Elizabeth: September 1585, 26-30

Pages 43-57

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

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


Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

September 1585, 26–30

Sept. 26. The Queen to the States General.
On behalf of the bearer, Sebastian Combes, to whom, as she learns, they granted a pension (at the instance of the late Prince of Orange) as a reward for many good services, but which pension has not been paid for several years, although for two years he has been in great misery, having fallen into the hands of the enemy. Urges them not only to give him the said pension in the future, but also to satisfy the arrears; it being only just and reasonable to give him all satisfaction, both as recompense for the past and encouragement for the future; seeing that it is their duty to keep promise with every man and above all to have an extraordinary care of those who do them faithful service, as the true means to maintain them in this good disposition and to draw others to follow their good example.
Copy. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 ¼ pp. [Holland III. 100.]
Sept. 26./Oct. 6. Jaques Rossel to Walsingham.
Mr. Davison's long stay in Holland has made me fear that our eager peace-makers have been causing delay in the fulfilment of what they owe to her Majesty; for on Oct. 2, new style, Councillor Telin was sent by the States of Zeeland to “Zirixelo,” to cause them to complete and conclude some points of the treaty, although on the last of the preceding month the deputies of these States departed with absolute decree that the Flushing garrison should go out in order to the entry of her Majesty's forces, without any of the restrictions which some demanded, as that one company at least of the country should remain there. These factions tend to delay, and give cause to the enemy to invent stratagems, which are already on foot. You are aware of the lack of all victuals in Flanders, and throughout the provinces of the enemy, saving Artois and Hainault, which refuse utterly to help their neighbours, only having, as they say, what they need for themselves. Even the exportation of wheat to the frontier of France is forbidden, foreseeing future needs. Deputies have been sent (as they say) to the Prince of Parma to ask him to agree to a general peace with the rest of the provinces, leaving freedom of religion in Holland and Zeeland. I say that the practice comes from the Prince himself or his Council, in order to hinder her Majesty's affairs; the people being fed with this honey by his supposed ministers, who talk of nothing but peace. For this cause I exhorted Mr. Davison to make an end of the negotiation and also wrote to your honour, desiring nothing more than to see the Queen's men in Flushing, the Brill and the land of Utrecht, which are the chief objects of the Spanish designs, and of those who labour in these wars, hoping always to gain them by their practices, money or partisans; which I shall cease to fear when once the places are in her Majesty's hands.
I showed in my last the state of the enemy, who so far have resolved on nothing since the taking of Antwerp. The whole study of the Prince of Parma now is concerning payments; contenting some and vexing others.
He has cashiered twenty-eight companies of horse, all Walloons and Burgundians, without money or discounts; entertains the captains and officers with ordinary wages, and wishes all the soldiers to put themselves into other companies. They are levying contributions (sont branscattans) in Brabant, about Turnot [Turnhout], Austrate [qy. Hoogstratem] and those parts, as desperate men, to the number of 900, who are soldiers of the captains whose names I send herewith.
The rest of the army is still where it was. The report of the withdrawal of the Duke of Parma continues. Some say the King of Spain will send his son, others, the Duke of Savoy, in his place. None of them have any ground for their reports.
In Antwerp, victuals are again becoming very dear. At first they came in abundance and at a reasonable price. As time goes on things will become dearer and dearer, if their transport by the “lorendrays” (fn. 1) is prevented.
The Prince of Parma has set up again the guilds in Antwerp, and, having made them take oath to the Roman Catholic religion, has granted them the custody of the gates. Some say that Antwerp being in order and the country peaceable, Mondragon is to be put once more into his government of the castle and town of Ghent, and has already sent his baggage thither; but the town is in such a miserable condition that I cannot believe he will go, the most considerable people having left it in such great number that half the inhabitants are gone, and more depart daily. The only cause which might move him to go there would be to make a general re-victualling of Bruges, which is in great distress. Ipre is the same and many other populous towns, which will gladly submit themselves to her Majesty, if she continues her favour to these Low Countries and has an army which can master the country.
