Elizabeth: July 1587, 11-15

Pages 155-180

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3, April-December 1587. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929.

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July 1587, 11-15

I have used all means to keep Sir John Norris's company of horse from breaking, but they were so weakened before his departure that it had been as small charge and more honour to your Lordship to levy other companies than to draw these, so disordered and discontented together. For the foot, he has carried away all his musketeers, has given passport to about 70 others, who have either sold or carried off their armour and furniture, and those left marched out not 100 strong ; they rose with great difficulty for want of money ; Sir John having lately received a month's pay of which they aver not a penny has been disbursed, and they having been also abridged of their weekly lendings. The officers lay the fault on Sir John, swearing that he directed them to employ it otherways. All means have been used to make them discontented, and nothing has kept them together but "hope of better under your honourable conduct." Their discontent grew not from his departure, or any singular affection for him, but from their former hard usage. Your lordship will greatly content them if they may have their reckonings "in paper only." "Touching the troop of horse, the abuse and contempt committed to cross the service and dissolve the company hath exceeded all bonds of dutiful obedience and honesty, wherein the officers in general are much to blame . . . who have suffered both horses and men to depart, besides those which Sir John himself carried and set away." Horses have been sold or claimed by the lieutenant, cornet and soldiers without punishment ; many have run away with horse and furniture, and those men who remain are far in debt. This day order is taken with the burghers to deliver what horses can be found in the town, and as many men as will march away, which I doubt will be very few. [Concerning the refusal of the men to muster. See p. 154 above]. If Sir John Norris have not his Excellency's licence for such as went with him or by his passport, I hear he means to procure warrant from her Majesty. I send by Mr. Pooley a particular of the review taken by certificate of the officers, "whereby your lordship may see ex unguibus leonem." Sir John practised all means possible to deface his troop, and his officers have confessed that he shipped 21 horses more than his own stable, besides what he willed to be sold or otherwise disposed of ; and most of his passports are dated since his revocation.Utrecht, 10 July, 1587. Postscript. Sends names of those marched towards Bergen up Zoom, "horsed, armed and furnished, very serviceable, as also of them which remain behind. Captain Crispe's company has been these six months almost joined to Sir John Norris's troop, but are now "entered away" from his lordship. Copy. Endd. "July 11." 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 26.]
June 11/21. Certain points touching the re-establishment of the Council of State, the Escluse etc., treated between the deputies of the States General and his Excellency. (fn. 1) The said deputies appeared in the Council of State, thanked his Excellency for having returned thither for the preservation and welfare of the common cause, and said that they were ready to enter into communication with him concerning the war and other needful matters ; and that five persons were named to confer with the counsellors of her Majesty and others of the Council, to make a friendly end of the differences between him and the States. His Excellency thereupon declared by the Chancellor of Gueldres that he was very glad thereof ; but first desired them to settle the point of the re-establishment of the Council of State. The deputies replied [giving details as to how each State stood in regard to the nomination of their deputies] and his Excellency exhorted them to use all diligence. They made some difficulty about those of Flanders ; saying that no one had come from thence to the States General to nominate any for the Council, and that those who had formerly appeared were not duly authorised, but his Excellency urging the need of prompt action, it was resolved that they should meet again after dinner and that his Excellency should bring with him such of the Council of War as he thought good. The States' deputies being desired to give in their answer in writing agreed to do so, if the proposal was made to them "en Flameng," to send to their superiors according to custom. In the afternoon, the Chancellor being called on by his Excellency, showed the need of proceeding with the war, especially for the aid of Sluys, and asked them to declare the state of their army, and what money, munitions and victuals they could furnish promptly to assist therein. The States, by Pensionary Menin, thanked his lordship for his care for the country and the succour of Sluys, giving a long recital of their negotiations with Lord Buckhurst arguing therefrom that the States' extraordinary grant was upon her Majesty's promise to send 500,000 florins extraordinary aid, and was conditional upon her doing so ; enlarging upon their difficulties in providing the same, and ending by saying that the Council of State should have better knowledge than themselves, both as to the state of the forces, the payments made and the money which remained. Thereupon his Excellency called upon the Councillors to declare what they knew, who, having consulted together, declared by the Chancellor that after his Excellency's departure, there had been many accidents and changes, and thatas during his absence the States had not come to any new agreements with the Council, because the latter could not accept them, with the conditions annexed, without authorization from his Excellencythe management of the money had remained in the hands of the said States, who had disposed of it as they thought fitting, and had also chiefly treated with Lord Buckhurst, General Norreys, Counsellors Clarke and Wilkes. The forces had been at the disposition of the States General and the governors of provinces ; but probably the treasurer de Bye could give some explanation of the moneys employed. This declaration having been heard, the States were desired to make a more ample declaration (leaving long discourses on other matters) of the numbers of men and amount of money which they could promptly furnish ; whereupon they entered once more into discourse of their alleged immense difficulties, in regard of the great cost of the German reiters, the payment of garrisons and the maintenance of the camp and entertainment of Count Hohenlo, adding that the greatest difficulty was caused by her Majesty's not furnishing the 500,000 florins. To this Councillor Loozen said that they ought not to make so much difficulty of that, seeing that the sum required for the exploit in question was not very great, and that the money would be used for the payment of their own men, whom they must pay in any case. As they persisted in their difficulties, Mr. Killigrew showed that by her contract, her Majesty was bound only to give a succour of 5000 foot and 1000 horse, and understood that all other charges would be borne by the States, and that also his Excellency had never been satisfied of the 200,000 florins and other extraordinary moneys for supporting the expenses of the war. It was insisted (in spite of contradictions) that the States must bestir themselves and show by deeds their desire for their non preservation and their gratitude for the benefits received or which they hoped to receive from her Majesty and his Excellency. Finally, Councillor Beale, by command of his Excellency, asked whether the States understood that Sluys must be succoured, and if they had no further means than they had now spoken of, in which event his Excellency protested that it would not be the fault of her Majesty or himself, but of those who refused reasonably to contribute, if the town were not relieved. The States replied that it was for him to judge whether it was needful or not to go to the help of that town, as he best knew its condition ; and if it were so necessary, that he must be pleased to employ the forces now on hand ; and insomuch as the States had already used the extraordinary contributions of June and July for the reiters and lanzknechts, they prayed him to disburse the money needed for the said exploit from her Majesty's means, and they would repay it from the August contributions, This his Excellency required them to give in writing ; and also that they should hasten the nomination of the councillors of State and that the contributions, as in the past, should be put into their hands, as otherwise they could not accept their charge, or execute it as obliged by their oath. On this, his Excellency departed, and the States remained in private conference with the Councillors, who urged upon them to come to a prompt and profitable resolution. Not signed or endorsed. Fr. 4 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 28.]
