Elizabeth: July 1587, 26-31

Pages 197-217

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, 26-31

July 26,27. Notes by Walsingham of proceedings with the Lord Buckhurst and Sir John Norryce on these dates.
The Lord Buckhurst:
1. "That the articles were weak, whereof Atye privy.
2. "A book to be produced signed by the 1. of Buckhurst, Sir John Norreys, Dr. Clerke, Wylkes.
3. "The speech or project of Colonel Norrys . . . signed by the Lord of Buckhurst and Dr. Clerke.
4. "A letter dispersed throughout Holland which moved the lord of Buckhurst to write his letter to the towns.
5. "The not communicating unto the Earl of Leicester the state of those countries.
6. "The conference between the Earl of Leicester and the two councillors, Beale and Killigrew.
"The Lord of Buckhurst hath received no book of such sums as the States have disbursed . . . unto her Majesty's garrisons, nor was required by the Auditor to demand the accounts. "Confessed by his lordship that the Auditor delivered him a memorial in writing for the same, and that he thereupon moved the States therein, but could get no other answer but that there should be a note given in of such sums as had been disbursed for her Majesty. Besides, the Auditor did call upon the Secretary of the States and the Treasurer."
Sir John Norryce:
"How the 5000l. was paid by him to the treasurer. . . "The 2480l. paid by him to the States' use for certain English bands serving in their pay.
"That 600l. paid to the Dutch companies in Ostend. "The allowance for his colonelship besides her Majesty's entertainment was assented to by the States, as appeareth by an article set down." Endd. with above dates. 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 182.]
July 26. "A note of things to be remembered for the confirmation of the treaty and other courses. "To deal with the States about their standing in certain points of the contract, for that the measures (?) were not with her privity. "To deal with them for such sums of money as they stand charged withal by the Auditors at the last account. "To have order that stay be made of the allowance to Dygges during the time that Swynnerton supplied the place. . . "The captains to be called to an account for such victuals as they have received of the States, for that they received a full pay until the 12 of October. [Margin] Wilson, Pryce. "That her Majesty hath given entertainment for 1000 horse, and yet there was never 800 horse in the field. "That the muster-master denying that Colonel Norryce should be allowed only 250 men, according to the Lord General's list, did notwithstanding enter him the day of the full pay 300 men and checked him 50 men. And the day following did only enter him 250. "To write to the Lord General touching the Lord Wyllowbye's entertainment." Endd. "A memorial upon conference with the Lord of Buckhurst and Col. Norryce, 26 July, 1587." 1 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 184.]
I will not trouble your lordships with the declaration of news which will not any way content you ; namely the giving up of the town of Scluys, yet cannot pass with silence how valiantly our men within the town behaved themselves during the siege, who, all their provision and powder being spent, were driven by extreme necessity to yield the same ; yet upon such honourable conditions as may seem strange to you ; for the Spaniards having gotten into the town both behind and before them, to the number of two thousand, they in the town being but five or six hundred, "most manfully stood to the defence thereof . . . until they had enforced as it were their own requests and conditions, which their valour is praised of their very enemies." The town was given up through treachery, as Sir Thos. Sherley, and a messenger whom I am sending, will tell you. I must entreat you, for the better defence of Brill, to send some culverins and demiculverins ; for the ordnance now sent over is to be employed "for any occasion of service" that shall happen. Postscript. By the word treachery, I mean "those who did bear us in hand to do most for the relief thereof, and yet, in the end, proved most adverse and lewd therein." Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVI. f. 188.]
I stayed Sir Thos. Sherley, thinking to send good news of the relief of Sluce ; "but it hath pleased God otherwise to suffer those poor men, to their uttermost trial, to be forced to make a composition . . . as . . . they must have perished all if they had bidden [i.e. abided] the next assault. The enemy, after he won the west gate, lodged within few days upon the 'ramper' close by our men, and one or two assaults came to the sword and yet repulsed. It is too late to complain of wants now, but it is manifest to all men how badly these States have dealt, specially the young Imp (fn. 1) and his vice-admiral. . . I will refer particularities to this bearer, I am so grieved to think, much more to speak of this loss, albeit, God knoweth, we have done, for our parts, as much as if a kingdom had stood upon it ; but these men have strange designs in their heads, which will in the end, breed their own ruin. "I do mean forthwith to treat with the States in such matters as most concern her Majesty and her service. I have here two faithful, honest and careful assistants as ever lived, .... would God the others had been like them. . . The dregs of their dealings will remain, I fear, a good while, for the practice and faction continues, with strange advertisements hither by themselves to feed their friends with hope yet to serve their turn. Among other lately was sent to some of the States that my lord of Buckhurst hath had three several secret accesses to her Majesty, with long conferences, and in despite of enemies most graciously used. Mr. Wylkes took his imprisonment so well as being but fifteen or twenty days, could be content to suffer a longer and worse punishment for such a cause.". . . I marvel to what end this faction should be between strangers and such servants of her Majesty. If at some other time the service of a prince had been so hindered, it would have cost some of them dear. I will do what I can for the payment of our new soldiers, and unless they will entertain them, will return them as fast as I can, though they are as gallant companies as ever came out of any country. "I scarce know what I write, what with grief for loss of this town and with anger for the vile, lewd dealing of these men," first in letting me have no men of theirs, and then in not furnishing ours when they lacked provision of all sorts. For the pains and readiness of our men there is no fault to be found ; yet "how well so'ever I think of Sir Roger Williams' valour and the other captains," I cannot give them access to me until they give me good reason for delivering of the town without sending to me first. "I must pray you to learn more of these country causes from the bearer," and so, my good lord, finding so many crosses here as I do, and myself very weak to bear them ... I will wish myself in my poor service at home, not only to discharge better duty, but to receive far greater comfort.Flushing, 27 July. Holograph. Covering leaf wanting. 3 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 189.]
