Elizabeth: August 1587, 11-15

Pages 230-244

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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August 1587, 11-15

My lord arrived here on Monday last, where his troops were assembled, "not only to prevent the enemy, that transported himself daily into Brabant out of Flanders and other places, ... but to do some service upon him before he had drawn all his forces to one place. And therefore, his Excellency being advertised that the Duke of Parma did begin to make head at a town called 'Howstraten,' ... resolved to send thither the greatest forces he had ... under Sir William Russell, General of the cavalry, the Lord Willoughby, colonel general of the foot ; Sir Roger Williams, lieutenant of the horse ; Sir Richard Bingham, Master of the Ordnance ; Colonel Morgan, campmaster ; Thomas Wilforde, serjeant-major of the Infantry and others, which marched thitherward from Bergen upon Tuesday last." But though they marched all night, day dawned when they were eight miles from the enemy, and being discovered and thoroughly weary, they saw no means to do what they intended and so came back. On the other side, the enemy, having knowledge of them, abandoned Howstrate in all haste ; being twenty-one cornets of horse and three or four thousand foot. Certain soldiers of this garrison went a freebooting as far as Brussels, and not far from that town, met a hoy wherein were eighty persons, all gentlemen and gentlewomen, saving twenty soldiers, the convoy for their safety and some treasure of the Duke of Parma. At first they resisted our men, but thirty being slain, the rest yielded themselves. The bruit of this alarmed the country and the people began to draw together, so as our men had no time to search for the treasure, but seized what they found in one chest, and came away with their prisoners, eighteen in number, and had to hide in the woods four or five days without food. Yesterday they came hither. Their names and quality you will hear from his Excellency. There is continual expectation of the two thousand reiters, two thousand lanzknechts and a thousand pioneers from Germany, but I fear they will do as last year, promise and not perform, or come so late that the time of service will be past. Count Maurice has not been with his Excellency since the reconciliation of the Estates (who make great show of love and duty to her Majesty and service to his Excellency), but the reason I cannot learn ; "but the people speak boldly and diversely of it, wishing that the Count Hohenlo were safely returned to Germany, and he [Maurice] better advised here." His Excellency means to go presently to Dordrecht and from thence to Utrecht and other places in Holland, to satisfy the people and reform and confirm proceedings in those parts, troubled by the factions in my lord's absence. I do not see that he can this year go into the field with his few troops and small means, and pray God he may be able to defend those places yet assured ; for the Duke is making all possible provision, not only in these countries but in Italy and Germany, whence levies are expected shortly to be here ; so that it is thought he will be twenty or thirty thousand strong "by that time corn and grass be ready."Bergen-op-Zoom, 11 August, 1587. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 54.]
Aug. 11. Paper endorsed "Advertizements out of the Low Countries" ; being extracts from Lloyd's letter, above.Bergen, 11 Aug., 1587. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. f. 56.]
