in reason it was the least she could do, that in the end she might make an accord with his Majesty for the injuries she has done in taking money in the Duke of Alva's time, the robberies of her corsair Dracque, the excessive sums lent to the States, the money sent to Duke Casimir to bring him to march against his Majesty, the troops sent to the help of his rebels here, and the chasing of his ambassador out of England, besides other things.
You always advance hotly; but you must know that great princes proceed in other fashion, and their negotiations are not according to humours and passions but to the welfare of their state, preferring safety to rashness, especially our King, who has a very grave and experienced Council, as we see daily; assuring you that if means were found to break the ice, and to treat by deputies, I doubt not but his Majesty would come to better conclusion and satisfaction than is thought, both for the reduction of Holland and Zeeland, as for arranging to find means to assure the Queen of living in friendship and safety during her life, which by means of some great prince of this country of Spain, given as a hostage, could not fail to yield her satisfaction. And as to Holland and Zeeland, agreeing to maintain them in their estate or give them up to honourable men, with liberty of conscience for eigher or nine years, I say, if we could come to a treaty, a good result would come of it, at least the enjoyment of two points; one, the discovery whether she desires a reasonable peace or not, and secondly, that it would bring about a change in Holland and Zeeland, for many there, feeling that a treaty was progressing, to gain a placito would turn round, for in such times every man of spirit and quality would wish to show that he had been of the first to advance it.
But your honour always omits to mention the means by which to introduce this much desired accord, so necessary for this poor country, which has endured wars without taking breath, for more they should face the hazard, by giving battle or otherwise that peace might follow; but all rash dealings are matters which go from bad to worse. To reply to you concerning the means, we must find a third, as some great prince not suspected of partiality; although to treat by way of princes will be a lengthy business. However, time may bring some innovation or discovery disadvantageous to one or the other. Now, if his Majesty does not wish to risk a sea-fight, and lets the summer pass, this will give courage to the Queen, and the longer it lasts, so much the more will the enemy become practised in war, and the lords experienced in their business, so that whatever means are to be tried, should be done at once, while they have the arriere pensee of the army of Spain.
I am not of opinion that we should seek a third party amongst these great princes, for much time will be spent before they are resolved and prepared, but if we could arrange for the country to make application to his Highness in the form of a prayer to find means to discover what disposition the Queen has to make an end of this miserable war, and thus a beginning be made, and the handling of it fall into the hands of his Highness and his instruments, who are well accustomed to deal with them and know their humours and dispositions, I have no doubt that all will reach a good conclusion, without waiting to seek for a third party; for who can better and with more assurance draw on both the one and the other than he who for his virtues is revered and honoured not only by friend but by foe, and who in the world would more sincerely labour to bring it to a good end than his Highness, thereby doing so great a service to his Majesty and acquiring such honour and praise as belongs to him alone.
You are right. This is a very short and good means, and for many reasons it will be fitting for his Highness to arrange it and no other; but it seems to me that to make those of the country or the towns speak to him of it will not be so well as if his Highness could arrange that those of Holland should be brought to address a request to the Earl of Leicester to send deputies to his Highness to ask if it be the King's good pleasure to hear their case, and if there is no means of bringing to an end this miserable war.
If one could bring them so far, I doubt not but that his Highness would make great use of it; to whom I refer the negotiation of these affairs.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Flanders I. 51.]


  • 1. De Loo appears to have dated all his letters to Burghley (written in London English style,
  • 2. In December, 1585, the Spaniards made an incursion into Bommelsward, which this map seems to illustrate. See p. 199 above.
  • 3. The pencil endorsements are modern, but when written without query, show that the official who arranged the papers had reason to believe, from the place where he found them or otherwise, that they belonged to a given year. As regards this letter, cf. allusion to Girault on p. 24 above, under date Sept. 14–24.
  • 4. Horsey reached England in December, 1585, and left again in April, 1586.
  • 5. But evidently not addressed to him in the first instance.
  • 6. Declaration of her reasons for aiding the Low Countries. Written in August, published in October, 1585.