There have been no occurrences worthy of note since his Excellency's coming over, both by reason of the troublesome state of things since his arrival, and the shortness of time ; "bestowed in deliberations both to provide for things to come, and to reform and remedy that is past, so that our actions of war are not yet entered into, yet hastened with all the good address that may be .... "Upon Monday, 3 July, the Count Hohenlo, with such forces of horse and foot as were drawn together in Brabant ... marched toward a fort near the old Bosse and made a bridge over the Mase to Bomblesward, and there lay slenderly ensconced with some waggons. Upon Tuesday the 4 July, the enemy making sure account to have beaten and drowned all our men and to have taken the bridge and ordnance, came and assailed them ; but in the end, God be thanked, were driven to retreat with much loss both of horse and men, without any great hurt on our side. They were in number 1400 horse and 4000 foot, and there was slain in the skirmish Haultepenne with some others esteemed of worth and a brave Italian which is thought to be the son of Chapin Vitelli or Spinola, which was sometimes in England. Touching our news of Sluce, I send your lordship a copy of a letter whereby you may gather such advertisements as we have. Middelburgh, 11 July, 1587. Holograph. 1 p. [Holland XVI. f. 32.]
Letter from Sluys.
Jehan Hespiel et Englebert having the chance of writing to you, this is to tell you that I am in good health. Since being besieged, we have done our duty against the enemy, as you may learn by those coming from Calais and other places, who may better know the losses of the enemy than we do. As to what happened the day before yesterday, they had battered the fort for two whole days and made a breach of forty feet at least, and at the same time made a general assault on all sides ; which we awaited resolutely and so withstood that they were obliged to retreat with great loss and shame. It is supposed that they lost a thousand or twelve hundred soldiers, and many men of mark. Our own loss was small, for we had retired into the town the day before, abandoning the fort, as it was no longer tenable, or served for any purpose save to lose men ; but we amused the enemy before it for five weeks. We are all determined to die rather than he shall take the town, and so you may assure my friends, but not the States, for they have sought by all means to deliver us to the enemy as traitors. I hope the Earl of Leicester will succour us in time. As to my boat, which is in Zeeland, I pray you, with Jehan Englebert that it may put to sea. Commend me to M. Blocq and pray him to have a look to my affairs. Tell M. Loge, Placque, Blanquart and all my friends that I am determined to show those who have done me such dishonour that they have not to do with a poltroon.L'Escluse, 19 July, 1587. "Below was written, Par vostre bien-affection amy de vous faire service, Charles de Herauguieres." Endd. "Copy of a letter out of Sluys," by Burghley's clerk. Fr. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 33.] Also
Another copy of the same. [Ibid., f. 34.]
On receipt of her Majesty's letter to make my repair hither, I was forced to depart without passing my accounts for the money due to me and my companies, which, by the muster-master's hard dealing, would have been delayed longer than was fit for me to stay. And the said companies having been relieved in the time of their necessity "for the most part by such means as I had of mine own and by my credit ... I may have disbursed to the value of two thousand pounds" as also for the charges of my journey, and so have been driven to deal with the merchants by bills of exchange to be paid here, which, for my credit's sake, I pray may not be protested against, but that, of such money as is due to me and my companies I may be imprested such reasonable sum as you think convenient, the said sum to be defalked out of the next money delivered to her Majesty's treasurer in the Low Countries, and by him charged on my accounts. I have drawn out a short note as well of what may be due from the 12th of October last, the time of the last full pay made to her Majesty's forces in those parts, as also of such imprests as have been made since to the said companies, setting down the rates rather against myself than otherwise ; and humbly crave your lordship's accustomed good favour in this my suit, as well for maintenance of my credit as for relieving such of my companies "as I have been driven to bring over with me at this present, for my better safety in my return hither." London, 11 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 36.]
To-day there came four from 'Slews,' who report that our men are all of resolute minds to keep the place. They have left the great sconce, but willingly and without loss. They were three times assaulted in the sconce, but repelled the enemy with loss. Three or four hundred of ours are hurt or killed, but no leader save Capt. Vere, who is shot in the arm. They lack men more than victuals, yet are said to have a thousand fighting men in the town. They work day and night, men and women ; "they have a company of women, a whole band." Some who have come, say the town might be victualled by galleys. They are going to-day to his Excellency.Ostend, 11 July, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 38.]
July 1/11. "A brief note of the reckoning betwixt her Majesty and her Highness' forces in the Low Countries for 9 months 3 days ; beginning 12 October 1586, and ending 11 July, 1587. Headed. "Primo July," the above dates being evidently new style. With memorandum by the compiler [qy. Mr. Hunt] that he has charged Sir Thos. Sherley with 3197l. to the use of her Majesty (towards the reimbursement of the States' debts), paid by the burgers of Brill ... to the captains and companies in garrison there within the time of this reckoning, of which there has been repaid to the States 1600l., by order of Lord Buckhurst "and the rest in Council." Endorsed by Burghley. "11 July, 1587. The debt for nine months . . . Delivered by Mr. Hunt, 20 July 1587 at Theobalds. 46,000l. 2s." 1 sheet. [Ibid. XVI. f. 40.]
Acknowledges letters of the 14th and 20th June with the names of her Majesty's deputies. Being then in Antwerp, ill with a fever, he wrote to the Duke of Parma, who at once sent the enclosed answer. Has since been with his Highness thrice. In substance he said that he regretted the treaty was so long delayed and that while he was acting so sincerely, it seemed very strange that Drake should have proceeded in so hostile a manner in Spain ; seeing that such methods exasperated the King and touched his own honour. He wished the peace might have taken effect before he was forced to take the field ; and even now he hoped it might be concluded before the arrival of the troops, he expected from eight to nine thousand Spaniards and as many Italians, without counting the Germans, Walloons, Lorrainers and others. He reckons in all, to have 30,000 men ; whom (he said) he might still be able to countermand and send back ; otherwise, he must employ them in Holland, on the confines of the States during the coming winter, to the total destruction of that country, which, he said, he would deeply regret ; with many like observations, concluding as follows : Write to her Majesty that I desire to serve her, and that for all it will be well to make peace, I will forward and conclude it if her Majesty desires it, as much as I do. I shall not change my mind whatever happens as I prefer to proceed by love rather than by severity and bloodshed. To which de Loo replied that her Majesty was of the same disposition. Good, then said he, we shall soon arrive at an agreement. When asked if he accepted the commissioners nominated by her Majesty, he said yes, and that his own will be ready at the time and place appointed by her. And while the negotiations are proceeding it might be possible to arrange for a cessation of arms, though he could not abandon the siege of L'Escluse, because of the charges already incurred, and the daily cost of his army. But if the commissioners come quickly (in which they do not much believe here) and treat, he might easily be persuaded to stay his hand against the town for a fortnight or so, as he seems sincerely disposed to do all that could be desired in favour of peace provided it is not to the prejudice of the service or honour of the King. He said he hopes that his proceedings will in no way vex her Majesty (as he thinks they ought not to do) ; and that he will not fail in hearty good will to please her in whatever way he can. And that the best thing will be for the commissioners to come at once and begin to treat, which he very earnestly looks for, and for greater clearness he has had the enclosed letter written to the President. Thus nothing more remains but to pray the Omnipotent to grant that this matter may be put in execution as soon as possible bonis felicibusque avibus as even the slightest delay may do harm. His Highness, alluding to the King of Denmark, said that a gentleman had been sent to him with letters in the same way as to her Majesty, [proposing] that the commissioners should meet at Emden on the 26 of August next ; to which the Duke has replied, accepting his good will, thanking him ; and [saying] that he will be ready to send his commissioners to the place and at the time her Majesty shall appoint ; yet the Duke does not at all wish to negotiate by this means ; and also they do not think Emden a suitable place and there is no doubt that all can be done through the Duke with greater ease and more satisfaction to her Majesty. On taking leave his Highness said : Salute her Majesty from me and send away your letter quickly that I may speedily have the reply. Has told him it is expected here at Bruges, the camp being too inconvenient, and prays that he may have it with all possible speed, in order not to give time for any other disorder to intervene now that all is so happily arranged.Bruges, 11 July, 1587, stilo Anglico. Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders I. f. 297.]