"My grief was great for the loss of Sluys, as for the thing whereof I had more care than of anything else which I have dealt in since I first came into these countries. But it much more troubleth me to understand that her Majesty should conceive as though it had been lost by some defect of the English here . . . or that we should have omitted anything that lay in our powers for the relieving of it. It had been besieged a good time before I arrived in those parts ; yet at my coming found I no kind of preparation here for any succour towards it. Count Hollock had then a camp in Brabant, but he never had meaning to go towards Sluyse, neither could he or his men, being often sent for, be gotten hither till at length, and that very late, he sent three or four weak companies, being English and others, not 300 men. After I arrived here, it was long ere the Estates deputies came to me. When they came, they neither brought money nor could appoint me any one band of their men to join with me. And for my authority to command men, money, shipping or anything else more than I brought with me, it was wholly in suspense till Sunday last, that the Estates have made publication of it (fn. 1) ; that I was able to command nothing, no, not so much as any vessel or mariner, without the signature of Count Morice. I armed our men as soon as I possibly could, but it was long ere I could get armour for them ; yea some of them were unarmed when I attempted the relief. With those I could arm I lost not time but sent them, between three and four thousand foot and about four hundred horse, to pass from Ostend by the way of Blanquenberge to the enemy's quarter on that side. But their carriages were not twenty, and no pioneers at all ; none could be gotten. By reason whereof, and for other great causes which this bearer can inform your lordships, it was thought fit to leave that way. Coming again before the haven of Sluyse, I required Count Morice and the Admiral to cause attempt to be made of that which they had undertaken by water, which they from tide to tide promised, but would indeed perform nothing. I meant to land men on both sides the river and required boats for landing. They said they had none, nor could have any without authority from the Estates, which must have been ten or twelve days before it had been procured. Hereupon I protested against their dealings and sent for the Council of Estate and the Estates' deputies at Middlebourghe to come aboard to me, which they did the next day, where I declared to them with what forces her Majesty had sent me for the relief of Sluyse ; what I had done from time to time to succour it ; how little help I found at their hands ; how the Admiralty dealt with me ; protesting, if the town were lost, it was not our fault. And requiring therefore what they would advise me. They seemed to like delay till their 'Reytters' came, that so the forces joined might be stronger. I told them the case suffered no delay, and since I could have no other advice nor help of them, I would surely see what might be done that night. And accordingly I took order that the ship of fire-works which ourselves had prepared, and hired men for the conducting of it, should be carried down, to try what effect it could work upon the enemy's bridge and shipping ; meaning, with the little boats we had, to have followed after with men and such small store of munition and other provisions for the town as we had very hardly gotten together. The said ship of fireworks, being at midnight well onward on the way where the exploit was to be done, was stayed by procurement of Justinian de Nassau, the Admiral, and the tide lost. The next day the town was given over. I know not, nor any man of our side can truly say, I think, how strong or weak the bridge of the enemy was, to 'let' our entry ; but it is certain that without this country shipping, which we could not get, nothing could be done there, her Majesty's ships were not fit for it. The bearer will inform you further, and when her Majesty knows all, I hope she will lay the blame where it is and have better opinion of those who left nothing unattempted that might be done.Berghes ap Zome, 12 August, 1587. Postscript. This bearer was present with me and "heard both how the Admiralty was charged and how they answered." Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 57.]
"I have received your packets, I am heartily sorry that my casual success, without my desert or fault, should cause her Majesty to alter her good opinion. You may see what case we poor men are in, that serve in such absent places ; we had need of friends, when we travail day and night, hazard honour, life and all, and yet subject to hard conceits ; but my great confidence is that her Majesty will not condemn me before she know just cause ; and for this matter of Sluyse, I may stand before the tribunal of God for any fault in me. "The greatest is that I did trust Count Morryce too much but either I must have trusted him or not have had any means at all for shipping, as is well known. Besides, he offered his services most frankly and willingly to my judgment, and did take upon him and his bastard brother to attempt the bridge by such men as they had chosen, to whom I gave thirty pounds beforehand ; those men offering themselves as they did, and without whom we could do nothing by water, who must not trust them. "I pray you be good to this bearer, Sir Roger Williams, for he is to be cherished. Her Majesty, I trust, will help him and if these wars continue, return him with speed, but set him well a horseback there, for he is well worth the saddle of a horse. Touching the two Norryces' declaration for the cartel, as I am a Christian man, they be both most false .... I have a dozen witnesses as good and some better than they, that will justify that they were present when I misliked with the writing of the letter before I ever saw it ; and by the allegiance I owe to her Majesty, I never knew of the letter nor gave consent to it nor heard of it till it was complained of from the Count Hollock ; and you will soon see by the circumstances in my lord's letter whether it can be true that they say or no. But as they are false in this, so shall you find him, Jo. N. as false in his other answer you sent me, so as he will be ashamed, but that his old conceit hath made him past shame, I fear. For his companions, as well in Ireland as in these countries, report that Sir John Norryce would often say that he was but an ass and a fool that if a lie would serve his turn and [sic] would spare it. I remember I have heard that the late Earl of Sussex would say so, and indeed this gentleman doth imitate him in divers things ... (fn. 2) "I pray you to stand fast for your poor absent friends against caluminators, as I believe Mr. Norryce will seek advantage hereupon, whereas in K. Henry the 8th's time his doings for sure would have cost him his pate ... for the diverting of Hollock, and setting him onward with such forces and provisions as should have served this turn hath hindered all." I am now going to Dort, from whence you shall hear at large. In the mean time I look for no good, for without a more royal help or a greater contribution, all will fall, and that speedily. Berges, 12 August, late at night. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 59.]