The negligent dealing of Count Maurice and the States has forced our men yesterday to give up Sluys, "being over-travailed, and not having any munition, besides three great breaches to be defended. Their composition is most honourable and their honest endeavour and valiant defence deserveth all honour and commendation." We tried to relieve them by land, but the enemy was too strong ; then determined to aid them by water, but those of the Admiralty refused it. The overthwart dealings of these people give just cause to suspect their ill affection to her Majesty and the service ; wherefore I earnestly pray your lordship's regard of this town ; "that the garrison may be stronger, for our better security." Vlisching, 27 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 191.]
To the same effect as the above. Vlisching, 27 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 193.]
"I wish I had better occasion to write unto you than of the rendering up of Slewse ... yet men must content themselves with the works of God and fortune of war. It was yielded up by composition on Wednesday night, the 26th of this present," but with what conditions we know not, "further than that they should come away like soldiers." It was impossible to hold the town longer ; the enemy had made two breaches . . . that forty men might ride or go on foot with great ease ; they had little victual, no powder and not many men. They defended it most bravely, and like noble soldiers came away." My lord lay before the haven mouth with his army ready to succour them, "if Count Maurice and Admiral Nassau had kept touch with him, who had prepared fire works to burn the Prince's ships, as also a ship of like invention as was at Antwerp to break the Prince's bridge withal. With these things my lord was carried in hope to relieve the town, until the same night, and when the hour was come . . . the parties which undertook the matter shrank from it, being persuaded, corrupted and mightily terrified by Moris and the Admiral. They and the States, with the Counts Hollock and 'Mewers' have combined themselves (if not to betray the country) at least to keep the government in their own hands" and oppose her Majesty and her general. There are many arguments to show that they were assenting to the loss of the town. The men promised were kept away by Hollock ; no pioneers sent and but few waggons and small store of victuals. I doubt not but the malice of the devil will stir up the tongues of my Lord's enemies, yet in the presence of God I say "I have never seen any man more careful ; adding thereunto his continual travail, watching and being on shipboard with thin diet, daily conferring with such of the country as could best inform him of the means to succour Slewse ; whereby his army hath been transported to divers places . . . of purpose, as it doth now seem, to weary us and overthrow us. Of one late march from Ostend to Blankenberche, a sconce of the enemies' this bearer shall inform you . . . Neither in Ostend nor in the country about we could find any person that either would or could conduct or guide us. . . "It is like I shall shortly come or be sent home, for by ill lodging with cold I have gotten a marvellous swollen leg, and have nothing to do." Meanwhile I entreat your favour with her Majesty as regard "to my book for the lease which . . . by your furtherance, I did the rather obtain my particular to be signed." Flushing, 27 July. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 195.]
After all my lord's pains and danger for relief of th'Escluse, it has not pleased God to give him success, and I fear the rest of his efforts will issue to like effect while he must make wars upon credit, or depend on those whose delays are intolerable and practices full of treason. [On the failure of Hohenlo and the States to send aid, and of Count Maurice and Justin of Nassau to keep their promise of an attack by their boats.] Each night his lordship urged them (the wind being good) to attempt it, and the last night went himself in his barge to sound the channel and the laying of marks for their guidance. The soldiers were all ready, and at the last moment the pilots came to him to say that they could not and would not undertake to guide the ships. All these things concur, "as matters hammered upon one anvil and issued from one forge." [Narrates the circumstances of the final attack on and surrender of the town, and the honourable marching out of the troops.] Such burghers as wished to go away were to do so, while those who chose to stay would be used as others of the King's subjects. On hearing the news, his Excellency at once gave orders for placing of forces in Ostend, Bergen-op-Zoom, Brill, Utrecht, Axell, Flushing etc., and then weighed anchor for Flushing, after being aboard in continual toil for seven days. I hope it will please her Majesty to continue him here and give him means and commandment to make wars, "and not tie him to depend upon the dispositions of the States, whose treasons be so manifest."Vlussinghe, 27 July, 1587. Add. Endd. 3 pp. Seal of arms. [Holland XVI. f. 197.]
[On the failure of the States' aid, the loss of Sluse and the failure of the ships under Count Maurice and the Admiral to fulfil their part. Mentions that his cousin, Col. Morgan, was with his Excellency ; also that when first urged to make the attempt, Count Maurice etc. persuaded his Excellency to wait for the height of the spring tide.] On the evening of the 26th, "his Excellency took his barge in choler," and went within musket shot of the ships, to discover their force. And at his return resolved that next morning we should make the attempt without any force save our own nation, "but Mr. Sentlynger's news altered the same. From the beginning I found them more desirous to besiege Bolduke than to relieve Sluys, for all their fair words to his Excellency, which the traffickers and fishers of these parts shall find the smart of . . . for that it will be such a nursery for navigation unto the enemy, that his Altesse may avow better service unto the King of Spain by this exploit than all that ever he did sithence his coming" unless it be taken from him before it is fortified and victualled, which I believe, with an addition of 6000 men might be done in thirty days without difficulty. [Shows how all the defences of the town have been destroyed during the siege.] Thus he will either have "to defend it with his whole army whilst it is afortifying, and do nothing else this summer, or to lose it (if it be attempted again) with all the rest of Flanders, Gravelinge excepted." All this was for default of munition and through the subtlety of the commanders of the country, "that would 'deface' his Excellency with preventing the relief of the town ; to deprive him thereby of the love that the inhabitants generally do bear him, whereby the dealings and rule might come to them again." And unless her Majesty takes the cause 'thoroughly' into her protection, it is to be doubted that by piecemeals the country will be won 'or' it be long, unto the keys that her Majesty holdeth ; which will be more chargeable in guarding than now in expelling them from the whole. For it is to be looked for that the enemy will presently besiege either Ostend, Axel, or Bergen-op-Zoom, but I think rather Ostend, for the sea sake, which is the mark he shoots at. . . For I see he makes no doubt to win the upland towns with his crowns [i.e. money] . . . and that it is better cheap for him to buy twenty so than one by a siege . . . And it is an impossibility that a poor man, whose necessity is so great that it contents him to sell his skin for eightpence, when he finds himself deceived of his pay so dearly earned, that he should hold faith with them that will be so avaricious."Flushing, 27 July. Postscript. None of our English Captains were lost in Sluce, but about 500 soldiers. The inhabitants departed with their goods. Signed. Add. Endd. 2 closely written pp. [Holland XVI. f. 199.]