July 12. "A brief declaration what is due unto Sir John Norreys by estimation for his companies of horse and foot, from the 12th of October anno 1586 until the 12th of July anno 1587." Total charge, 5004l. 10s. ; whereof he has received 1838l. 10s. ; and so there remaineth due 3166l. Also due to him for his own and his lieutenant's entertainment ; for interest of money borrowed by him to relieve his companies ; for so much disbursed by him for his transportation out of the country and for his extraordinary charges as commander of her Majesty's forces during the Earl of Leicester's absence.... Total, 988l., but no figures put to the last item. Endd. by Burghley. "Sir John Norryce reckoning from the 12 of Oct., 1586 to the 12 of July, 1587, delivered to me at London the 19 of August." 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 41.]
"A note of so much money as is due to Sir John Norreys knt. for his company of horse and foot from the 12th of October, 1586, until the 13th of July, 1587" :
Total due, 4862l. 5s. ; received by way of imprests, 1766l. 8s. 6d.; and so remaineth due 3085l. [sic] 16s. 6d. Also The rest of his entertainment as Colonel-general. The interest of the money taken up to relieve the companies from the Earl of Leicester's departure until the 15th of March. His extraordinary charges while chief commander during the Earl's absence, "being 8 months and better." His transportation from the Low Countries to the Court. [To these items no figures are attached.] It may further be considered that although the warrants from the muster-master for the pay of the company of lances was only for one hundred, yet it doth appear by the muster-rolls there passed 125 persons in the said company ; and in the company of foot 30 over and above the number of 250. Signed by Sir John. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 43.]
Being by the lords of the Council commanded to set down in writing all such matters concerning the present state of the United Provinces as, by the lord Buckhurst I was required to do by speech, and as it would be too tedious if I should therein comprise all that were meet for your Majesty's knowledge ; so by reason of my present disgrace I do greatly fear I shall neither please your Majesty nor satisfy myself ; "wherefore I humbly intreat that what I allege may not be wrested to my prejudice, but used to your Majesty's best advantage and the furtherance of the cause whereof your Majesty hath undertaken the defence." Recalls to her remembrance the expenditure of her treasure and loss of her faithful subjects' lives since August was a twelvemonth, as also what mass of the "country contributions have been consumed in making a defensive war," with the loss nevertheless of sundry towns and places, mostly by practice and treason, a mean by which the enemy doth and will daily prevail, from the strength of his purse and the poor satisfaction given by the States to their men. Enforces the need of the perpetual presence of a governor and shows the disorders which have arisen during the Earl of Leicester's absence, differences between province and province, town and town ; between governors of the provinces and the towns and among the commanders of the forces, from lack of any superior authority to settle their dissensions. This caused the loss of Deventer and would have done the like at Utrecht if Sir John Norreys by his wisdom and presence there had not prevented it when attempted by the States of Holland and Count Hohenlo, in conjunction with Count Moeurs, the governor. The causes of the mislike conceived by the States for the English government is a matter too high and dangerous for him to meddle with, but supposes that if her Majesty refuses the sovereignty herself, she will think it should "remain with such as now by the laws of those countries do retain the same, which is not in the common people, as some are persuaded," but in the Vroetschap, who are the chiefest burgers in the cities, and out of whom are drawn the magistrates, and out of them the persons called the Estates. This Vroetschap are most jealous of their liberties and privileges, for defence whereof they now make war against their lawful sovereign, and charge themselves with impositions which no prince would force them to. The States have been alarmed by bruits out of England that the Earl of Leicester meant not only to remove divers of that College, but to put some of them to death, with the aid of the common people. Knows his lordship is too wise to attempt such a thing, but if he should make show of any such purpose it will hazard the ruin of the country, endanger his lordship and be the loss of all her Majesty's charge employed there. It is thought it would be easy to draw the common people into violence against the States, but the attemptors thereof would fail, as the Magistrates do and will hold a vigilant eye and severe hand against any that stir, by word or faction. And if the people ever should be so animated against their lawful magistrates, the example would be dangerous and the act itself most perilous. The members of the States-General will always be odious to the people, as the impositions and charges are laid by them, whereat the people grieve without reason or remedy. The true course to prevent mischief is to follow the steps of the late Prince of Orange, who found as many difficulties as ever the lord of Leicester hath done, yet forbore to discountenance the States with the people. He always entertained some five or six of the most credit ; the needy ones with pensions, the rest with presents, and all "with calling them to his table and society." Through these he wrought upon the rest and there was nothing handled in their assemblies but he knew of it beforehand ; and when he had any thing to propound, he always consulted with these persons, "whether the matter would pass or be impugned," knew the arguments that would be brought against his propositions, and came "armed with answers and counter-reasons, to the wonderful admiration of them all, and so prevailed." He attempted nothing of importance without obtaining their liking and allowance thereof, for that the nature of that people was and is to mislike the actions of their governors if they do not succeed, even if designed with all reason and probability. He had not "the shoulder of so great a monarch" as her Majesty to countenance his government, but did all by wisdom and dexterity. The States are the same now as then, and do not love to be subject to any monarchial government. They have many other imperfections, but their natures cannot be altered, and so her Majesty must make a virtue of necessity ; since her safety "is so contiguate with the preservation of those countries." The greatest difficulty in the maintenance of this action is to proportion the charges of the wars and the number of soldiers with the contributions and means of the country. Many towns must have great garrisons, whose pay exceeds the ordinary contributions, and the extraordinary ones are uncertain and are now strained so high as it is to be feared they will not be levyable. But it has been long intended by Holland and Zeeland (who contribute nearly all for the war) to abandon the rest of the provinces and reduce their wars and defence to their own alone, holding three or four towns as keys thereto, viz ; Bergues oft Zoom for Zeeland, Utrecht for Holland, and Zwoll and Campen for defence of the Zuidersee and West Frise ; and having command of the sea. Those of best experience believe that such a war will in two or three years ruin them wholly, considering the patience and skill of the enemy, but they say they see no other means to preserve their Estate ; that they can hold out at any rate for two or three years, and they hope, in the mean time the King of Spain may die, and thereby they may be relieved. Their only doubt is whether it might induce her Majesty to