Elizabeth: October 1587, 16-31

Pages 396-409

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 1, 1586-1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1927.

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October 1587, 16-31

Oct. 22./Nov. 1. M. De Clervant to her Majesty.
All the chiefs of this army, of whatever nation, know how greatly God has employed her Majesty in the maintenance and advancement of his church, and how much of her means she has given for the raising and marching of this army, for the succour of the churches of France and the King of Navarre. Baron Dhona has written to her of their state on behalf of the Germans, as the writer now does on that of the Swiss, knowing that she will be pleased to hear thereof. Hopes for the continuance of her benefits, as a Christian and wise princess, who knows well the consequence of their prosperity or ruin. There is, thank God, very good harmony between the various nations, both chiefs and private persons, whether when they face the enemy or when there is question of public affairs; and if there be some murmuring as regards lodging and such things, this is common in all armies. They have less money than could be wished, the need whereof might well bring quarrels in married life; there may be vexations but not divorce, for they are bound together by particular oaths of the German nation to the Swiss not to abandon them before a good peace for the Religion be established in France, although they may be reduced to hard shifts. Prays her Majesty to remedy this by her good and ample means. The camp near Chateau Landon, 1 November, 1587, stil nouveau.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. French. 1½ pp. Seal. [France XVII. 130.]
Oct. 22./Nov. 1. Clervant to Walsingham.
Prays him to excuse the needy if they are importunate; to impute the fault to those who compel them thereto, and to aid in overthrowing them, or at least in bridling their boundless ambition. Their army has done and will do well so long as it subsists, but its divers needs cause it to waste away, while their enemies spare themselves and wait to make an attack upon them until they are feeble. She only who has made them what they are (after God) can and must maintain them, even for her own sake, to enable them to make a good peace; whereby they may be able to do her as much service as she has done and will do to them. They two are both servants of princes, and have one and the same aim; viz. the glory of God and the advantage of their Majesties. He counsels his master to spend all in order to become rich. It is the husbandry of great princes and their way of saving. For himself, he employs all in order not to lose a part; and uses the greater boldness to beg, for the public good, from the abundance of those great princes whom God has created to serve for his glory and the comforting of the oppressed.
The Duke of Bouillon is writing to her Majesty, as is also the Baron of Dhona. Has made bold to do the same to tell her of the carriage of the Swiss troops.—The camp near Chateau Landon, 1 November, 1587, stil nouveau.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XVII. 131.]
Oct. 27. Stafford to Burghley.
In answering a letter from Mr. "Palvesino" on matters touching the King of Navarre, I have been bold to write plainly unto him, and desired him "to communicate unto her Majesty the letter to your lordship, and to those that it shall be thought fit." It may be thought presumption in me to write so plainly, but methinks it is my duty, being here to put her Majesty in remembrance to take time and occasion when it is offered her, and that truly not for the King of Navarre's sake but for her own. If it were only for that King's cause, I have no great reason given me to be hot in it, either by himself or his ministers, but I am her Majesty's devoted servant, and that makes me bold, seeing an occasion offered which, not being taken, will be irrevocable; "for sure this is it that must either heal us or kill us."— Paris, 27 October, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVII. 132.]
Oct. 27./Nov. 6. The Consuls and Senators of Stade to the Queen.
We have received with extreme pleasure your Majesty's letters, by which you not only ratify all the agreements made between us and the commissioners of the Society of Adventurers, but also are pleased to remember kindly our zealous friendship and to show a like interest in us.
We render your Majesty many thanks for your goodwill to us and our city, and humbly pray for a continuance thereof; and for our part will never cease in our efforts to prove our willingness to serve you.
We hope it will not be displeasing to your Majesty that before the arrival of your letters, it had been mutually agreed that the commercial treaty should be for a period of ten years. It has been customary to make such treaties perpetual, but since everything is difficult at the beginning, and no one can predict with certainty as to the future, the limit of ten years was fixed by us in the first place for the continuance of the residency. When that period has elapsed, we can treat for a perpetuation of mutual commerce, since your letters testify that such a treaty will be to the advantage of our city.
Meanwhile, we will leave nothing undone that may promote the continuance of the goodwill which has arisen between the English nation and this State, as a result of this ten years' commercial treaty.—Stade, 6 November, 1587.