I learn daily by my good friends how earnestly your lordship has dealt with her Majesty for the recovery of her good opinion towards me, which I can never requite but by my devotion, love and fidelity during life. The good and faithful service I have done in this cause greatly comforts me, "and yet if her Majesty in this sort, to please another, whom I, for her service, have displeased, shall deny me access unto her presence," her own service will receive great hurt, and she will lay so great a grief upon my heart, as I shall never more take pleasure in the world, but live a sorrowful and solitary life, dedicating myself to continual prayer to God for her. My lord of Leicester advertised "that neither the States do come to him, nor do conjoin in the furtherance of the common cause ; therefore I send your lordship a writing whereby it appears that on the 13 of July they were with him at Midelborow, . . . and did grant him 100,000 florins towards the relief of Sluys. (fn. 2) I trust his lordship will ascribe the thanks both for their coming as also for the 100,000 florins to me, for sith all their ill doings shall be ascribed to me, it is reason that their good be also mine ; and indeed I did procure their promise at the Haue, that either they would come or send their deputies," and I think without my persuasion they would hardly have come, and of this I advertised him, as I can prove if need be. "This Friday, 1587." (fn. 3) Holograph. Add. Endd. with date 27 July. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 201.]
I hoped in my first letter to give your lordship more pleasing news than the loss of Sluse, but "that want of well-affected hearts or good endeavours should not be objected against such as were employed to have relieved it, I briefly have collected such observations, to manifest our lets and impediments, as I doubt not but your lordship will rightly conceive whence and how we are eclipsed . . . and will please to advise such directions as our travails hereafter may be to better purpose. "First, it is most apparent that a plot was laid before our arrival to cross and hinder his Excellency's proceedings . . . as well by setting pique between him, the Count Mauris and Count Hollock, as also by practising his general disgrace amongst the gentlemen and commons of this country. "The occasions have and yet do detain Count Hollock from coming near us, who witholdeth such forces as he commandeth from joining with us. "Count Mauris and his base brother the Admiral are here, but peevish, froward, refusing to further any means whereby service might be advanced ; towards whom the sea-faring men seem most submissive ; whose men of war, in place of putting forth [as] last year nor English flags and cross, do now advance new banners only with Count Mauris' colours. "The States likewise are most perverse, refusing to aid us save with infinite delays and promises, impugning, notwithstanding his Excellency's proceedings altogether. "It was more than a month after I arrived ere we could obtain armours and weapons for 2000 of our men . . . ; carriages, and means to draw our artillery, munition and victual may not be had, neither spades, mattocks, shovels nor pioneers, in any convenient number. Spiall and guides very hardly are gotten, and these we obtain . . . unfaithful and unprofitable." It would have been very easy to assure Sluys if at first the forces, with artillery (employed in trifling ports) had been used for relief of that town. And if victuals had not been sent from the States to the enemy, he could hardly have continued his siege. We have been assisted by none of these country forces and could not (leaving our garrisons reasonably guarded) march with above 4000 horse and foot, having infinite wants, and too weak and unable to relieve a town besieged with so strong an enemy. Vlushinge, 28 July, 1587. Postscript. Certain intelligence is now brought that Count Hollock came to Camphire yesterday, attended with only six persons. "But this morning there arrived eight or ten hoys, laden with soldiers, which he would have brought into that town ; and although the Count Mauris went thither this day, yet the burghers withstood them and drew to arms, saying they would keep fast for her Majesty and his Excellency." Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. very small writing. [Holland XVI. f. 203.]
Acknowledges letters brought. Awaited event at Sluys before answering, by Coleman. How slack we find assistance here, you know ; yet when you peruse these brief collections enclosed, you will [the more] persuade yourself that we are in no good case. The treasurer is now coming over, for whose return we all shall watch, and doubt not but you will haste him away, and inform yourself by him of all enterprises.Vleshinge, 28 July, 1587. Signed. Endd. p. [Holland XVI. f. 205.]
"Observations "to the same effect as those in his letter to Burghley, above ; but set out and numbered. 12 articles. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 206.]
Encloses a discourse by which Mr. Secretary may conceive "the wayward and tottering state of these country wars." Myddleburgh, 28 July, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 208.]
Wrote last by one of the Lord Buckhurst's servants. What has fallen out since, the bearer can impart. If it so pleases his honour, will not fail to advertise him of matters here, and would hope to perform it to expectation, "without which," he humbly begs to be excused ; "for now a days, although one deal never so well and plainly, yet will his doings often be interpreted to the worst." Would be greatly bound to his honour, if he might be called over, and so delivered of this service or rather bondage, where for nine months he has not received a denier allowance and is at great charges.Midleborough, 28 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 210.]