compound with Spain, but they hope that, for her own security, she will never yield Flushing and Brill to the Spaniard (even if she should revoke other succours) or "impeach them by sea, from whence they think to draw their chiefest means of defence. This resolution is the cause why the States have been careless of the towns of Sluyce and Ostend, as not unwilling to see them lost ; and ... hath also caused them to remove those of Flanders that were of the College of States and Council from their places and societies." Fears they will be drawn to this, first by want of means to maintain the war at large after this year, and secondly by her Majesty treating for peace with the Spaniard, whereunto he supposes she would never induce the States and towns of those two provinces. "They are both greatly enriched by the wars, having drawn to themselves the common trade of Flanders and Brabant, and secured the same between them by their strength of shipping and navigation." To maintain the provinces in union and peace, there must be a sound correspondence between the Earl of Leicester and the States, to be mediated by her Majesty, who by her letters may remove their fears of his intention to be revenged on some of them ; and may advise his lordship to take a gentle course with them, and so reconcile those who are in greatest doubt of him ; "namely Barnevelt, the most sufficient among them ; Carlo Rorda ; Franc. Malson ; Couper, pensioner of Tervere ; the pensioner Tergau ; the pensioner of Delf ; and Brassart, the burgomaster. These men, being of most credit and authority among the States, and such as have principally opposed themselves against his lordship in his absence, are meetest to be retained in office ... as best able to do him service with the States upon all occasions." Also he would do well to remove all who have been enveighers against the States and Council, and so made themselves odious to the States, and will keep up their jealousy, so long as they continue about his lordship. "The Count Hohenlo is a dangerous man, and therefore to be soundly reconciled to my lord, and so kept in devotion ; or else that some course be taken to remove him out of the countries without danger, which will never be compassed so long as my lord is had in distrust by the States, by whom the Count Hohenlo is now maintained and countenanced, to be opposed as a corrective to my lord's actions. He is their Hercules and a man fit for any desperate attempt," and is altogether directed by Barnevelt and P. Bus, who seeks to be revenged upon his lordship for the matter of his imprisonment. The Council of State will never be faithful to his lordship so long as there is any pique between himself and the States, from whom they are taken ; but he cannot govern well in matter of policy without their assistance and therefore should be advised to do nothing without them in matters of that quality. The greatest danger of abuse to her Majesty is in the issuing of her treasure for her forces, and as the States are hereafter to "remburse" all that she has spent that way, it is very reasonable that the disbursements should be made with the privity of the Council of State according to the contract ; to which end, her Treasurer should have some place in the Treasury there where he might bestow the money, and thence issue it as aforesaid and that the States should have docquets of all warrants and payments. Is moved to suggest this by finding the strange apostiles made by the States upon the accounts of the late treasurer Mr. Huddilston, and the disallowing of many of them ; as the 20,000l. laid out by the Earl of Leicester for some companies in their pay, and the entertainment of divers English officers. Her Majesty should give order for the due observance of her contract, which was (before Wilkes going thither) but slenderly observed by the Treasurer and muster-master, and was occasion of much complaint from the States and Council, and confusion in the services. The completion of the companies in her Majesty's pay has been often urged by the States ; "which have have been so weak all this last winter as of 5000 footmen there were not 3000 strong, and of 1000 horse not 500." It is not to be doubted that the muster-master and treasurer will make allowance to her Majesty of the numbers short, but it should be remembered by those who receive the accounts. Order must also be taken for a full pay of such of her forces as are behind hand (as mentioned at the beginning of this discourse) lest there should the like happen to what chanced when he himself was at the Brill, within this last week, when the companies in both forts, on being ordered into Zeeland, to join the forces assembled for the camp, mutinied and demanded nine month's pay, so that, if the enemy had been at hand to take advantage thereof, "the forts had been rendered unto him and thereby the town lost." These are as many of the principal points and matters which by direction from my lord Buckhurst he was to have delivered. Laments his disgrace, from which a loyal service of 15 years has not saved him. Signed. Endd. by Burghley as sent to her Majesty at Theobalds. 11 closely written pp. [Holland XVI. f. 45.]
July 12. Rough Draft of the above.
Endd. by Wilkes. 15 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 51.]
July 12. Copy of the same.
Endd. 11 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 59.]
I had thought ere this to have been at the court, but being detained by my late sickness, I pray you as you shall see cause to excuse my enforced absence, hoping to be there on Friday at the farthest. "In the mean while, if it be true as I am informed, I am hardly used by my lord Admiral ; which nevertheless I cannot believe, he being a noble man of so great honour, my kinsman and my friend, and therefore, methinks, should not so greatly wrong me and himself both. I am told that her Majesty should be informed that at my being with my lord of Leicester at Middelburgh, I did refuse to let him know such matters as he demanded for her Majesty's service ; whereas he demanding of me in a generalty of all such things as I had dealt in there sithence my coming over, whereby he might be the better informed for her Majesty's service, as he said, I answered his lordship that if I should recount all my proceedings since my coming over, I must then ask a longer time to call them to memory ; and it would also require a great time to deliver it. But if his lordship would be informed of any particular matter, I would presently satisfy him, if he would please to demand it. Whereupon he asked me divers matters, to all which I gave him present answer. Only he pressed me to inform him what reason I had to accept so slender a satisfaction of the States as I had done. Thereunto I said : That his lordship should pardon me, for as therein his lordship had unjustly brought her Majesty's displeasure upon me, so I would not utter the same to him, but either to her Majesty or to such as it would please her Majesty to appoint to have the hearing thereof ; but as for his lordship, I held him for no indifferent judge, nor hearer of the same. And thus we departed .... That afternoon I sent for Mr. Killigrew and Mr. Beale, and asked them if they had it in their instructions to propose anew those matters of grief to the States which I had heretofore delivered unto them. They said they had it not by writing, but that her Majesty verbally had willed them to deal with them therein again." I assured them it would do great harm, and imparted to them the whole of my proceedings, whereof Mr. Beale took divers notes, and said that upon what I had shown them, they would alter their course, and not proceed in those matters in such sort as otherwise they would have done. Thus much I beseech you to declare to her Majesty on my behalf."This Wednesday, 1587." Holograph. Add. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 65.]