I beg your honour to recommend me to her Majesty, that if these gentlemen come over from her, she may continue me in my charges, who have long and faithfully served her.—Middelburg, 6 October, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holland III. 101.]
Sept. 26. The Queen to the Comte De Moeurs.
We have often heard praised your good affection and service to the affairs of the Low Countries, yielding to no native of the country in your zeal and devotion to the common cause, by reason whereof you have acquired much honour and reputation amongst all who love it. And we in particular are greatly sensible of it, from our desire for the tranquillity of the said countries, and wish to testify to it by own letters, to let you know that your merits are not hidden from us and that you may in the future be assured of your share in our good graces, while you persevere, as we trust you will, in this good course wherein you have already made such progress.
We cannot forget to thank you especially for your affection to the Elector of Cologne. It is not our fault that no attempt is made to redress his affairs, if the other princes who are so nearly interested in his fortune would have seconded us; we having very earnestly urged the States, seeing the particular interest they have therein, to take his affairs into their care, which we are assured they will not fail to do, so far as their means may allow.
Copy. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 ½ pp. [Ibid. III. 102.]
Sept. 26. Walsingham to Davison.
Upon conference with the deputies how to prevent the danger that Ostend and Sluys stand in, and to put them in state of defence, it has been thought meet to give the principal care of dealing with the States therein to Count Hohenloe, as general of their forces, which her Majesty by her own letters has done, advising him also to take order for fortifying towards the sea “that neck of land that shooteth out from Sluys,” with its sconces and bulwarks, lest the enemy, coming to besiege the town, should seize the same.
She desires you to put the Count in mind to perform these things with the needful care and diligence, and also to concur with him “in pressing the States very earnestly to take present order therein.”—Nonsuch, 26 September, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland III. 103.]
Sept. 26. Walsingham to Norreys.
To the same effect as that to Davison, above. The matter is the rather committed to his care, lest Mr. Davison should be on his way “hitherward” before the receipt of this despatch.
Postscript.—As there is diversity of opinion touching the strength of Ostend and Sluys, some giving out that they are in a good state, others that they are but weak, he is to appoint some skilful persons to view them and certify how they find them.
Copy. Endd. with date. ¾ p. [Ibid. III. 104.]
Sept. 26./Oct. 6. Copy of the oaths to be taken respectively by the governor, captains and soldiers and people of the Brill, drawn up by the States General.—The Hague, 6 October, 1585.
Endd. Fr. 1 ¼ pp. [Ibid. III. 105.]
Another copy of the oath of the captains and soldiers.
Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. III. 106.]
Sept. 27. R. Le Macon to Walsingham.
Some months ago, this bearer presented a request to the Council to have licence for a certain work whereby many poor people might gain their living, besides promising ten livres of rent per annum to the poor of our church. He tells me the matter is referred to you, and as many poor people are hoping to gain their livelihood with him and great charges are already incurred and the preparations to be made, I humbly pray you to aid him by your favour to his speedy despatch, if you judge it reasonable; in such sort that the condition of the poor people, as to what he promises them, may be expressed in the licence.
I pray you to look favourably upon these two boxes of confecte de rozes. It is not so sweet as the first, but no less good, if not better. If you like it I will send you another box; my wife will always have them at your service.—London, 27 September, 1585.
Add. Endd. “From M. de la Fontaine.” Fr. 1 p. [France XIV. 87.]
Sept. 28. Davison to “General Norrys.”
I received your lordship's [sic] letter here, where I am expecting Mr. Henry Norrys with the companies you have appointed for this place. Counts William and Hohenloe accompanied me hither, followed by Brasser, Nieuvelt and Menin, deputed from the States to see all effected with due care. Count William has returned to the Hague, the rest awaiting the coming of your companies, of which we hear nothing. This morning I have received from England “the Act of supplement to the former contract,” agreeing to all that was before passed between the States and me.