Being commanded by your lordships to set down under my hand the manner of my proceeding with his Excellency touching the Count Hollock ; it may please you to understand that after his Excellency sent me from the Camp, charging me to attempt nothing against the Count on pain of my life, I heard at Utrecht from Sir Philip Sidney that he was content to answer me in the field. Hereupon I wrote to ask my brother what course I was best to take ; who sent me word that his Excellency was content I should take the best I could devise, and would assist me in anything touching my reputation. Count Hollock being hurt, this rests until eight days before my lord's coming over ; when understanding that I was to return with him, and that Count Hollock was now well, and feasted and banqueted in his lodging, I advised with my brother, "and finding no means but to write to him, we both resolved so to do, but first to acquaint his Excellency withal ; whereupon . . . I went unto him, and desired his lordship's favour towards the discharging of my reputation before my return. He asked me what way I would take, considering he kept his house and went not abroad. I told his lordship I thought best to write unto him to perform his promise . . . to answer me in the field. He asked, to whom he made that promise, and I said to Sir Philip Sidney. To my nephew Sidney, said my lord ; very well, do as you think best I will do for you what I can ; with many good words how careful he had been for my reputation" ; whereupon I prayed him to stand my good friend, in respect that my being sent to Berck and Neuss, and afterwards raising a company of horse, had cost me above 400l. of which I could never get one groat. He told me, he could not before his departure do much for me, save increase my company to 200, but at his return he would do more. I then wrote my letter to the Count, (fn. 4) "which being complained of in Council his Excellency called my brother and me in his bed-chamber . . . and willed me to set down my reasons that moved me so to do, and instructed me in it and allowed most honourably of it in the Council. This is the substance, and as near the very words as I can remember, to the which I have set my hand." Signed. Endd. with date by Walsingham's clerk. 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 212.]
In answer to your honour's letter received to-day ; I must refer you to my brother's own report both as to the acquainting my lord of Leicester, and sending the letter (rather than a cartel) to Count Hollock ; but this I can say, that not long before his lordship's departure, my brother told me of his intent to challenge the Count Hollock's promise to meet him in the field, and we concurred in opinion first to acquaint my lord with it, which my brother did, and not long after, delivered me his lordship's answer ; "that he saw no reason but that he might lawfully do it, and the rather because the Count Hollock had refused to be his lieutenant-general ; . . . and would assist him in anything that should be for the maintenance of his reputation ; whereupon my brother proceeded to the sending of the letter. Complaints being made to my lord and the Council . . . my lord sent for me and told me how the Council did vehemently urge the matter against my brother ; but that it was no matter, and that my brother should set down in writing his reasons for the doing of it . . . which he did, and my lord caused it to be read to the Council and seemed satisfied with it. It would be hard for me to verify upon oath every particular word, but the substance I will maintain, and it may be, if I were with my brother, he could make me remember some more particularities. "For all this . . . I did always, both to the States, the Council and the Count Hollock, confidently deny [sic] that my lord knew not of it, because they should not, for this matter, have any advantage against his lordship." London. 28 July, 1587. Copy by Walsingham's clerk. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 214.]
After our arrival before the haven of Sluis on Tuesday morning, the 20th, (fn. 5) Count Maurice, the Admiral and certain of their sea captains came aboard his Excellency's ship to consider how the intended service might be put in execution. After long discourse it was concluded that the sea service was too difficult to be attempted unless our force might be landed to clear the enemy from one side of the haven or the other ; the difficulties alleged being the shallowness of the haven, so that their firework ship could hardly be brought up to the bridge, and the danger of our ships being sunk by the ordnance placed along the sides of the haven ; also that though they should pass the bridge, there would still be such danger from the enemy's guns that probably only two or three boats would reach the town. To this his Excellency answered "that he marvelled this enterprise should now be made so difficile, seeing so many had offered at Flushing to perform it ; whereof some . . . had foretold him that if these [States'] captains should have the execution hereof they would never perform it ; but this was it which gave him great cause to mislike of their doings, that those men which had made this offer unto him were sent into other ships into North Holland. [Count Maurice] might easily have brought this service to an end by them, but that he reserved the honour thereof unto the house of Nassau, under the charge of himself and his brother, who, at the time of their setting out to sea, never made these difficulties." His Excellency then laid before them the importance of the place and the hazard to themselves and their countries ; that he and those with him were strangers, yet for goodwill to them were ready to do their utmost endeavour and adventure their lives ; finding some fault with their coldness since his coming, "and that he had not the assistance of any man there, neither a penny of money nor victuals other than that her Majesty had sent by him ; and that they had promised twelve or fifteen vessels, with victual and ammunition and there were but five sent. "In the end they concluded that if our men would occupy the enemy by land, they would adventure by water. And [when] thereupon his Excellency desired to know . . . where the men might most conveniently [be] landed, they made it extreme dangerous in every place, and in the end, finding his Excellency was resolute to land our men, there was great want of boats. They said the service required 400 ; we desired but 200." When they said they had not above 60 we asked for those, when they averred they could not do it, "having no authority, for that they were but servants, and this commission must come from the States." On this his Excellency told them that unless Count Maurice would join his authority with his own, he would quit the enterprise while it might be done with honour, sending for the Council of State to make them witnesses of the offers made by him, that the world might perceive in whom the fault lay. "Notwithstanding this backwardness of the principal persons, the master of the firework and the pilot, a mariner of Sluce, continued resolute to go forward." On Wednesday the 26th towards evening, Count Maurice and the rest returned to his Excellency, concluding as before ; yet our people were so resolute that they offered to adventure by land [alone] ; but as the Council of State was not come nothing was settled save that at ten o'clock, about the beginning of the flood "the Admiral with those for the firework should return to receive direction." In the meantime, the Council arrived, but for that it was late, all was referred till next morning. Those in the town, seeing our men under sail, thought the firework was to be adventured, and hearing that our forces were coming through St. Anne-land made a sally, but finding our ships struck sail again, despaired of relief. "And upon some motion made by a soldier of the enemy to speak with some captain, they grew into a treaty, and had all granted that they desired . . . saving that six days respite was demanded, which could not be accepted." Of the enemy's three breaches one was 700 foot in breadth, and that night they purposed to have assaulted it. About eight o'clock yesterday morning they entered the town. According to your orders I have dealt with Col. Morgan, "who excuseth himself of the letter written to have proceeded upon some words spoken at the old gentlewoman's table, that her Majesty misliked greatly that he had used L.W. [Ld. Willoughby] very badly and not with that respect that he ought to have done, and thereupon had written that letter to satisfy her." He seeks to show all respect to his [lordship] but has received hard measure in having prisoners taken away from him ; and to be put out of the town where he has served most of his time and that not with least desert, "and yet his recompense behind those which never looked the enemy in the face." He prays that order may be taken for Don Juan de Castilia, as the money is due to strangers, "whose mouths he would have stopped if he had had any means." Flushing, 28 July, 1587. Add. Endd. 2 pp., very close writing. [Holland XVI. f. 216.]