Since my last I have been with my lord of Leicester and tried to satisfy him as to the execution of the men "whose notable mutiny and necessary example I imparted to your lordship," but he was so prepared to mislike it, that "he would incline to no consideration which might allow my dealing." But when her Majesty or the Privy Council shall call it in question, I doubt not it shall be shown to have been proceeded in with equal and honest trial of the parties, whereof I have discreet and worthy witnesses, whose presence, I fear, more prejudiced his lordship than anything else, "for I well hoped to be encouraged against such as mutiny for pay, being therefor justly punished.... The offence deserved the sentence performed and the example was necessary and shall be profitable to her Majesty's service." I desired my lord rather to show reason for condemning my doings than in words to exercise his displeasure, the indignity whereof was improper to me as a nobleman in England and here authorized by her letters patents to all I had hitherto done. It were tedious to relate in a letter what moved me to remove the company or to execute any, therefore I have enclosed it by itself, for the truth whereof I engage my life, committing the same to your honourable wisdom, which shall learn nothing but truth from me, "for more than the value of Holland." Though much treasure has been sent over, "this garrison is far behind, and have received no pay but the weekly lendings of the town almost these nine months, saving an imprest while my lord of Buckhurst was here to every captain, and somewhat for the creditors. I need not speak for myself, for by your honourable means I had a good imprest," but for those under my charge tell you how the case standeth. The forces for the relief of Sluce (which my lord purposes to undertake either by giving the Prince battle, or besieging some town to divert his forces) are not yet all gathered, or which course to take concluded, but "so Sluce may be succoured, all is well." Briell, 12 July. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Seal of arms. [Holland XVI. f. 67.]
Causes why Lord Burgh removed Captain Sherley's company.
1. Their disorders and spoils upon the boors, of which he continually received complaints, but could reform them neither by admonition or punishment.
2. Their disobedience to their officers ; as when Capt. Sherley came by the Earl of Leicester's commission to be their leader, "whom they refused ... and with great mutiny required to be satisfied of all their pay," which was not in any-one's power to grant till the Treasurer etc. sent their warrants.
3. The forts are the chief strength of the town, for security whereof he thought it necessary to place them in the hands of those he most trusted and therefore gave that charge to his brother and his company, to beg her Majesty's letters patents he was authorized to do.
Why execution was done upon any.
1. When ordered to remove and repair to Lord Willoughby for direction where they should be employed, they refused to leave without nine months' pay, although he had procured the magistrates to provide shipping and "pravante" for their transportation.
2. "The government of such numbers consisteth in discipline, wherein examples of death must necessarily be used to repress mutiny and rebellion, and the rather where ... the whole garrison may be stirred to the like disobedience by neglect of justice," and refuse obedience "unless they were first pleased with money."
Why four suffered when one might have been an example.
Though the mutiny was one (for pay), the conditions were divers. One, a serjeant, was desired either to come out of the sconce or to order the men not to stand thus upon terms for their pay, but answered that "he would stand to it himself till death, and not come forth to any governor." The corporal having the guard that day drew up the bridge and animated the evil attempt. Of the two soldiers, one first began the disorder and took upon him to debate it for all the rest, and the other, when the rest had yielded, urged them still "to stand on their guard and to die and live in it." These four were convicted in my marshal's court and were worthily executed. The whole band deserved the same, but were more led in by simplicity than by wickedness.
The manner of proceeding against them.
A marshal's court was summoned, all the officers of the garrison assembled, with some other officers who chanced to be in the town and were by long service thoroughly experienced in martial matters. "Every one was heard for himself, but the matter so apparently dangerous and insufferable, as every man assented that the mutiny was inexcusable ; and then accordingly I pronounced sentence of death." Signed by Lord Burgh. Endd. by Burghley's clerk. 2 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 69.]
Can give no news of their affairs, as his Excellency has not yet assembled his forces, or the enemy effected anything to the danger of Sluce. Hopes in the end he will be driven to quit it with great loss. Reports encounter of Count Hollock with the enemy in the confines of Brabant ; in which 'Hawtupeyne' was shot, whose loss is great to the enemy."Briell, 12 July [1587]. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 71.]
Acknowledging divers courtesies received from his honour. On leaving England, it was their good fortune to meet with eleven sails laden with corn for Dunkirk, all of which they brought to Flushing. "The Count of Hollock intending to make a bridge over the 'Mase' by Bommels Ward, to have the better passage in those countries by 'Bolducke,' the enemy, having intelligence, made themselves in a readiness, with 4000 footmen and 2000 horse, to defeat his intention," and marched twenty-eight English miles. Hollock, though not in such readiness as was requisite, "did abide the charge of the enemy in such sort that he slew of them 400, and it is thought we lost no less in number ; nevertheless [he] keeps possession of the bridge." On Monday last, the Duke of Parma battered the fort of Sluys, and spent 2800 shot to make a breach, which having done, he made three assaults so sharply that those within were forced to retire. The enemy lost 2000 men ; of our side 400 slain but none of any account ; only Captains Huntley and Veare hurt. Count Hollock has got a fort called the English sconce (fn. 2) a league distant from Bolducke. He opened battery upon it, whereupon it was yielded by composition.Middelborgh, 12 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVI. f. 73.]
Giving a more detailed account of the capture of the corn vessels. They were taken by Sir Henry Palmer ; four of them being Danes and the rest Hollanders or of Friesland. Yesterday there was a falling out between Captains Suyderman and Morenow. (fn. 3) Suyderman, being challenged by Morenow, had the "fortune" to kill him, and is fled ; "and it is thought his Excellency will give his company from him unless he may have good friends." "My lord" desires Nedham to be dispatched with some speed. Middelburgh 12 July, 1587. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XVI. f. 75.]
His Excellency having taken great pains to work speedy effects in his preparations for the field, and finding them not fall out to his will, went on Friday the 7th inst. to Dordrecht (a place better affected and readier to further the good of their country than many of the towns), to hasten his provisions and deal for the furnishing of the new bands with armour and with garrisons until they were ready for the field. He was received with great joy and good testimonies of their affection to her Majesty. "On Saturday the States General came hither to his Excellency and not before. "Hither likewise came news of an encounter that the Count of Hohenlo had with the enemy near Balduc, where then it was said that Holtepen was slain ; which now is known to be a lie, and that this conflict did not run so currently as the report was given out, for we had many men that were slain and drowned, and so there was of the enemy ; but if those few English companies that were there had not stood to their tackling, the Count Hohenlo had been quite overthrown." Now we hear that he has taken the 'Inglon sconce,' between him and Balduc, but I cannot learn why, or of what importance it can be, unless an army is left to victual and defend it, for which no troops can be spared ; for the Duke of Parma draws all the forces he can together, "as one resolved to put up his rest and either win the horse or lose the saddle." The fort [at Sluys] was abandoned on Sunday by the town, after they had repulsed the enemy's assault for three days and slain one or two thousand men, not without loss, themselves, of at least two hundred. They retired all their artillery and provisions into the town, and burned the fort. It had been a question before whether the fort should be defended or no, as it gave no safety to the town, but was kept only to annoy the enemy. They continue resolute to keep the town so long as men, munition and victuals last, and my lord takes infinite care to make all ready for their succour.Middelburgh, 12 July, 1587. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 76.]