Add. Endd. Latin, 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 69.]
Short abstract of the above. [Ibid. 72 IV.]
Oct. 28./Nov. 7. Proconsuls and Senate of Hamburg to the Queen.
Letter of which the contents are sufficiently shown by the English abstract given below.—Nov. 1587.
Add. Endd. Given under the Seal of the town. Latin. 4½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 70.]
Oct. 28./Nov. 7. Another copy of the same.—7 Nov., 1587.
Add. Endd. Latin. 5 pp. [Ibid. II. 71.]
Oct. 28./Nov. 7. "An Abstract of the Governor and Council's letter of Hamborough to her Majesty of the 7 of November, 1587.
1. "They show that although they found some insufficiency in the instructions that Mr. Saltonstall and Dr. Fletcher (sent unto them from hence) had [given them], and that their citizens did require the rest of the Hanses should be made acquainted with their proceedings herein, yet they so moderated the matter as that:—
2. They made a decree in August last, whereby they licensed our Merchants Adventurers until Easter next in anno '88, as well to bring in our cloths to them as to transport thence their commodities in as free manner as their own citizens; and therefore:—
3. Find themselves greatly grieved that, shortly after, the said Saltonstall and Fletcher concluded and established a Residency at Stada, or Stoad, on the river Elb or Albis.
4. They complain that their neighbours of Stoad have by this contract of residency with our merchants greatly prejudiced the privileges that the Empire hath confirmed unto them on the river Elbe, which they may not and will not neglect to defend.
5. That they have purchased these privileges on the river Elbe with their great charges, and are at great yearly costs, as well in keeping the channel thereof from being filled up with sands, as also with clearing the river of pirates; and this done without either those of Stoad or any other their neighbours' contribution.
6. That the commonalty of the city having now at length given them, the Governor and Council, their full consent to order this matter as pleases them, they have treated anew with Mr. Saltonstall and Dr. Fletcher at Stoad, and have agreed with them [on certain articles], if her Majesty shall yield consent, to whose determination they will wholly submit themselves [and the cause.]
7. Have sent her Majesty the heads of the articles capitulated with Saltonstall and Fletcher at their meeting at Stada, not much different from those granted twenty-one years ago.
8. Desire her Majesty would ratify these articles, and send to the merchants at Stada to return themselves to Hamburgh, or else signify speedily what she would have altered in the articles, or what other course she would have to be taken in this business etc.
9. Conclude that they cannot tolerate this injury offered to their privileges by those of Stada, and desire her Majesty to yield also some remedy.
pp. On the same paper as the abstract of Earl Edzard's letter (see p. 393 above. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 72 I.]
Another Copy of the above, with slight verbal differences; on the same sheet as the Merchant Adventurers' answer thereto. [Ibid II. 82 I.]
Oct 28./[Nov. 7.] A summary of points or articles of late discussed between the ambassadors of the Merchants Adventurers and the deputies of the Senate of Hamburg in the neighbouring town of Stoad.
1. The Senate of Hamburg at their own costs to provide the Merchants with a commodious house or curia.
2. Besides the former moderation of taxes, the Senate to establish a diminution, so that no more than four shillings of Lubeck shall be demanded for each cloth; and the English to enjoy equality and the same rights with our citizens.
3. Nevertheless, this immunity is by no means to be extended to any other foreigners than the English.
4. As to the packing of the stuff, the same custom to be used here as in England.
5. A petition by the Senate for the restoration of their privileges in England, of late shown in writing, to be duly considered.
6. The English merchants to abstain from the taking out and selling of merchandise outside the bounds of this city.
7. Frauds as to the declaration of merchandise or payment of lawful customs, according to the common law and custom of England to be punished.
8. The decennial obligation of continuing the residence to be reciprocal.
Besides the foregoing main heads, the Senate of Hamburg declares that all those articles concluded in the year 1567 between the ambassadors of the Adventurers and the Senate of Hamburg, and reciprocally secured by their seals, are to remain and be understood in full vigour, according to their literal sense.
Endd by Laur. Tomson: "Sent with the letters 7 November '87." Latin. 1¾ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 73.]
[Undated.] "Answer by the Commissioners of the Merchants Adventurers to certain points informed by the Senate of Hamburg and the Alderman of the Stilliard."