July 29./Aug. 8. Report of Messieur Guillaume Bardese and Jacques Valcke deputies of the Council of State [and] the Sieurs Cappelle, Nortwyck, Coper and Caminga, deputies of the States General of their business with Count Hohenlohe ; made to the Council of State, 8 August, 1587. (fn. 6) They met him at Tervere and asked him to come to Middelburg to meet H.E. in order to dissipate misunderstandings. He replied that he was determined not to serve H.E. for divers reasons, including a quarrel with Edward Norris ; the changing of garrisons under his charge and the breach of promises. Upon their representing the harm that would be done thereby to the cause of the United Provinces, he admitted the need of the queen's assistance and said it would be better for him to retire to Germany or Denmark, offering to hand over the towns in his charge. He protested his devotion to the queen and that he did not wish to give her any occasion of offence, or H.E. When it was represented that Count Maurice himself had taken oath to H.E. he again protested that he could not meet him, asking them not to trouble any more in the matter. Count Maurice was in different case as a vassal of the Provinces, whereas he was a free German and a Count, who would only serve on his own terms. At the same time he protested his good will to the Provinces. Upon this they left him. Signed by the deputies and countersigned by Gilpin. Copy. Fr. 4 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 264.]
Were sorry to hear of the attempt upon his life. Were also very sorry to hear scant hope of relieving Sluys by land ; hope it may be done by sea. Find it strange that the States' neglect to furnish him with the necessary men and treasure since he thinks the slackness, both in the States and Count Hohenlo proceeds from practice of the Lord Buckhurst, Sir John Norrys and Mr. Wylkes ; desire him to send particulars. Enclose answers of Sir John Norrys and his brother touching the cartel sent to Count Hohenlo. Her Majesty makes some difficulty about sending over of more treasure, yet they hope to persuade her to send some convenient portion. She finds that the States owe her 25,000l. and being urged to pay they allege that they have delivered in victual, armour and other provisions yet will not deliver a book thereof, which they should be pressed to do. Being informed that her bands were not full all the last winter, she looks that the mustermaster should make his checks accordingly, and make up his books with all speed. (fn. 7) Draft, corrected by Burghley and Walsingham. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 218.]
The Count of Hohenlo and Count Maurice have now so openly opposed themselves against her Majesty, that they have possessed themselves of certain important towns under their own name and authority, "utterly neglecting all contracts passed with her Majesty." But the common people are so loyally addicted to her as gives us great comfort. "This gentleman, Captain Allen, hath very honestly adventured to swim into Sluis . . . whose dutiful endeavour therein I recommend unto your lordship's favourable consideration."Vlisching, 29 July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 220.]
To the same effect as the above. Same date. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 222.]
[Evidently the postscript to a missing letter.] "Since this letter, the enemy won our port, with 800 paces (?) of our rampier ; our powder all spent, notwithstanding, with a poor trench and a half moon, we defended the place until the 27 of this month, which was five days more than his Excellency desired. "Our losses and wants were so great that the soldiers could fight no longer, to say truth. Lay the state of England on it, we could not 'a' kept it for one twenty hours longer ; notwithstanding I was thrice on my knees afore them, as this bearer, Captain Allen does know. I am sure, although he is altogether at Sir John Norys' devotion, his valour and honesty will testify the truth. I am here with an honourable commission little regarded, to my thought. I am weary of the wars, therefore if I can devise how to live, I will quit it and follow my Lady Walsingham's counsel, which was to marry a merchant's widow.30 July, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVI. f. 224.]