I have received your lordship's letters of the 4th and pray you to excuse my not answering them with my own hand, which is not so strong as it was. Your advertisements from the Duke's camp are much the same as ours. No doubt he makes his profit by dallying with the treaty of peace, and now the rather because he has gotten the sconce before Sluys, and so is more hopeful for the town itself. [Narrates the assault and abandonment of the fort etc., as given in other letters.] The people then are of good courage, but begin to want men and powder. I have sought divers ways the possibility of the passage by water, but find no such facility as your intelligences import. Something shall be done shortly, "but my assistance from this country is like to be very scant ; money none ; men, in promise two or three thousand, but those wearied out already with Count Hollock's wars in Brabant. Shipping enough promised, but not to be ready till it will be very late [over "too late" erased] and so likewise of armour, ordnance and munition. I never heard of men so slack in causes that touch them so near. But indeed, those of Hollandwho chiefly govern above the restmake small account of this town, or of anything else in Flanders. And how slow they are in all their estate causes may appear in this, that I was here fourteen or fifteen days after my arrival before they came to me, and now, in the few conferences we have hitherto had, I find some of them so froward as it giveth me little cause as yet to have any great hope of much good in their dealings. It may be that upon better consideration ... we may find alteration in them ... but if they continue as they begin, I must give knowledge of their doings to the particular provinces for her Majesty's honour's sake, which they seek to blemish with the people by spreading rumours that she seeketh but by them to work her own profit by a private peace, and rather burdeneth them with her people than doth them good. With these and such-like suggestions, those of Holland, some of them, use their endeavours to alienate the people, but cannot, and shall be less able, I hope, by that time things shall be known in their true course of dealing. They are no doubt lost if her Majesty leave them, and yet thus little do they esteem of the good she doth them... So if these few deputies shall thus continue it, I think it expedient that the provinces and the best towns be let plainly know where the fault lieth, which might have been done before by some, if her Majesty's honour had been in as due regard unto them as the respect of their own private. But of that, as also some of their so public contempts against me, I hope your lordship and the rest will think it fit that some repair by public example be made. I assure you it is much noted how that they durst so deal with a man of my place here and at home, and as much as in them lay, they have given occasion to those that are so disposed, to talk what my credit may be at home when such persons (I mean Norrise and Wylkes) can deal in this sort with me."Middelbourghe, 13 July, 1587. Postscript. The estate of the garrisons is hard, her Majesty's debt to the soldiers very great and no money left. In the treasurer's hands at my coming there was not 3000l. I beseech you ... further once a full pay hither, whether her Majesty shall continue or leave this charge.... The Auditor Hunt is a most honest true man. "Good my lord, regard the credit of your poor friend (myself, I mean) but chiefly for her Majesty's honour, for I think this hundred years no man of my calling hath been so ill dealt withal as Norrys and Wylkes hath dealt with me. If I have no reason in this, I will never look for justice in any thing, much less for favour." Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 78.]
July 13/23. Resolution of the States General. (fn. 4)
Resolution to furnish from the sum of 100,000 florins, by assessment upon the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Frise, on the same footing as their extraordinary contributions, in the month next coming, to be deducted from the said extraordinary contributions for this current year ; provided that the said sum be employed solely for raising the siege of L'Escluse ; for this end to be delivered into the hands of the Receiver-general [Philip] Doublet in ready money.Middelburg, 23 July, 1587. Signed by Capel, president and C. Aerssens, greffier. Translated out of Flemish into French, and certified to agree with the original by G. Gilpin. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 80.]
Another copy of the same. Fr. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 82.]
Another copy of the same, on the second leaf of which is written :
The names of the States General, now assembled in Middelburgh.
Gueldres. Le Srs. Gerlich van Capelle and Jehan van Arnhem.
Holland. Le Seigneur de Nortwyck ; le pensionnaire de Dort, Menin ; Hendricq Aemsze van der Burch, burgomaster of Delft ; Boyemer pensionary of Alcmar.
Zeeland. Mr. Guillaume Roulsius ; Mr. Adrian Coper.
Utrecht. Mr. Jehan vanden Berch ; le Seigneur de Rysenberch ; Donselaer.
Frise. Le Sr. Wytthe van Caminga.
Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 84.]
Concerning the encounter between Parma and Hollock near Bois-le-Duc, and the Duke's attack on the fort of Sluis.Middlebrough, 13 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 86.]
By the letter from Mr. Killigrew and myself, you may guess how little hope we have of the States, who have no money ready save what is sent into Germany for the levy of reiters and the charge of a camp under Count Hohenlo by Bolduc, which is now broken up ; none for Sluys or for us. "Their computation, made as they pretend in the presence of the Lord Buckhurst, Mr. Dr. Clerck and Mr. Wilkes for the charge of this year is grounded upon a confidence of her Majesty lending of fifty thousand pounds, for their ordinary levies of 200,000 florins by the month will not answer the ordinary charge by 500,000 florins which is the one moiety of the million of florins which should be levied towards the extraordinary charge of a camp for four months ; towards which they are to contribute by this means but 446,000 and her Majesty 500,000 which is more than a moiety ... whereas we take it that it was never her meaning to be charged with a third." We have plainly told them that she thought they would support the ordinary charge and more than two parts of the extraordinary ; but of this you shall know more by the next, when the state of their charge, as they have set it down, shall be sent you. The States have hardly given the English companies in their pay two months money in nine months, and owe great sums to his Excellency, the Lord Marshal and others. The companies in her Majesty's pay "have only been relieved with certain lendings, which hardly would serve for victuals," and the Treasurer has but little in store, so it behoveth her Majesty to have compassion on them. I am sorry to see these defects ; but if she means to go forward in this action, she must be at more charge or all will be lost, and whatever she resolves to do, there must be honourable discharge of what is due, which will need far more than is in the Treasurer's hands or was sent over by us, especially as, by his instructions, his Excellency must employ but 15,000l. for the extraordinary charge and the rest for the ordinary bands. I would be loth to seem too lavish with her Majesty's purse, but must say what I know and hear, or fault might be found with me hereafter. Middelburg, 13 July. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 88.]
Stating that the great want of pay not only grieves and hinders the soldiers, but has almost beggared the English and Dutch who have lent them either money, clothes, hose, shoes, victuals or any other necessaries. Begs him to amend the case, which "is pitiful and nothing honourable," for these lendings keep men alive, but avail little towards their maintenance, and barely feed them in this dear time.Middelburghe, 13 July, 1587. Postscript. The soldiers of Flushing lose at least 20s. in every 20l. "by the money [i.e. rate of exchange] of the merchants." Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVI. f. 90.]
Beseeching his lordship to have some care of him "concerning the case of Norwich, which lieth .... utterly desperate" because of his absence. "The tenants thereby have taken such courage, ... the Dean also playing his part," that they now all seem to hope that no proceedings will be suffered against them. Is bound to abide whatever shall seem best to his lordship and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, her Majesty having referred it to them by Mr. Dale's certificate.Middelburghe, 13 July, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Seal of arms. [Holland XVI. f. 92.]
Asks help in the cause of Norwich. Mr. Downing can tell him of every point. "I would have been most glad that my endeavour might have done any good between his Excellency and my lord Buckhurst, but their difference is far beyond my ability to cure or wade into, the one taking peremptory exception to divers things ; the other not willing to give answer to any particular.... It will be a very hard thing ever to join them together, whereof I am exceeding sorry. Good offices, if there had been no bad, might in the beginning have done much good ; but there were some in England and more here that ... do certainly their best to do harm to many. Your honour I know doth guess whom I mean."Middelburghe, 13 July, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVI. f. 94.]