1. Information. It is informed by the Senate that their decree delivered on Aug. 22 was not final, but that they expected a further reply and continuance of the treaty.
Answer. This is affirmed without probability or show of truth; for 1, it was a decree not only of the Senate but of the burghers; 2 its very form is peremptory, refusing to grant a residence on any conditions whatsoever; 3, it was delivered "with a flat denunciation that they would admit no further answer," though we entreated their commissioners to deliver our petition to the Senate for the continuance of the treaty: but they answered that they had special charge from the Senate to receive nothing, but only to deliver the decree.
2. They say they have treated anew with us since our contract made with Stoad, and that we agreed with them on certain articles etc.
Answer. There has been no such agreement, nor "liking at all on our parts to any one article propounded by their Commissioners at Stoad; to whom we answered so oft as they came to us (being then as importune with us as they were hard and unreasonable before) that being refused by them and now having contracted with Stoad, our commission was ended." When they wrote to her Majesty and your honours we could not in common courtesy deny them carriage of their letters, but it is but a device to break off the residence at Stoad, and so have to return to Hamburg or what conditions they list, or be quite banished out of Germany.
3. "They say they imparted with us the letters of the Alderman of the Stilliard.
Answer. If they mean the letters themselves, it is utterly untrue. They only told us that the said letters "contained a catalogue of all the Hanse grievances, and namely of the imposition by Sir W. Rawley's licence, which they specially urged: that he exhorted them to make their advantage of the time, and the present extremities of the realm, and to stand fast together for the recovering of all their old privileges. That besides the matter of traffic . . . he entered [into] discourse in his said letters concerning the state and government of this realm, in such sort and with such terms, as that they were assured her Majesty and your honours (to use their own words) would first hang him up, and then send him home" if you knew the contents of his letters, and their manifest contradictions to their decrees and other writings.
1st Contradiction. Their letters of Aug. 19, 1586 say they will contract for the residency with the Adventurers without consent of the other Hanse towns as aforetime; [letter quoted] but their decree calls it a public cause that concerns all the Hanse towns as well as themselves and that they cannot contract for a residency without regard to them [letter quoted], which their propositions to the Senate at Stoad "interpret to be meant also of the King of Spain's consent as necessary . . . being of the Hanse confederacy and so having a suffrage and interest in this action." In their said propositions they affirm also that their letters of August 19 (wherein they say they will contract without consent of the other towns) were written with the knowledge and consent of the same.
2nd Contradiction. Their letters say that for recompense of this Residency they will be content with what her Majesty promised them in her letter delivered to their legates at Nonsuch 3 October, 1587; "viz. with that which they enjoyed at the beginning of her Highness' reign" [letter quoted.] But their decree says that they look for the taking away of all the grievances specified in the letters sent them by the Alderman of the Stilliard, "which, as divers of their Senate have signified to us are of two or three hundred years old; viz. all such alterations and detractions from the Hanse liberties and customs in England as have fallen out since the accord of Utrecht," in 1473.
3rd Contradiction. Their letters say they will grant the Residency at Hamburg if they may have assurance of performance of what her Majesty promised the Hanse legates at Nonsuch; whereas their letters make it apparent that in the said answer at Nonsuch it is expressly stipulated that they shall first yield the Residency, in these words:—"Therefore if it seem good to the Hanse towns to grant the English merchants such residency, her Majesty doth promise that so soon as she shall be certified thereof, she will take away all such grievances etc."
Their decree says that before Easter next; "to wit before they grant anything on their parts, they look for a removing of all the Hanse grievances," and in their propositions to Stoad they allege "that it was so agreed that her Majesty should first yield restitutionem privilegiorum, and then they the Residency."
4th Contradiction. Their decree says they cannot grant this Residency "for the respects they ought to have to the other Hanse towns, which also they affirm in their propositions to the Senate of Stoad." Contrary to this, they now sue to her Majesty that the Merchant Adventurers may return to Hamburg, without consent of the other towns.
5th Contradiction. In their letters etc., they profess great friendship to her Majesty and this realm.
Contrary, their propositions to Stoad say "that they were advised by the King of Spain not to draw unto them the King's enemies," wherefore they persuade them of Stoad to reject the English merchants. The like is apparent in their late letters to Verdugo, Captain of Groningen, "wherein they writ that they have now satisfied the King of Spain's request by casting off the English . . . As also by their open rejoicing when any news cometh of ill-success for England or good for Spain etc. [and] by their arming of certain ships of late for the King of Spain's use when they heard of invasion intended by him against this realm etc."