“Sir Francis Drake is gone to the seas, whom Sir Philip Sydney was in a mind to have accompanied, but stayed. The King of Portugal is come to Osterley, that was Sir Thomas Gresham's.” But of these news you will learn more from Mr. Bruyn, who has arrived with my packet and will be with you in a day or two.—The Hague [sic. should be the Brill], 28 September, 1585.
Draft by Davison. ½ p. [Holland III. 107.]
Sept. 28. Colonel Norreys to Burghley.
“According to my last letters of the 21 of this month, I send your lordship here inclosed a note of our Musters, containing the just numbers of the English forces, as well of the prest as of the voluntary, serving at this present in these countries, according to which rolls they have received one month's pay, which I thought good to be made unto them of the prest companies after the rates of the course of the monies here in Holland, being nine guilders for a pound sterling, as well because the States General paid the voluntary men after that rate, as also because inequality of payment might have bred some confusion amongst the troops, and the prest soldiers could not have well liked to receive their pay at a higher value than they should be able to issue the same.” Wherein I doubt not but your lordship will allow of my warrant, considering the just causes which led me thereunto. And desiring to ease her Majesty's charge as much as may be, I send herewith a note of the deductions made and paid to the Treasurer out of the pay of every company for their furniture, and will continue the same course until the whole furniture is answered, unless you send me other direction.
Before coming unto these parts, I made great provision in England of corslets, harquebusses and other furniture for the companies committed to my charge, but they arrived so late that to furnish up the companies for the musters I had to make new provision here, to my great trouble and charges, and the store from England lies on my hands. My humble suit is that I may deliver it at the prices I paid to the Master of her Majesty's Ordnance or any other appointed by your lordship, to remain here in store for the furnishing of other forces hereafter; the payment to be deducted from the money to be answered to her Majesty from the States General for money lately imprested to them. I send a note of the several parcels and crave your lordship's favourable answer herein.
Mr. Davison has written to me that he has resolved with the States General touching the garrisons to be placed in the towns for her Majesty; and as the horsemen must be put in readiness, and that by reason of the many fairs and markets at this time provision both of horse and armour may better be had than at other seasons, I am bargaining with divers merchants of these parts for some reasonable proportion of both, and will conclude with them for a greater number if I may be avowed therein. I crave your speedy answer, as otherwise “the time being let slip, the means will neither be so good nor so ready.”
The States General desiring me to make choice of eight companies for Flushing and the Brill, I have sent my brother, Edward Norreys, and Captains Richard Wingfield, Hinder, Simes and “Roolles” to Flushing, and to the Brill my brother Henry Norreys, and Captains Hill and Roberts.—Utrecht, 28 September, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland III. 108.]
A note of the armour and furniture delivered to the soldiers and of that remaining in her Majesty's storehouse at Utrecht, 27 September, 1585, old style. That remaining at Utrecht is said to have been bought of Mr. Randall Symes, merchant, St. Laurence Poultney, London.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. III. 108a.]
Sept. 28. Col. Norreys to Walsingham.
[Concerning the soldiers' pay, the captains sent to Flushing and the Brill, the provision of horses and armour, and the employment of the armour bought in England, as in his letter to Lord Burghley.]
Reminds his honour how expedient it is, in the towns where her Majesty's garrisons are placed, “to appoint some person of service and language to remain as serjeant-major; to be an aid to a governor, for the locking and opening of the gates and passages, for carrying the watchword, and other necessary services.” For the Brill, he recommends Captain Bond, “a man very honest and sufficient, who having served a long time in these countries, and by reason of some hurts not now so well able to keep the field, were a fit person for that room.”
For Flushing, it may be his honour will find some one in England; if not, he will think of some fit person “here.”—Utrecht, 28 September, 1585, stilo Angliœ.