The backward proceedings of the States has hindered his Excellency's going into the field, but he is now going forward with all expedition, as we hope, to discourage the enemy and relieve our friends, "whose valour hath hitherto very stoutly repulsed them." [On Hollock's capture of a fort, and the loss of the sconce at Sluys].Vlisching, 14 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 96.]
[The first part almost verbatim the same as to Burghley.] Captain Bacx has often demanded the residue of the money for Juan di Castilla. Prays his honour "to be mindful that M. La Noue or some of M. de Teligny's friends do quickly discharge it." The bearer, Capt. Alleyn earnestly desires his honour "to procure her Majesty's leave for him to see the King of Navarre's wars."Vlisching, 14 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVI. f. 98.]
I have already written to the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Secretary how I found her Majesty's treasure almost all issued out before my arrival here. I pray you to consider what a hindrance this will be to the present service. The three thousand pounds left have now been paid out in lendings to the several garrisons, and there remains not one penny in the Treasurer's hands. As for the 30,000l. I received "in respect of their augmentation," I paid almost 8000l. before I left England, for leaving money and other necessaries, "and how little a while twenty-thousand pounds will last among so many [here], your good lordships may consider." I have dealt with the English merchants at Middelburgh, but find them unable to lend anything ; wherefore I have sent you the accounts by the Auditor and Under-treasurer, whereby you may see the state of things as they be now ; and the Treasurer himself will follow in four or five days, the better to satisfy your lordships. I pray you to weigh to what extremity we shall be brought by reason of these wants, and to use all expedition for its redress ; whereby "you shall relieve a great company of poor men, and encourage me that must serve amongst them, who otherwise shall find myself most unhappy."Vliessinge, 15 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 102.]
Asks help to prevent the ruin of his house and credit. Will think himself very unhappy if the suit cannot be stayed till his coming ; when he doubts not to satisfy her Majesty "that her own wrong will be great" if his adversaries prevail. They are at Middelburg awaiting means from the States for the relief of Sluise, which, in spite of my lord of Leicester's care, he fears will be lost ; for on Friday last, after three brave repulses, their men were forced to quit the fort "and this day, being Friday, (fn. 5) they do with great fury batter, and have done all the night," neither can he see any hope of relief of the town or safety of their own reputations, seeing they can neither be helped by Dutchmen nor are yet the English companies come that were with Count Hollock, "whose journey, intended for his own particular good, hath proved something better than he meant it ; for that there were amongst those few the enemy lost, three men of good account slain ; 'Hautepeine,' the governor of Guelderland ; Captain George, who was prisoner to my Lord Willoughby and Corodine, a captain of horse. The certainty of this news was brought by an engineer who was taken prisoner by them of Bergen-up-Zome."Middelburg, 15 July. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 104.]
July 15. "Sir John Norreys' note of the commanders in the towns that be at the devotion of Count Hollock."
Lyllo and Lyfkins hooke. Colonel Mychell.
Tertole and some other garrisons in Zeeland. The Count Solms.
Sevenberghe and the Clunder. The Baron of Crange.
Gertrudenberghe. Count Hollock, and in his absence by one Clowhe a Netherlander.
Workendam and 'Worcame.' The Count Philip [of Nassau].
Husdenn with the forts thereabouts. Col. Iselsteyn.
The House of Heale. Capt. Henrick van Berche.
Bomell. Col. 'Balfourd.'
Endd. with date and as above. p. [Holland XVI. f. 106.]
July 15. Paper endorsed by Burghley : "15th July, 1587. The report of Morryce, Mr. Controller's servant, coming to Theobald's from Flanders." On Wednesday last, July 12, the town of Sluse stood in these terms : The Saturday last past, those of the town had forsaken the fort of their own accord, a thing not greatly prejudicial to the town, as it is commanded by the castle, "but while the town held it, they annoyed the Duke marvellously thereby, and hurt many principal persons in their trenches, as namely the Marquis de Ranty, the Count Octavio La Mote and others, besides the death of M. Strepenye, M. Bourse and above seven or eight captains and soldiers. The Duke upon Monday last, having planted five pieces of great ordnance upon the fort, came thither in person, accompanied with Prince Symaye, and the fort having some prospect into the town, the Duke offered the town certain conditions ; but the governor, M. Grenovelle commanded them to retire, or else he swore he would dispatch the fattest of the troop ; so that it seemeth there is a great resolution in them to abide the uttermost. The only sign to induce the contrary is that the Duke hath given secret order to surcease the preparation which was in hand at Bruges for the brig to stop the haven, having already set nine boats afront in the very channel ... and planked the rest, so that upon Saturday last there came a ship of Vlishing into the mouth of the haven, but seeing the channel stopped, retired ; notwithstanding, it seemeth very easy for any reasonable strength of ships, coming with wind and tide, to enter, for in the shallowest place of the haven there is at every high water three 'bras' depth, and the shot from the castle would aid them to enter. The strength of the Duke is of late very much enforced with horsemen (who are very ill-accommodated there) for he maketh account that if succour should come, he would charge them so suddenly with horsemen that they should not have leisure to entrench themselves ; to which purpose, he hath continued watch upon all the sea coast. On the north-east side of the town is the Duke in the isle of Cassan[d], where by the great number of ditches about him, he cannot be forced. On the south-west side is the quarter of the Marquis de 'Rantie' and La Mot, and between that and Ostend are many waters, and the garrison of Blankenburg ; but on the east-south-east side, toward Ardenburg, it is very easy to enter the town, for a company may come from Ostend, and in the weeds never discover themselves, leaving Bruges a mile on the left hand ; having nothing to let them saving the fort of Ardenburg, which consisteth of 400 foot and a hundred horse, and they will not leave their fort, as appeared on Monday last, when the townsmen came and took away forty kine out of the village of Ardenburg. The death of M. Hautpen is greatly lamented, which (they say) died with a shot which he received of late in Guelderland. There are reports that the Duke expecteth great forces out of Italy and Spain. "The matter of the last letters which I carried to de Lo standeth thus :The contents of the said letters were, that where the said de Loo had by the Duke's consent signified the names of the Duke's commissioners, these letters contained the names of those whom her Majesty would appoint therein ; requiring to know the Duke's determination for ceasing of arms, and also what answer he had made to the King of Denmark. De Lo having communicated the contents of these last letters with 'Champanye,' and sent the transcript of the letter containing the invitation of the commissioners in Italian to the Duke from Brussels to the camp, received answer from the President Richardot by his letter (which is here) that the Duke had seen and well-liked all that proceeding, and willed de Lo to come to the camp for further conference therein ; which being done, the Prince commanded the President to write a letter, wherein the President affirmeth the continuance of the Duke's mind, and desire to come to a treaty, (like as he had also tied himself thereunto by his answer to the King of Denmark), which was that he had referred the place and time to her Majesty, whereto he attended ; and for succours of arms, he seemeth resolved to surcease nothing till something be accomplished in action of that which hath been spoken of. De Lo thinketh that there remaineth no more but that her Majesty's commissioners repair to such place as her Majesty shall think fit, and there being accompanied with the Duke's deputies, they may agree of any thing they shall doubt, whereof de Lo desireth to have intelligence." [Date given in endorsement only.] 3 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 108.]