[In the same hand as the endorsement.] By the premises, your honours may see either the malice or the inconstancy of these men; and how dangerous either would be at these times to the trade of our merchants residing there we leave to be considered by your wisdoms, as also what policy it might seem to leave a place "more commodious for trade, more friendly for affection, more easy for conditions, where the Residency is well planted and may be better strengthened . . . for a place incertain, less commodious for trade, of harder conditions, either of enemies or of no good friends, being ready to gratify our enemies upon every occasion with our hurt and disadvantage."
Endd. as in headline. With memo. by Laur. Tomson. "This followeth the letter of the States of Hamburgh of the 7 November, 87. 4½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 74.]
Oct. 28./Nov. 7. Jorge Rodrigues da Costa to Francesco Pietro de Belmonte.
Concerning hides and money which are being sent over from Bahia, Puerto de Plata, and Puerto Ruo by himself and others, with directions as to their disposition. Payments to be made to Gaspar de Gaia, the bearer of this letter, to the writer's wife and to Gaspar Nunez. Part of the goods and money belong to his brother in law, Baltazar Rodrigues, who will give orders what is to be done with them. This is all but poor stuff, but with the first fleet which reaches Terra Firma they will enter on big transactions.— Cartagena, November 7, 1587.
Add. Francesco Pietro de Belmonte in Sevilla, in the street of la Galera. Spanish. 1 p. [Spain II. 85.]
Oct. 29./Nov. 8. Dr. Schulte to Burghley and Walsingham.
I think your lordships have not forgotten what you wrote to me early in this year, when the Society of Adventurers first came to us; the questions you asked and the requests you made. You gave some arguments not to be despised, and reasonably seemed to demand the same of me; calling to mind the letter of the Senate of Hamburg and all the communications that had passed between us in writing when I was in England and afterwards.
I, for my part, did all that a man might do, forgetting nothing of all that had passed. That the matter has not been brought to the issue which we hoped for, seems to me to have been due to an unforeseen stroke of fate, and whether this will cause greater damage and inconvenience to England or to our city I cannot yet say. I could wish, however, that our people had shown more sense and circumspection in the business; had been more attentive to their own earlier letters, and more thoughtful of what had been done previously. Then, I certainly think, our affairs would have been in a happier condition, and there would have been no need for us, with great shame and disgrace, and no small expenditure of means, to ask again for what had been once offered to us, and practically thrust into our hands, but which has slipped from them because we, in our folly, could not appreciate it. I am ashamed to do more than merely indicate this, as it impugns our honour. Moreover you will learn all in detail from your ambassadors; most excellent and able men.
If I have been silent during the whole summer, it is not due to ill humour on my part. The matter has been tossed about on such varying waves of fortune that I found it quite impossible to decide what I ought to write to you. Also, I have been nearly all the summer suffering from fever, and when vouchsafed a little respite from sickness have been bound by other engagements, for many difficult affairs have come up for consideration in this city with the King of Denmark, concerning our rights and liberties. These have been a great obstacle in the way of the English business, and on account thereof, and for certain private causes, the negotiation has at length collapsed.
What was done here last summer, and how the business was hindered, your lordships must know without any words from me, and I think you must have heard the whole story long ago, to the regret and indignation of the Queen. So there is no need for me to write further, and indeed I am ashamed of the whole matter, and you will be able to inform yourselves at large when your ambassadors return home.
All our deliberations and thoughts must now be directed to finding a remedy for the present disturbed condition of affairs, healing the wound that has been made, and retracing our steps where there have been mistakes. I fear there will be toil and labour in this, and that your people will cause us very great difficulties. As for ours, they are ashamed (but too late) of what they have done. The Queen, your lordships and the Society of Adventurers should consider that the Church never refuses her bosom to the returned wanderer, and that God Almighty receives those that are penitent, and rejoices in their salvation, not their death.