Postscript.—Because divers of the troops disband daily, “and now most, having received their month's pay,” he earnestly prays for assistance in redressing the disorder, which may be best done by giving the Knight Marshal commission to exercise martial law on all returning home without a passport from himself. Unless something is done, the companies, by little and little, will be greatly weakened.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 ¼ pp. [Holland III. 109.]
List of armour &c. as to Burghley. [Ibid. III. 109a.]
Sept. 29./Oct. 9. Rossel to Walsingham.
In my last I told you that on the 29 of last month [n.s.], those of Zeeland had subscribed the entrance of her Majesty's troops into Flushing and Rammekins, the said subscription and all other things required being delivered to Mr. Davison on Oct. 2. On the 7th the States of Zeeland offered their thanks to the captain of the Rammekins for his service, having presented him a standing company. This seems to him a very small recompense and he hopes better from her Majesty.
On Monday or Tuesday the English were to enter the Brille; the enemy is staggered, not knowing which way to turn. Part of his army marched on the 7th towards Berghes, another part into Flanders and another into Gueldres, some say in order to refresh themselves. The Prince of Parma has been all the time in the castle of Antwerp, where he has had some fireworks made ready, but to what end is not known. He is to leave Antwerp on the 10th, but we know not what road he will take. The lack of victuals continues on all hands, as much in Antwerp as elsewhere. You will have heard that Temple has been imprisoned and the greffier of Antwerp, Martini.—Middelburg, 9 October, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 110.]
Sept. 29. J. Schwartz to Davison.
Some days ago I received letters from Mr. de Glauburg and others at Frankfurt, but in order not to endanger the bearer if the letters were intercepted, they did not dare to write openly. But they said that the Papists in Germany are seeking all the means possible to extirpate the true religion everywhere, having for support our espagnolizé Emperor and the magistracy of Augsburg, who for the most part are his creatures, and who now usurp authority to place and displace the ministers, against the ancient custom of the said city, and to manage ecclesiastical affairs, although, from olden times, these have been superintended by special deputies, whom they now seek to turn out of their place, in order to be able to substitute other ministers of God's word at their liking and fancy.
This has caused much disturbance in the city, and those of the Religion oppose it so strongly that there is every prospect of great disorder there and that the matter will be decided by arms. These are the fine deeds of the Jesuits, who have great credit and authority with the magistrates there. I hope they will be punished for their insolencies and tyranny.
As to affairs in France, I believe you hear daily what passes there. It is said that besides the 3,000 German horsemen who are there, the King has hired in Germany 2,000 more, in charge of John Brendel, a kinsman of the late Bishop of Mainz, and Dietzvon Rosenbach, keeping them on Wartgelt in order to hold them in readiness to march; that is, receiving while at home, a quarter of their pay.
It is held for certain that the Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Emperor will be made Grand Master of the Order of St. Marie, which they call the order of Germany or of Prussia [i.e. the Teutonic Order]. He is a gracious gentleman, like the late Emperor Maximilian in face and disposition, and a great friend of the Spaniards (as he has shown himself hitherto).
If you are writing to England, I pray you give my remembrances to the Earl of Leicester and Messieurs Walsingham, Sydney, Pelham and Paul Buys.—Leyden, 29 September, stylo antiquo, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holland III. 111.]
Sept. 30. Captain Roger Williams to Sir Philip Sidney.