Recommending the bearer, Mr. George Lasselles, who lost his left arm last year before Zutphen, being then one of Sir William Stanley's company. Prays that his reasonable requests for relief may be furthered.Bergen op Zoom, 12 August, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVII. f. 61.]
Understanding that there is suspicion of negligence in his Excellency for not relieving Sluys, they are heartily grieved that his "continual and intollerable pains and travails" should be so misconstrued, and pray that their testimonies "what the lets were," may purge him from such surmise. (The chief points touched upon are as follows :) The willingness of the burghers of Flushing to try to enter the town ; the dislike of Count Morryce and the vice-Admiral that such a service should be left to men of base quality rather than to themselves, and his Excellency's consent to yield it to them. Preparation of necessaries. His Excellency at sea before the haven, "calling upon them for performance." Dallying and fair promises. Last signals from the town. Final declaration that the enterprise could not be attempted without better means. Practices before his Excellency's coming over to set "pique" betwixt him, the two Earls and the States. Bergen opzon, 12 August, 1587. Signed by Lords Willoughby and North, Sir William Pelham and Sir William Russell. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 63.]
Sir Richard Bingham has arrived, "a man very welcome to the army and not least to myself." The same day he arrived, we being ready to march, he willingly accompanied us. Our garrison at Bergen have taken M. de Toruhese [Torreze], nephew to the Cardinal Granvelle and to M. Champagnie ; Martin de la Failla, a merchant of great wealth ; a doctor of physic to Camillo del Monte ; some Spanish and Italian gentlemen and seventeen or eighteen others. All the passages were stopped by the enemy, and they like to be lost ; but his Excellency hearing of it, as also that the enemy's forces were drawn to Hoghstrate, sent us to draw them into an ambuscade and also free the passages. We marched on Tuesday last, and laid our ambuscade on Wednesday morning, but could not draw them out, and so had to return. Yet our freeing of the passages took such effect that next morning our men came safe home with their prize. Divers were slain and drowned "and Propertius, the famous engineer of the Duke of Parma, escaped narrowly." "The enemy attendeth new forces both of Italians and Spaniards, as likewise of the Dutch [Germans] going into France, which they have debauched." On the other side, we attend our Ruytters ... and have divided our forces to assure their coming down. Berghen op Zom, 12 August, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. f. 65.]