Your lordships will learn (from the letters themselves) what the Senate of Hamburg is writing to the Queen; what excuse they put forward and what their latest petition is, and you will examine the matter. I shall refrain therefore from going over the same ground, but one thing I must add by way of corollary and as a warning to you; namely, that the threats mentioned touching the men of Stade (which I protest were not put in the letter on account of her Majesty, or in any way to the prejudice of the English nation) should not be altogether passed over in contempt, as they might lead to very great dissensions, and result to the detriment of those of Stade and indeed the ruin of both cities. And even if little or no inconvenience should accrue to England therefrom (and the men of Hamburg do not wish that it should) yet they might cause trouble and misfortune to the men of Stade, which those of Hamburg could not avert without serious prejudice to their city. And so, inasmuch as it is said in the Scriptures "Blessed are the peacemakers," I beseech your lordships to soothe and heal with good and reasonable counsel the dissensions which have lately arisen between the Society of Adventurers and our city; to appease the Queen's offended feelings against us, and to avoid giving occasion for future quarrels between neighbouring cities in Germany. Nay, more to assist in bringing us back to the path whence we have wandered and gone astray. And, since a fresh offer has now been made to the Society of Adventurers of all the ancient privileges they formerly had in Hamburg, with very few exceptions and modifications . . . if this offer be accepted, the Residency there (which is desired not only by the English nation and the Adventurers but also by the men of Hamburg) can be started anew, under happier auspices, at Easter next.
If any wrong has been committed by our people, I think it should be put down to error and imprudence rather than to any ill-feeling towards England. Certain persons have perhaps sinned through lack of judgment (not out of malice), but even they were urged on and incited by others, and maybe were encouraged by certain vipers which you in England nourish in your bosom. I leave it to your lordships' judgment to decide whether the punishment should fall on any persons other than the actual instigators and plotters. If a little punishment were meted out to them, it would not be amiss.
As for me, I have acted in good faith and with diligence to the best of my ability, I have not neglected any of the things I promised the Queen and your lordships to do; and my reward has been that I have encountered great difficulties, incurred the hatred of many persons, and been forced to suffer, with a few others, under unjust calumny. Of this I have many witnesses, including the ambassadors of the Queen and the Adventurers, who are still here, and are not ignorant of the matter. I desire you to make enquiries of them. Even the expences of my embassy to England two years ago, have been denied me by the men of Lubeck, as guardians of the Hanseatic treasury; and 64l. sterling still remain due to me, of which I have been defrauded to this day. Nevertheless, if I can be of any service to the Queen, your lordships, the Society of Adventurers or the English nation, until this business has been brought to the desired termination, or at any other time, I will show you that I am not lacking in goodwill and a desire to deserve well of you. Nor do I doubt but that the Queen and your lordships will by instinct take a worthy and fair view of this matter, and deal graciously with me; especially since you are not ignorant what was offered to me at your order and that of the Queen by Sir Robert Beall, secretary of the Council; and hand it over to me after being signed by your lordships. I sincerely hope that you and the Queen will bear this in mind.
It only remains that the letter now written by the Senate to the Queen and the things that have so far been done, be viewed with kindly eyes and considered with an impartial mind, and that a definite answer be given as soon as possible, and then I hope and think that what could not be done this summer (unkindly fate forbidding) will be accomplished with happier prospects early in the coming year. But the answer should not be long delayed, for delay is pernicious to many things and Fronte capillata posthaec occasio calva.—Hamburg, 8 November, 1587.
Postscript. I pray you to greet Sir Christopher Hatton from me, who is better known to me than the other lords of the Council. I also beg you to keep this letter carefully and to let me have a reply shortly, if possible.
Add. Endd. Latin. 5 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 75.]
Oct. 30./Nov. 9. Proconsuls and Senate of Hamburg to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer and Mr. Secretary.
It has always been our earnest desire that the connection between England and the Hanseatic cities, which has existed from time immemorial, should be preserved in full strength, and that certain clouds and occasions of trouble should be removed. Nothing therefore could have caused us more distress than to learn that we have fallen under suspicion of hindering this connection and friendship.
Your Excellencies know the reasons for which Richard Saltonstall, Governor of the Society of Adventurers, and Giles Fletcher, Doctor of Laws, were sent to us last summer bearing letters from the Queen and yourselves. We received them with all due honour, heard the tenour of their mandates, and appointed certain of our Senators to treat with them.