“I know not in what sort to advertise you to any purpose of the affairs of these counties, for I do assure you I am made privy to nothing but what I gather of myself amongst my companions. I have been extreme sick this twenty days; afore I was fully recovered I was sent by the General, on the States' request to these parts with fourteen ensigns. Being arrived, they altered their direction. I am put into this town with eight ensigns. Mr. Borrows, Capt. Huntle are all the Captains that are here yet. The town is weak, poor, with nothing; not to be kept against an army but with great force. I mean four thousand against ten thousand. Besides, we found a Scots Governor, as we perceive by him and his captains, they giring [qy. girding], greatly at her Majesty's proceedings in these parts; his name is Ballfort [i.e. Balfour]. The last day there lay of the enemy within a league of us five thousand foot-men, one thousand horsemen. He nor none of his told us nothing until the captain of Waue castle wrote unto me, being well acquainted, having taken three of the enemies prisoners, how their enterprise was on this town on intelligence with some within. Since I have mingled all the 'cordigardes' stronger with our nation than with theirs. The next day after our arrival the enemy presented afore the ports. We had a great skirmish to their loss by reason of our artillery. The Prince is in Antwerp with the most of their nobility. All his artillery that was on the ditches are carried into the Castle green; he has made a great trench betwixt the castle and the green, disarmed all the burghers. The great [part] of his army lies at Stabroeck, within two leagues and a half of this town. He has contented the Spanish, Italians and a few cornets; the Walloons, Almains and the most of the cavalry were the last day in a muster. The Prince has been with them four days agone; contented them with a promise of pay within six days. At his return to Antwerp proclamation was made, pain of death, every man to repair to his ensign and cornet. Now we have intelligence he means to come afore us with thirty battering pieces. We know for certain Antwerp solicits what they can to clear this quarter, for they know, does his army dislodge and leave this town, we shall be a great scourge unto them. He prepares what he can for the water; keeps his buildings so secret few knows what they do. The last day a burgo looked over the walls on their works; he was presently executed. They have ready mounted on waggons a number of scuts; by that methinks the enterprise should be on some of the islands.
“It is told me by strangers, Mr. Davison and the General does place garrisons presently in Flushing, Brill and Enkusen. I do wish your honour in the best. Assure yourself there is no state [like] to a town unpreniable (fn. 2) in an uncertain world. Mark Gurdon of Cales, La Mote of Gravelyn, Saint Luke of 'Bourrayge.' This are [sic] nothing to the most of these towns, wherefore I would to God your honour both were in them. You might place a substantial assured lieutenant in your town and yourself with the army, General of the cavalry.
“All my delight is in the cavalry, wherefore I do humbly desire your honour both to remember me to my Lord of Leicester and to Mr. Secretary if there comes any, that I may have some place amongst them. Had I a commission from her Majesty perhaps I would address two hundred lancers and save her highness a thousand pounds. As good for them to let me finger some of their crowns as others, doing as good service. Since my coming over I was given to understand I am not in the Queen's pay. True it is I have but a voluntary company; the most part of the others has both prest and voluntary. I know not in whose pay I am, but I am sure if there be any place of danger or of disgrace, to be acquainted with it.”—Bergen-op-Zoom, the last of September.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 6 pp. [Holland III. 112.]
Sept.30./Oct. 10. Count Hohenloe to the Queen.
Your Majesty's last letter and that of Mr. Davidson, telling me of your goodwill towards me, have filled me with such joy, that every day of my life shall be devoted to your service. As a first testimony of my return of this affection, I have always procured whatever seemed to me necessary for the preservation of Antwerp. By the ill offices of others, affairs came to such a pass, and the town was reduced to such terms that all my labours have been in vain. Yet I pray your Majesty that by your royal aid and accustomed charity, these poor countries may in future have the means whereby they may one day come to an end of this calamitous and miserable time; and make such resistance to the King of Spain that he will have neither leisure nor opportunity to execute his designs of invading your Majesty's realm, although the Prince of Parma proposes and daily boasts of his intention to come to an agreement with these countries in order the sooner to attack England. Moreover, I desire to warn you that I have certain information of the sinister designs of the enemy against your Majesty's person; wherefore, the care of your health being very dear to me, I beg you to guard it so carefully that you may not share the same fate as his late Excellency.
I have come with the ambassador to this town of Brielle, to put your Majesty's troops in possession of it, and am then going to Flushing for the same purpose.—The Brielle, 10 October, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 ½ pp. [Holland III. 113.]
Sept. The Queen to Count Hohenlohe.