Our affairs here receive daily greater impediments, giving me so much toil that I cannot write all I would ; but have acquainted my lord Admiral with all our proceedings, to impart to her Majesty and the Lords, and to deliver unto you in particular. There is a plot now set on foot underhand, and prosecuted with all violence to exclude her Majesty from any further part in these countries and to draw some stranger forces into their service ; thereby to give a show to the people that the common cause is still maintained, and so to continue themselves in their former being, which cannot but turn to their own confusion, and be a speedy course to bring them into the Spaniards' hands, for if her Majesty withdraw, they have no means to hold out any time. This practice apparently exceeds the reach of the noblemen strangers or the States, and proceeds rather from some other turbulent spirit, gained by the Prince of Parma's means, and to continue their own greatness at the expense of the poor people. The strangers drawn hither are to be committed to the charge of the noblemen here, to furnish them with better means to serve their turns. Yet the people, the heads of towns and the captains of their own soldiers are so devoted to her Majesty that they offer to embrace any course she pleases, and if she would but write to them touching her mislike, "would cut them in pieces, their treasons are so apparent unto the world." She must now resolve what course she will take, "either to leave it, or to assure her own safety with some other means." They are now earnestly in hand with me to enter into a new treaty, which will end in three or four days, and then you shall know what they would have. I am weary with my toil here, finding less comfort than I had last year, and the money very short. When I came from England, it was thought that the treasurer had 18,000l. in his hand, but I found only 3000l., and have been forced to furnish the service and continue all the lendings with what I brought over, which rises to 2000l. weekly. Our services are so straitly limited and slenderly furnished that like success must follow, "which the Duke of Parma seems to build greatly upon, and therefore is bold to say that he will not sit down before any place but will have it, for he spareth not any expense. This town lately recovered hath cost his master eight hundred thousand pistolets, besides the charges of the powder, shot and carriages which cost not so little as a hundred thousand crowns more. I have sent the Treasurer over, and before him his deputy and the Auditor, with their accounts, and now it is high time that these defects were speedily supplied," for there is not left enough to last till the 12th of next month. I have asked Mr. Beale to write at more length to the [Lord] Treasurer.Midleburgh, 31 July, 1587. Postscript, in his own hand. "By the next you shall hear by mine own hand. . . Within three or four days I shall be able to send some certainty of the States' minds." Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 226.]
Thanks for getting him removed out of the Fleet and committed to the house of one of his friends. Asks advice what course to take as he fears that her Majesty's displeasure is not only moved by a conceit of his undutiful dealing towards the Earl of Leicester, but some other matter.London, last of July, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 228.]
July 31. A paper sent to the Queen.
All men know that she has during her reign done many fine and rare things, worthy of eternal memory. And hearing that the most illustrious of her exploits are shortly to be laid before her, the writer has been urged by one greater than himself to assure her that what God is about to work by her is still more illustrious than all that has gone before. For wishing to humiliate the two most powerful princes in Christendom, he seems to intend to do her the honour of triumphing over them by her means, if she valiantly pursues with her hate those whom God hates, or rather who hate God, and does all in her power to aid those princes whom he employs in the same work. Even should she prove cold, God will fulfil his will, but it will then be to her great harm and loss. This is a time predestined by Heaven, when the two princes aforesaid and their adherents shall be visited by God with unexpected and incurable calamities, disgraced throughout the world, and suddenly so brought down that all other princes, in astonishment, will be converted to God fearing and adoring him and falling humbly at his feet. God has blessed her with peace and prosperity in order further to exalt her by war ; that is by his war, if, by coldness and slack ness, she do not despise the honour and the grace. The rest shall be said by word of mouth, if it so pleases her Majesty. Add. Endd. Dated by Burghley. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 230.]
[July.] "The Lord of Buckhurst's answer [to the objections] whereby he stood charged by the Lord Steward's [Leicester's] declaration."
1. That by his instructions he was directed to charge the States with no matters but such as were maintainable. That he found the matters delivered as well by the Earl of Leicester as by Mr. Wilkes were either matters done by the States provisionally during the Earl's absence only, and so not prejudicial to his authority, or else were grounded upon bare presumptions or common bruits, and therefore not thought meet to be urged ; whereunto Mr. Atey did also assent. That he did also by common conference and consent of Dr. Clerke, Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Atey agree upon certain articles wherewith to charge the said States verbally. That Mr. Atey being present at the charge, after the States had made their answers to all the said questions by flat denying of them, they would then have proceeded to the justifying of the points in their letter as true and maintenable ; but the lord of Buckhurst and the rest thought it meeter to procure them by public protestation to clear the Earl, which was accordingly brought to pass ; confirmed by their letters as well to her Majesty as to the said Earl. That it was agreed on in private conference between him and the Earl before his departure that he should compound all griefs without bringing the same in question by way of charge either to the States in particular or to the Count Hollock. That there were letters written to him by the said Earl after, in like effect.
2. "That he took the reconciliation between the said Earl and the two Counts to be sound . . . for that the two Counts did testify the same by their letters to the said Earl. That the delivery of their doleances tended to no other end but to lay open their griefs, whereby all misunderstandings might be removed. That the said doleances were not sent, for that they desired him to retain the same until the Earl's return, offering that he should be a judge in all causes between them and the said Earl, whereof he did advertise both her Majesty and the Earl."
3. "That neither by letter nor otherwise he ever laboured to go about any such matter ; but contrarywise, wrote divers letters to hasten his coming over."
4. "Answered in the first."
5. "That he never had [sicheard] or understood of any such charge."
6. "That the States did acknowledge that the bestowing of the said regiment did appertain unto the Earl . . . although in the mean time provisionally the same was bestowed by the Count Maurice, governor of Zeeland."
7. "That not long after his arrival there, he moved the States General and Council of Estate for receiving of Medekerk into Council, whereunto it was answered that those of the Council were established but for one year and that there were no names offered . . . by those of Flanders, out of the which the choice should have been made, Medekerk being one of that province."
8. "That the States did not impugn the publishing of the placard, but would have had the same published in their own names, to whom the sovereignty did belong, as they alleged ; and yet his lordship did not know that by the instructions given to the Earl, it was ordered that the said placards should be published in his name, and therefore could make no reply."
9. "That he never heard of any evil speech delivered out against the Lord Willoughbie, but . . . Sir John Conway was charged to have erected an Admiralty contrary to order at Ostend, whereof he advertised the said Sir John by his letters."
10. "That he showed divers notes in writing, by the which his great care for the provision of Ostend and Sluce might well appear. . . "
11, 12. That he doubts not but to satisfy the Earl in both points.
13. Knows of no one ill-affected to the Earl or backward in Religion, whose advice he used ; and prays they may be named.