The first difficulty which arose was in regard to customs or dues, your ambassadors complaining that these had been increased beyond the sum fixed in the former privileges. But this tax was increased some years before, with the consent of our own citizens and subjects, and had been paid by them up to the time of the arrival of your ambassadors. Our citizens would have considered it very hard that the Society of Adventurers should have preference over them, to the great loss and cost of the city, and should enjoy greater privileges and immunities than the inhabitants themselves. Nevertheless, we arranged that a certain modification of the tax should be made quietly, so that you might have a clear proof of our goodwill and friendship, even at great expence to our State, and we also held out a hope that in treating about the residence, we might make some further modification, that no possible cause of complaint might remain. This necessarily caused some delay, which your ambassadors seemed to resent. But we could not have avoided this without seeming to give an excuse for faction and tumult among our citizens.
This difficulty having been overcome, your ambassadors at once urged us to treat about the residence, in accordance with the privileges formerly granted them, certain articles and heads being added and others withdrawn.
We did not reject this, or refuse anything in connection with the residence; but we warned the ambassadors in a friendly way that we ought not to seem to be having regard to our own private profit rather than to the public good and the other confederate cities; and asked them therefore to give us some assurance as to the restoration of the privileges in England, not only to us but also to the other cities, and to tell us what we and they might expect; for this is the foundation of the whole negotiation as to a residence in Hamburg. In reply, your ambassadors appealed to the letters of the Queen and your Excellencies, and to our letters. At last, after many conferences and communications on both sides . . . we put in writing our intent and opinion, with the consent of the deputies of the citizens (as is the ancient custom in difficult affairs); sealed it with our seal, and ordered it to be shown by the deputies to your ambassadors.
After reading our declaration (of which a copy is enclosed) and deliberating thereupon, your ambassadors by word of mouth propounded certain objections to our resolution, promising to put the same in writing. To this our deputies agreed, and asked that the writing might be handed to them as soon as possible, so that it could be shown to us without delay; whereto your ambassadors consented.
On the following day, without giving us any writing, they went off to Stade, without our knowledge, and quite contrary to our expectation. Nothing was further from our thoughts than that they would put aside all the unfinished negotiations with us, and treat for a residence at Stade, of which, previously, there had never been any treaty or thought. We supposed that they would return to us, take up the negotiation again and bring it to a conclusion. What, then, was our surprise to hear that they had settled with the men of Stade for a ten years' residence, and that the agreement had been put in writing and sealed by both parties. Even if the procrastination or other inconveniences caused by our deputies . . . annoyed your ambassadors, we do not think they gave them any real cause for going off in this way, leaving the treaty entirely abandoned, and without either denunciation or farewell.
This in itself was distressing enough to us, seeing that a Residence at Hamburg, on fair and equal conditions, had not been denied to the Society; and that indeed they had been granted permission to live and trade here freely until Easter of next year, '88, and longer if desired, pending a suitable agreement on the outstanding points. But what disturbed us far more was, that your ambassadors clearly showed that their mind was alienated from us; and we knew that the result would be that the Queen, the English nation, and the Society of Adventurers would be made less friendly to us, without hearing what we had to say. The agreement with the men of Stade was confirmed, as we afterwards heard.
On our part, to show plainly that we were ready to carry on the negotiation as to a residence at Hamburg, we several times sent deputies to Stade to acquaint your ambassadors with our resolve. But although they kindly admitted them to conference, discussed all the proposals with them, gave it as their opinion that the residence at Hamburg would be the most convenient, and complained only of the delay in the business, they nevertheless decided that as a pledge had been given to the men of Stade, that pledge must be strictly observed . . . and that the question of a public treaty with us must be put off until better times, unless some method of dissolving honourably the agreement with the men of Stade could be found; touching which they were not competent to decide . . .
Our deputies publicly put forward some arguments to the contrary, yet in order to preserve the mutual friendship and ancient connection between this and the other Hanseatic cities and the Society of Adventurers, we strove with the Archbishop of Bremen, the magistrates of Stade, the chapter of the church at Bremen and the Senate of Stade . . . to find some legitimate compromise, as your ambassadors are fully aware . . . Nor shall we desist from following, so far as we honourably and lawfully may, any path which will lead to the desired conclusion of the negotiations . . . And we do this the more cheerfully, in order that the Queen, your Excellencies and the English nation, as well as the Society of Adventurers, may see clearly that it is a matter of concern to us that our old friendship and connection with England should be maintained intact, and also in order that we may prove our willingness to reciprocate in actual deed what we have received in writing and by word of mouth, putting aside the many difficulties, envyings, sinister suggestions [etc.] which we have patiently endured, not only recently, but during almost the whole period of the controversy. From all which we think it is quite clear that we have at no time given just cause to any for the abandonment of the treaty about the residency which had been begun . . .