[July 15.] "Questions to be resolved by Sir John Norris."
1. Whether the foot in her Majesty's pay were supplied before the arrival of those lately sent over ; if so, in what sort and how long.
2. What has been done for supply of the decayed bands of horse and in what state they were before his departure thence.
3. What defalcations have been made by the muster-master in respect of the said decays.
4. How the bands, both horse and foot were bestowed before his departure.
5. What English bands serve under the States' pay ; under what leaders, and where.
6. What towns "stand doubtfully affected," and what garrisons are placed in the same.
7. What towns are at Count Hollock's devotion.
8. How the captains and soldiers "of that country birth" stand affected to the Count.
9. What Almaines, horse and foot are now entertained by the States ; in what towns and how affected to Count Hollock.
Copy. Endd. p. [Holland XVI. f. 100.] At the bottom of the page, Burghley has written : "Pryce, Musketeers, Wilson, 2 captains, 40 horses, weapon, Edw. Norryce, a cartel."
July 15. Sir John Norreys' answers (in his own hand) to the above questions.
1. None of the decayed companies were supplied before his coming away (as shown by a list sent herewith), "only Mr. Digges found the companies at Berghes full by muster" ; yet when these were sent to Sluys, complaint was made of their weakness. The companies of Ostend were supplied out of England, and divers companies were kept full all the winter (and so remain) at the charge only of the captains.
2. With allowance of my lord of Buckhurst, some money was to be appointed out of the checks, but the captains being mostly absent, and the treasurer not sufficiently warranted to deliver the money, it was referred till my lord of Leicester's coming. The state of the companies appears by the list.
3. My lord of Buckhurst thought it convenient that the muster-master should make up the books while I was there, but the muster-master delayed the matter, "so that I am altogether unacquainted what defalcations are made," but the list will show what they should be.
4. This will appear by the list.
5. There remain eleven English companies ; under whom and where will appear by the list.
6. I do not know of any towns that stand doubtfully affected in respect of the enemy, neither do I think that there is any danger in any of them, if it be not with the consent of the States of the provinces or the captains that command the garrisons, which what they are must appear by the general list of the Dutch garrisons. In respect of the government, there seemed a general doubtful affection in Holland and Zeeland this winter, except Dort and such places as were commanded by Colonel 'Sinoy.' What state they stand in now, ... his lordship [of Leicester] can better certify than I. In Utrecht were many dangerous practices for the subversion of the order of the Magistrate left by my lord of Leicester, but by God's help they were prevented, and now left sure enough by the strength of the garrison .... Friesland being commanded by one of Nassau, is like will run the course of Holland, except one quarter of it called Ostergoe, which seems to be at my lord of Leicester's devotion ; wherein (as I remember) is either few or no towns.
7. [As above, p. 175.]
8. The captains and soldiers of that country birth depend chiefly upon Count Hollock, as they receive no payment but by his procuring ; the chiefest contribution (from Holland) being disbursed at his order as Lieutenant General thereof ; "besides that many of them had their commissions by his means and do live upon his table.
9. "The Almayns now in pay are few, of which I do remember but these :The Count Philip, the Count Solms, a baron of Ritlytz ; captain Bake [qy. Baeck], Capt. Sydenbergh, Capt. Max ; all these depending wholly upon the Count Hollock. Of horsemen, Almayns, Capt. Kynske his company, Netherlanders ; Captain Scultes, Dutch pistoliers ; part of the Count Meurs 'rysters.' How they are placed I certainly know not, but within the Count Hollock's government, mingled with some Scots and Netherlanders." Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 110.]
Merely to supplement his last by saying that the Duke is confirmed in his good disposition towards the peace by the assurance from his lordship that her Majesty was holding her deputies in readiness to cross the sea so soon as she heard of the Duke's perseverance in his first resolution ; so that now his Highness hourly awaits news of their arrival in Zeeland ; having his own ready to go to join them. Prays that God may bring them together before L'Escluse is taken or at least before siege is laid to any other place, and this, he is sure the Duke himself greatly desires. [Further asseverations of his Highness' desire for the satisfaction of her Majesty and the conclusion of a treaty.] There are not lacking many enemies to the negotiation, who are not pleased by the gentler proceedings of this prince ; but he accounts more of the public peace than of their pride and haughtiness, being a Belgian by his mother's side (fn. 6) and Italian on his father's, and bearing the more affection to these countries from having had his gentle education there. And truly, no more favourable opportunity could be looked for than to have to negotiate with so benign a prince, who studies to accomodate the differences between the two crowns and to pacify this people by restoring to them (as before their revolt) their privileges and trade. The cessation of arms will be discussed on the arrival of the commissioners in Zeeland (for to attempt it beforehand would be lost trouble). If it please God that the great forces now coming should be sent back, it would be a great blessing to the whole country, and for this reason it is to be hoped there may be no further hindrance to the clear course of that treaty. Asks for his lordship's influence to obtain a legitimate preference at the sale of the merchandize of Calicut (fn. 7) to recompense him in part for his expenses.Bruges, 15 July, 1587, stilo Anglico. Postscript : Closed on the 20th, there having been no opportunity of sending it away earlier. And having in the mean time spoken again with his Highness, he said that he should wish to have news of the arrival of the commissioners in Zeeland, that he might immediately give order to treat, without further bloodshed. He was sorry to have to use force against L'Escluse but his honour forbad him to desist. He supposed that the Earl of Leicester would have orders and authority sufficient to treat with him of a cessation, and would like it to be as soon as possible, if it is to be, as he protested he desired. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 300.]


  • 1. Cf. Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., pp. 723-4.
  • 2. Engelen N.W. of Bois le Duc.
  • 3. Capt. Mornau. See Suderman's letter in Hist. MSS. Comm. : report on Lord Ancaster's papers, p. 51.
  • 4. The Dutch text in Japikse : Resolutien Vol. V., p. 702-3.
  • 5. Friday was on July 14, old style. According to Bor the decision to abandon the sconce was taken on the night of 8/18 July, i.e. a Saturday. Ned. Oorloghe Bk. XXIII., f. 11d. Lloyd says Sunday. See p. 170 above.
  • 6. Margaret of Austria was the child of Charles V, by the daughter of a respectable family in Oudenarde called Van der Gheest.
  • 7. On June 26July 6, Drake had arrived at Plymouth, bringing in as prizes four ships said to be of Calicut (then held by the Portuguese) laden with spices and precious stones. See Cal. S.P. Spanish, 1587-1603, p. 124.