14. "That upon the receipt of her Majesty's letter of mislike, he delivered to the States the griefs of the Earl in writing, and required them to answer the same in writing ; so as there could be no reply, because as there was no answer to reply to."
15. "That he took himself to be hardly handled to be charged with so foul a matter, the same being grounded only on suspicion."
16. His repair to the Earl sufficiently answers this.
17. That it being impossible the Earl's demand for a declaration of his whole proceedings, he asked for particular demands in writing, to which he made answer, except to such as concerned the Earl's own particular, saying "it was not reasonable for the Earl to be judge in his own cause, but [he] would refer it to her Majesty. And yet that afternoon, he imparted all those things to Mr. Killigrew and Mr. Beale. . ."
18, 19. Desires that the particulars and proofs may be set down.
20. Thinks himself hardly dealt with in that charge, "being a matter more fit to be answered by Mr. Secretary Walsingham and Mr. Atey than by him."
Endd. "The lord of Buckhurst's answer made verbally." 6 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 160.]
[July.] "An abstract of the Earl of Leicester's declaration of such points as the Lord of Buckhurst is to be charged withal, with the several answers of the said Lord Buckhurst thereunto. [Only the "Objections" by the Earl of Leicester are given below, as Lord Buckhurst's answers are to the same effect as in his verbal examination above ; but at much greater length.]
Objection 1. That Lord Buckhurst being sent over to demand at the States' hands reparation of such things wherein they had wronged both the Earl and her Majesty, "sought to make up the matter with the credit of the parties who had offered the injury, and no satisfaction to her Majesty or the Earl."
2. "That he dealt not plainly nor soundly, nor as was meet for her Majesty's honour and the said Earl's satisfaction in making the reconciliation betwixt the said Earl and the Counts Maurice and Hollock ; wherein he advertised her Majesty that he had made such a reconciliation, and yet afterwards received in writing the declarations of the said Counts, which he suppressed . . ."
3. That "pretending to defer the full compounding of all matters to the Earl's return, and calling for him over by his letters, did underhand labour his stay here in England."
4. That, though sent well instructed, when he arrived he wrote "that he found no sufficient matter, but was fain for fashion's sake to supply it with plenty of words" although the matter delivered to him here had been "avowed in open Council and in some sort proved by Mr. Wilkes.
5. "That whereas Mr. Wilkes, in his letter of the 12th of March, had charged the Count Maurice with speeches tending to the derogation of her Majesty's fidelity in her promises, there was no satisfaction demanded for the same.
6. "That he accepted of a very slender answer for the regiment of Zeeland.
7. "That he suffered Midkerk to be put out of Council, who had been elected by the Earl without gainsaying to the same.
8. "He accepted of a very slender answer from the States touching their staying of a placcart . . . against the spreaders of slanderous bruits against the English nation.
9. "That he passed over certain slanders against the lord Willoughby and Sir Jo. Conway . . . without demanding reparation of their credit.
10. That he did not insist on provision for Sluce and Ostend.
11. That he avowed many of the imputations against the Earl in the letter of Feb. 4 to be true.
12. That he dealt not friendly with the Earl in receiving at the States' hands the copy of a letter pretended by them to be dangerous, and dispersed by the said Earl's procurement ; and to send the same to her Majesty without inquisition whether it came from the said Earl or no.
13. "That . . . he used not the advice of the Earl's friends, but of such as were noted to be both ill-affected to him and some backward in religion.
14. "That upon receipt of her Majesty's letter, misliking of his slender acceptance of the States' former answer to the Earl's griefs he made no reply unto them, but only delivered them a new copy of the said griefs.
15. "That he delivered not a true copy of the said griefs, but another, devised, as is supposed, by Paul Buys.
16. "That he came away suddenly upon the Earl's arrival, in a contemptuous manner . . .
17. "That he refused to acquaint the Earl with the state of things before his departure.
18. "That after his coming to England he delivered out slanderous speeches against the Earl, touching the loss of Sluce."
19. That there passed letters etc. between him and some in Holland which the Earl suspects tended to his disgrace.
20. "That a copy of the Earl's instructions was sent to the States, whereupon he desireth that the Lord Buckhurst may be examined." Endd. The Lord Buckhurst's answers to the Earl of Leicester's objections "and added by Burghley" being in number 20 ; Feb., 1587. (fn. 8) 7 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 164.] Another copy of the same. Endd. The Lord Buckhurst's answers to the Earl of Leicester's objections. 5 pp. [Ibid. XXII. f. 257.] Another copy of the same ; often differently worded as regards the replies, as if drawn up by an independant hand. Endd. The Lord Buckhurst's answers to the L. Steward's objections. 6 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 168.] Another copy of Leicester's accusations, without the answers, except a brief note of the first. 2 pp. [Ibid. XXII. f. 260.]
July. "A brief note of the account of Richard Huddilston esquire, late treasurer at wars, for all checks chargeable upon him during his time of service in the Low Countries."
"Money arising of checks," 2642l. 2s. "Payments issuing out of the checks by warrant of the Lord General, 1271l. 10s. 4d. And so remaineth, 1370l. 11s. 8d." With further payments reducing it to, 1157l. 9s. 8d. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 186.]
July. Note by Walsingham of the treasure sent into the Low Countries :
In Hurlestone's time - - - - 146,000l.
To Sir Thomas Shurley - - - - 71,000l.
Delivered to the Earl of Leicester - - 30,000l.
Delivered to them more . . . for the disbursements made by them to the cautiontowns - - - - - - - 271,000l.
Due to the bands serving there the 1st of July, 1587 - - - - - - 44,000l.
Endd. 1587. p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 232.]