I thank your honour for your letters, brought by Mr. Conawaie, "whereby it seemeth how hard the report of Sluse was to many well-affected minds. Yet doubt I not but your honour stands well satisfied what wants hindered our good wills to have rescued the same," if speedy means are not sent, to make us strong enough of ourselves to encounter the enemy and withstand the underhand practices of those who ought to aid us, we can do nothing. His Excellency has taken all honourable courses to bring them to union with him, but the combination was deeply rooted before our arrival and I am in utter despair to amend it. Yet Count Hollock has been many ways laboured and I have now offered to hazard myself in going to speak with him and will do all possible endeavour to bring things to a good end. The enemy is strong, his force increasing ; and like enough he will seek to pull what he can from us ; for our state is weak, our people not many, daily decaying and wanting all means to supply them. "If he take his course to Dowsbrough, Locham, Arnheme, Utricke or to any town towards Gueldres, we cannot hinder him, being scarce able to leave the towns possessed towards the sea coast safely guarded, much less are able to meet him in the field." But if her Majesty does not enable us to stand so strong as that neither private foes nor enemy's forces can work their will upon us, I cannot see to what purpose we should continue "this unsure and scanting war," and it were much better to knit up some conditions of peace than to remain a scorn to all nations. "Besides, the danger of his Excellency's person ought not smally to be regarded, lest any villainy (as we were warned at Oast end) should be attempted against him ... on whom the safety of us all here depends." We hear that La Mott is certainly dead from wounds received at Sluse. On Thursday last seventeen prisoners were brought in, taken by this garrison betwixt Antwerp and Brussels, amongst which are Martin de la Faille ; a nephew of Cardinal Granvelle's ; a secretary of the Duke of Parma and others of good account. His Excellency, hearing that the enemy were "drawing head" at a village called 'Holstratt' had sent to intercept them, but they would not come forth to fight, so that our men returned, weary with the long march. "On Sunday the States made open protestation that they would do much on her Majesty's behalf, and that they would be ready to perform what was in their power for his Excellency. But because it was their common manner of courtesy to be kind in banquets, I can but hope little of performance." Yet I will do my best to satisfy what your honour shall command me. Bergen upp Zom, 12 August, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 67.]
There has been intercepted a packet of the Duke of Parma with letters to Count Charles de Mansfeld and Barlemont, telling of the manner of winning Sluce ; "which, as he saith, cost him dearer than did Mastricht in respect of the great means and preparations ... and hath lost forty-five of his best captains and principal soldiers ; amongst whom La Motte is one and the Marquis of Renty fallen sick of his hurt, which is broken out again, and in some danger by reason that the bullet was poisoned. And yet hath between five and six thousand of his common soldiers slain. He seemeth not to marvel that the town held out so long, for that we had put in our bravest men and all the soldiers we had ; amongst whom he nameth Sir Roger Williams, who did most obstinately defend the place. But notwithstanding, he had dealt so favourable with the Englishmen as he thought would make them think well of him. That he had essayed by all possible means to gain Sir Roger Williams but could not in any wise prevail, although he thought the kind usuge he had received at his hands would be an occasion to make him to quit the Earl's party if he were not used upon his return as he deserved. Themistocles [Leicester] hath hereupon conceived great jealousy of Sir Roger ; and hath not spared to give warning to Sir William Russell to beware of him, as of one who would be his undoing ; and as it seemeth, reported as much to Lord North and Sir William Pelham ... who have cast out some speeches to the gentleman's disadvantage as [that] he repenteth himself to have forsaken the favours of so many good friends here, both the States, Count Maurice and Hollock who wished him well and to fall out with Norris, whom he had followed in wars these eight years ... to run a new fortune with one who had so slender respect and care over him. The gentleman is wonderfully perplexed that for his faithful service he should reap his utter undoing and to be accounted a traitor to his prince. He wisheth he were at home, upon condition he never should bear arms here, for he knoweth the nature of Themistocles to be such as he will leave no means unsought to overthrow his credit, and ruin him. He protesteth that when the Duke of Parma made him great offers of honour and courtesy, if he would serve against the Turks, where, by effects, he should find him a man of his word, and how much he loved him for his valour ; he answered that his sword was first to serve her