Hearing that the States have committed to him the general charge of their forces, she thinks well to inform him that she is advertised of the Prince of Parma's intention to attack either Ostend or Sluys, to the manifest danger of whichever is assailed, seeing that both are very badly provided of the men, victuals and ammunition necessary for sustaining a siege; besides there being much discontent amongst the soldiers in the garrison for lack of pay. She therefore prays him, in pursuance of the said charge, to move the States to take order on all these points and that in good earnest, as need requires, and to use so much the greater care and diligence as it concerns his own honour and reputation. And seeing that if they besiege Sluys, it is probable that the enemy will desire at the same time to seize the sea coast at the point where the town is placed, it will be very necessary and fitting that this point should be at once fortified by some scances and bulwarks for its defence; in which matter also she begs him to take order by some good means.
Minute. Endd. “Sept. 1585.” Fr. 1 ½ pp. [Ibid. III. 114.]
[Probably on or about the 23rd. See Norreys to Walsingham, Oct. 10, below.]
Sept. Proclamation by which the Duc de Montmorency is suspended from his place of governor of Languedoc and the King's subjects are ordered henceforth to accept Marshal Joyeuse in his stead.—Paris, Sept.—, 1585.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 ½ pp. [France XIV. 88.]
Copy of the French King's letter to the Duc de Montmorency.— Paris, Sept.—, 1585.
Endd. Fr. 1 ¼ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 89.]
Mauvissière to the Queen.
Prays her Majesty's licence to depart for a Frenchman of Brittany named Jehan Poupart, now at Southampton, captain of a ship of 150 tons called the Robert, belonging to the eldest son of M. de Mauvissiere, ambassador in England; that the said Poupart may come and go between the ports of England, carrying merchandise and provisions, and paying only the ordinary rates as an Englishman; seeing that “ledit Robert” [de Castelnau] was born in her realm and is her godson. Also that she will give the said Captain Poupart leave to export ordinary merchandise, with wood for fuel, planks for ships and 1,000 quarters of wheat, for one year only; with about ten dozen bows and arrows and fifteen or sixteen pieces of cast iron ordnance, with powder and ammunition to equip the said ship; which will be always at her Majesty's service when required.
Endd. “The French ambassador's request for a licence for one Poupart.” Fr. ¾ p. [France XIV. 90.]
[Between September, 1582 and the ambassador's departure. See Mauvissière's letter, Cal. S.P. Foreign, 1582, p. 317.]
[Sept. ?] Leicester To [Burghley ?].
“As soon as I receive knowledge from her Majesty of her pleasure I will write to Sir Tho. Cecill. I think a charge of horsemen will like him best, 400 or 500. . . .
“I wish the chief charge of the horse.
“But I am too forward. I have written truly to you. There is not a man here will believe her Majesty will do anything.
“I will never agree for Flushing to any but to my nephew.
“If Sluys or Ostend may content Sir Tho. Cecill, I would be glad also.”
Holograph. Endd. “My lord of Leicester.” ½ p. [Holland III. 115.]
[Sept. ?] Notes by Walsingham of points “to be resolved by her Majesty.”
“Whether her Highness' pleasure be to use the service of the Lord Gray and Sir William Pelham in the Low Countries.
“What portion of treasure shall be sent thither presently and what order shall be taken hereafter for the due payment as well of the garrisons in the cautionary towns as others serving there upon her Majesty's pay. Who shall assist in the Council of State and with what entertainment.
“Who shall be governors of the towns of Flushing and Brill; what entertainment they and their under officers shall have.
“What orders shall be set down for the government of the said towns; what number of soldiers shall be maintained in them and where they shall be levied. Whether custom shall be paid for such victuals as shall be sent over for the relief of her Majesty's subjects serving in the said countries.”
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 116.]
Sept. Feodor, Emperor of Russia, to the Queen.