[July.] Money laid out by Sir William Russell, governor of Flushing, for relief of Sluys, and other necessary occasions, for boat-hire, payment for corn, powder etc., espials, "for working the fireworks," planting artillery on the walls of Flushing, and making palisade and parapet there. Total, 132l. Signed by Russell. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 236.]
We received your several letters of July 11 by our account on the 14th, by Morris, together with two written to you by President Richardot, giving plain testimony of the continuation of the Duke's inclination to enter into a treaty of peace with her Majesty. By your letters we see you are of opinion that as soon as our deputies arrive there (whereof you write they stand in doubt) "the Duke will be content, for the space of some fifteen days to surcease all acts of hostility, and to accord with the Earl of Leicester for the mutual surceance of arms during the colloquy ; a thing which of necessity must be, considering that peace and war are of so great contrariety in nature as that they cannot possibly be together in one time and place. And moreover, we are to let you understand that the quality and value of these personages appointed by her Majesty to be commissioners is such and so great that considering they must of necessity come from hence thither by sea, and are subject to the accident of many misfortunes (which God forbid) they will not (nor in reason can be required to) adventure their persons until some form of surceance be first agreed upon ; like as hath been ever accustomed in all meetings for such purposes ; wherefore her Majesty, not doubting of the Duke's grave and politic discretion, neither of his sincere disposition to effectuate this matter . . . hath sent express commission and authority unto the Earl of Leicester to communicate with the Duke touching the mutual surceance of arms . . . with all other things which shall be thought convenient for this purpose." And has also commanded the Earl of Derby, Lord Cobham, me, Sir James Crofts knight, Dr. Dale and John Herbert esquire, commissioners appointed in this behalf, to be at Berges ap Zone immediately after she is advertised of the Duke's intention touching the point of surseance during the time of their coming and being together. "Whereunto if the Duke do refuse to assent (as we verily think he will not) the world shall see that the breach of so godly and charitable a work is not to be imputed to her Majesty, neither to any on this side, who had been now there, had so much been signified by this bearer at his last being there." Copy. Undated, but endd by Burghley's clerk "July 1587." 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 306.]
[July?] Paper endorsed "Project given to the Earl of Leicester touching the better government of the United Provinces."
1. That he should use his authority more firmly.
2. That he should take order for strengthening the companies at Sierixzee, where the magistrates are mostly papists.
3. That he should personally visit Camphere, where he is sure of the good will of the people and the common soldiers, who will open the gates to him, while they "daily cry upon the Count of Hohenloe, and will not suffer his men to come in."
5. To receive the 3 companies there into her Majesty's pay, give them a month's pay, show the captains and serjeants major "some honourable courtesy to renew their oath, and also to renew the magistrates or at least to take the oath of fidelity of them."
6. Also to take an oath of fidelity from the burghers.
7. Then to return to Armuyden and from thence to Middelborowe.
8. At Middelborowe to depose the captains of the Dutch companies, who are men of no experience or service, and to increase the soldiers' pay from 5 to 8 gilders a month.
9. Before deposing the captains, the companies must be mustered and take the oath of loyalty.
10. To bring 200 English horsemen into this Isle to keep the coasts, as the boors and countrymen do it ill and without order.
11. To dress two or three regiments of Dutch footmen in these countries for a time, for the better assurance of his Excellency etc.
12. That the Admiralty of Zeeland, transported from Flushing to Middelborrowe without consent of her Majesty or his Excellency, and now like to be established by the States at Camphere, be restored to Flushing.
13. To go through with the Admiralty of Flanders, and establish it at Ostend, as he resolved at Utrecht.
14. To cause proclamation to be made in all towns of his government, voiding all commissions and patents not subscribed by himself, according to the commission given him by the States General.
15. And by the same proclamation to command all governors officers and common soldiers, also all magistrates, justices, burghers etc. whatsoever, under his Excellency's or the country's commandment not to attempt anything in prejudice of her Majesty, his Excellency or the estate of the country upon pain of being punished as rebels.
Beseeches his Excellency "to take these few writings at the best pardoning his boldness and faults and disposing of them as he thall think meet to the furtherance of the honour of God and his afflicted people, and the service of her Majesty, himself and these countries."
Signature cut off. 2 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 234.]
A note of the principal matters wherewith Sir John Norreys is charged by the Earl of Leicester.
Not repairing to the earl before departing ; taking away 60 musketeers ; taking away captains ; his alleged charges for a band of horse ; exaction for velvet coats ; severity with mutineers at Brill ; will be found in her Majesty's debt. With Norreys's answers. (fn. 9) Endd. Sir John Norrice answer to the last matters wherewith he standeth charged by the L. General's reply. 3 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 5.]
Another copy of the charges, without the reply. Endd. The substance of such matters as Sir John Norris is charged withal by the Earl of Leicester, taken out of the said Earl's declaration against him. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 6.]


  • 1. Count Maurice. "Imp" in the sense of scion of a noble house.
  • 2. See Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., p. 702.
  • 3. Friday was the 28th.
  • 4. Given by Motley in oratio recta, with some inaccuracies, United Netherlands ii., p. 139.
  • 5. The 20th was a Thursday.
  • 6. The full text in Dutch is given by Bor : Ned. Oorlogen bk. XXIII. ff. 18d, 19, where he gives the date of the report as August 10.
  • 7. Printed at length in Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., pp. 174-6, under date July 30, when it was read in Council.
  • 8. This date is certainly not that of the examinations, but in the spring of 1587-8, the matter seems to have come up again in some way. See Lord Buckhurst's letter of March 27. (Cal. S.P. Dom. Eliz., 1581-1590, p. 470.)
  • 9. Printed in full with the addition of Leicester's replies, Cabala, Pt. ii., pp. 77-81.