And so, if the Merchant Adventurers have a mind to return to us, we will come to an agreement as to a residence on fair conditions, within one day, provided the privileges in England, promised to us and the other confederates, are confirmed, as we have written more fully to her Majesty. If they are not, then we commit all to God, and look upon it as the decree of fate . . . And if the Merchant Adventurers have their domicile and residence at Emden, or any other place or port, we shall envy nobody, but shall wish them good luck and prosperity and be ready and willing to give them every proof of friendship and goodwill that is in our power.
But Stade is only five miles distant from here, and when we consider the grave injury and disgrace, the emulation, the diminution of our royalties, privileges, taxes, rents etc.; and the decrease and destruction of our whole mart, we can never permit the transference of free import and export to the men of Stade, in return for a residence, without violating the oath by which we are bound to the State, even if we have to take extreme steps (most unwillingly) against our neighbours, the said men of Stade, with whom we have no small controversies in other matters also.
And so, not being conscious of ever having done any injury to the Queen, her realm, or the Society of Adventurers, . . . we confidently trust that the Queen, your Excellencies and the Adventurers, will give this defence and excuse of ours its due weight; and devise some suitable method whereby the residence at Stade may be dissolved, in a quiet and friendly way; the friendship between us renewed, the negotiation for a residence at Hamburg and for mutual imports and exports brought to the desired conclusion and the privileges promised to Hanseatic merchants in England put in operation . . . And we earnestly pray that you will give us a written reply as to what may be expected by us, from the Queen, Your Excellencies and the Society of Adventurers . . .—Hamburg, 9 November, 1587.
Add. Endd. Latin. 10 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns, II. 76.]
[Oct. or Nov.] Answer of the Merchants Adventurers to the statements in the Earl of Embden's letter of Oct. [13–]23.
1. The Adventurers acknowledge the honourable [and ġra]cious inclination of the Earl in granting them privileges and residence in his town of Embden, by [reason] whereof, from 1564 to 1579 they maintained a continual trade there, and [trans] ported thither as much cloth and other commodities as the town and countries adjoining would consume; and brought [from] thence such things as were to be had for the service of this realm; and from 1579 until this year 1587 maintained there an ample trade, to the honour and benefit of his people and (the service of her Majesty and the Commonwealth [of England].
They also confess that his lordship has sustained great trouble and charge in defending his right and jurisdiction against the injurious complaints of the Hanses to the Emperor and Princes of Germany, yet they may not neglect to show to their honours [the Privy Council?] that they and their trade "were touched nearly, but untruly by the complaints of the Hanses, and that the commissioners of the said Earl could not maintain their lord and master's rightful cause wi[thout the] commendation of the Adventurers' honest and merchantlike trade." Sundry times they yielded moneys to his commissioners by way of gratification, amounting to the sum of [torn] thousand marks sterling, besides horses and beer sent to him by them.
They did not depart from Embden without his privity, for in September last, so soon as the Adventurers in Embden knew of the agreement, they sent their clerk to signify to the Earl their purpose to depart; showing [how] "by reason of the troubles and dangers by water and land, they had found last summer small utterance for their cloths etc. (and foreign merchants [besides] themselves having turned their trade to Stade and Hamburg) . . . and so craved his lordship's favourable construction of their de[parture], promising when the passages to and from his town by water and land should [be restored] they would maintain such trade in his town as the same should bear."
2. They confess that the Earl has not offered hard measure to them, and that their departure proceeded only from the reasons aforesaid; and therefore they humbly pray that her Majesty will not carry any hard opinion of the said Earl, nor of themselves, who were compelled by necessity to withdraw.
3. [As to his promise to perform whatever her Majesty shall require of him.] "Such hath been his lordship's promise at all times; and the same, for ought the Adventurers could ever perceive, he hath endeavoured to perform."
No date. Endd. 1 p. On the same paper as the abstract of the Earl's letter. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 77 II.]