We sent our letters to you, loving sister, by our interpreter, 'Reynold' Beckman, and received your answers by the same. We see by these that you are very angry, and that Jerome Bowes whom you sent to us, and who, it seemed to us, did not do well here, was chosen out of your house, and had done well and wisely in other embassies, and also with our father, entreating him (as you say) early and late, effectually and wisely, but that some of our Father's Council moved him to anger against the said ambassador and hindered his affairs.
We wrote to you thoroughly of the said ambassador, what uncomely dealing he used at his being with our father, uttering before him many unbecoming words and inventing many untruths against our nobles.
And our father, for your sake not heeding this his dealing, ordered great honour to be shown him, such as had not been done even to the ambassadors of the Pope of Rome or the Emperor of Germany or the Turk or any other; allowing liberty to his folks to walk at pleasure in all places, never granted before.
And when by God's providence our father deceased and we became lord of all these kingdoms, we willed the said Jerome to come to us, not regarding his evil demeanour for your sake, and despatched him with our letter to you in answer to yours which he brought our father. Neither was any dishonour done to him, but the like grace and honour, Wickefera Susova, to conduct him to Colmogar and provide him victuals, yielding him honour above any other prince's ambassador for your sake.
On his journey he used many unseemly dealings, and railed upon our gentleman and condemned our goodness and allowance; and at Colmogorode, he cast from him our letter to you and our gift to him, and left a writing with very unseemly matters. We wrote of his doings by 'Reignold,' but it seems to us that your noblemen, favouring him, never thoroughly signified to you what we had written, and that your letters sent by Reynold were not wholly read to you, written at your commandment.
Therefore we require you to peruse our former letters, and to judge yourself if your ambassador's behaviour was seemly to our father or to us; it never being known for an ambassador to cast away letters given him by a Prince to carry to his own sovereign.
And for that you desired us to give your merchants such privilege letters as our father would have given to the said Jerome; “those matters which you our sister had then to do with our father . . . is now altered, and we now with you our sister, with great amity and trade of merchants, according to times past, and as it was with our great father with King Edward and Queen Mary,” and what letters were fit for your merchants, we have commanded to be given.
We hear that Jerome told you that we commanded no customs to be taken of any strangers' goods, but only of English merchants, which is untruth; for of the merchants of all princes, “we take wholly custom. . . as we use in our kingdom, time out of memory, and of your people above all others we take but half that custom.” They have houses given them in many places, “fair houses” in the Musco, in Yeraslavley, in Vologda and at Colmogor, while to other strange merchants no houses are given, but they “doth stand with their commodities and buy and sell at a general merchant house appointed, as of long time is used in our kingdom.” and pay for house and warehouse rooms.
Yet your merchants do not live according to our letters of privilege, for whereas they are willed to sell and transport their commodities “by whole and not by piecemeal,” not to transport or “colour” any other strangers” goods, and not to bring any people or nation with them under colour of theirs—yet these things they do; and have brought into our country a stranger of Lubeck, John Chappell; gave him out for their own man, an Englishman, brought him to Yeraslavley and sent him to Kazan, there to remain and trade without our knowledge, calling himself and Englishman and your merchants” servant, though in times past he came often to our father from Lubeck, with letters from the burgomaster and council there, but since escaped from that place when the burgomaster would have him to death for treachery. And from Kazan wrote to his country much abuse of our kingdom, wherefore we have now ordered him to be apprehended and his goods seized. He has deserved death, but we have commanded that he be not executed until “we shall by you be pacified.”
And for your merchant Romane, since his coming into our kingdom he has behaved himself unseemly; sent certain of his folks out of our country secretly through Lettowe without licence, and wrote into England and elsewhere many unseemly things against our kingdom, and that at the present time we had not agreed on a firm peace with the King of Poland.
When any envoy shall come from you, we will thoroughly make known to him the unseemly living and treachery of your merchants here, such as is not heard of in any prince's country.
And whereas you wrote that your people might bring us great store of such commodities as is needful for us, and that we should not let enter “no other of your country besides those that cometh with your letters”; it is not meet for us to make such order. Who soever, or out of what country soever any cometh here, have leave and licence to trade merchandize. Your merchants would reap all the profit themselves alone and not permit any other to come, and so it would be a hindrance to our kingdom. By God's help, we can make utterance of all our commodities at pleasure, and our realm can well spare those of your merchants. Merchants out of many realms have recourse here with their goods, and can “rid” our commodities even if your merchants should cease to come with their wares; and for the sake of these to shut up the recourse of many people out of many kingdoms were not reason. In those causes, your merchants coming here inform you wrong, for their own profit's sake.
And touching what you wrote “ that our merchants have never heretofore had any trade into your kingdom, and do make it grief for them, our merchants have not in time past had recourse thereto, and have no occasion to come hereafter.
And as you wrote that you are willing to show your love to us by your good deeds through your ambassador; if you list to send one, do it at your pleasure, but “send us such of your good people . . . that may come unto us with knowledge in messages, as the manner and use is to such great princes, not in such sort as your ambassador Jerome Bowes did, with many unseemly dealings, and your ambassador's messengers &c. coming and going into our kingdom, the way shall be open and free at pleasure. . . .
“Our interpreter Reignold was showed great dishonour in your kingdom, not in such sort entertained as messengers are between us and such like great princes.” Your councillors and Lord Treasurer at London delayed him from the 23rd of March to the 6th of May, and three times sent for him to come to you, but at his coming, Kept him with themselves and would not let him come to you. At the fourth time he came before you, but at his despatch you commanded him not to come to you and he was sent away by your clerk, Sir Francis Walsingham, on the 24th of June; and your letters delivered to him by your clerk, who commanded him to salute us from you.
“Where was that ever heard, that any prince would send any messenger to us, such great lord, and salutations done by a writer. . . .
“It seemeth unto us that all these proceedeth from your councillors, without your knowledge. . . . Although a young child came from us, and coming with our letters, to show such dealings towards him were unfit.”
We send these letters by your subject, Jerome Horsey, son of William, and would have you write answers by him, that we may know the state of all things. Our subjects cannot well pass through so many kingdoms, our former interpreter being evil intreated in many places and held up. Hereafter, if it please you to live with us in perfect brotherliness, we desire to live with you in all brotherly love, and will licence your merchants to have trade in our kingdom to their contentment, so as they live as others in time past, “not as now your merchant Robert doth.” Those your merchants William and the said Jerome do so and commit no offence, and we have no cause of evil to say of them; “ but for Robert, hereafter we will thoroughly give you to understand of his unseemly dealings.—Our house in Musco, Sept., 7094. (fn. 3)
Endd. “The perfect copy of Jerome Horsey's translation of the King of Russia's letter; brought by him, who came with the same to London at Christmas, 1585.”
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. very closely written. [Russia I. 21.]
[Sept. or Oct.] Notes (in Leicester's hand) of points to be resolved on by her Majesty and the Lords of the Council [concerning the Governor].
1. In what sort he shall govern and with what authority.
2. What entertainment he shall have.
3. Who shall be the governors of the cautionary towns and with what entertainment.
4. What proportion of treasure shall be sent over with him.
5. What men of Council shall be sent over and with what entertainment.
6. What personages of account or noblemen her Majesty will give licence and appoint to take charge.
7. What order shall be taken for the levying of a 1,000 horsemen.
8. Item, to have a number of footmen out of Ireland, beside the 5,000, but not of her Majesty's charge.
9. What ships shall be continued upon the seas, for safety of the passage.
10. A warrant for transportation of victuals.
11. Two little barks for carrying of letters.
12. What money in prest for the general.
13. A licence for such as be not her Majesty's ordinary servants to go over if they desire it. Undated.
Endd. 1 p. [Holland IV. 1.]


  • 1. “lorrendraijer,” one who carries commodities by stealth to the enemy.
  • 2. Obsolete form of “impregnable.”
  • 3. The era of Constantinople. The year in Russia at this time began on September 1.