Majesty and then the King of Navarre, which course he meaneth to take if he can get from hence .... "Lord North hath bestowed his credit here not to so good purposes as he might, but rather to feed the dislikes between Themistocles, the States and the Earls ; and, which is more dangerous, hath been the cause that he hath of late fallen out with his best soldiers and men of war ; even so far as Sir William Russell himself hath not been spared ... insomuch as he mindeth to give over his place of general of the horse and to deal no further than with his government, which if he do, Lord North is likely to succeed him. "Col. Morgan liveth here a man in manner disgraced, and not so well accounted of as many young captains, and yet those which look high report him to be a man of as good judgment and experience as any serving in these countries." Such discontents will give the Duke of Parma entrance to work his desires. And yet I dare engage that Sir Roger Williams, "will prove another kind of man than some stick not to report of him ..." It is secretly reported by some near to his Excellency, that Count Hohenlo lately offered to come to him, if he might have his Excellency's word of honour he should come to no harm ; "but he was advised by Lord North not to hazard himself so far into a madman's danger. So likewise, at his Excellency's going from Flushing to Midleburg, Count Hohenlo being then in practice with those of Camphere, it was doubted ... he might attempt somewhat against his [Excellency's] person, and therefore thought meet he should stand upon his guard, and bring thither five or six companies of our men, which, if it had been done, would have bred such conceits of diffidence in other towns as they would have made difficulty to receive him. Unless some course be taken to reconcile the Earls as well as the States ... the service here is likely to be but slowly furthered." I offered myself to carry letters to Count Hohenlo, but as his Excellency had written twice without result, he could not in honour do more, and the matter must proceed from a third person. I hear that Mr. Wilkes has great credit with him, but think no man so meet as your honour to be the intermediary. If the party employed by you were accompanied by Mr. Wilkes, it might give some furtherance. [Account of the attempt to surprise Hoghstratten.] "It is greatly to be feared that his Excellency, at his coming to Dort, will absolutely give over his charge unless the States do give him better satisfaction, or cause better satisfaction to be made by Count Maurice than either they can or he will be brought to do, in that Sluse was not relieved ; for all the fault is cast upon him, and some doubt of false measure... And these dislikes between his Excellency, the Earls and the States, and the breach between him and the captains is still kept bleeding ; that if the service be not accompanied with good success, the burden may be divided amongst them." Pardon me if I complain of the weariness of this place, where I would not endure one day save for your honour's commands, "for I am idle all the day and almost every day ... for hardly can I endure to be made an instrument to expostulate matters which himself for shame will not." (fn. 3) Bergen upp Zome, 12 August, 1587. Add. Endd. 3 pp. Seal of arms. [Holland XVII. f. 69.]
Aug. 12. Rough notes, endorsed "The charge of her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries, since the 12 August, 1585. 3 [sic] Aug., 1587." Ends "So the whole charge of two years, from the 12 of August, 1585, until the 12 of August, 1587, amounteth to 244,326l. 9s. 3d." 4 pp. [Ibid. XVII. f. 71.]
"... The men of this town have behaved themselves very valiantly ; amongst whom a small number of 28 went a foray to the passage between Antwerp and Brussels, and have taken these prisoners following :M. de Thurisis, Champany's sister's son ; Signor Grimaldi, secretary of the Privy Council ; Signor Velutti, a gentleman of Italy, who had the charge of the Duke's business in Italy ; Martin de la Faila, our rich merchant of London ; Signor Robiano, a gentleman of 300l. land, an Italian's son by a woman of this country ; a doctor of physic of Camillo del Monte ; M. Bara [or La Barre], a rich merchant of Antwerp," beside divers others. Capt. Bannister wishes me to let you know that his wife has never received the 30l. in England for which your honour gave her a letter. If the service of these countries go no better forward, Sir William Drury means to go to the King of Navarre.Berges, 13 August, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 14.]
Thanks for letters. The loss of Sluse was grievous to all, but hope of better news hereafter. The disunion which has drawn the two Earls and States into these contrary courses will ask great labour to uproot it, and may burst forth again, if better means are not used. Through the patient course followed by H.E. Count Mauris and the States do seem more tractable. Although no great credit may be given to their protestations, yet H.E. endeavours to maintain and increase that humour ; having here Count Mauris and some of the States, the rest being also expected for daily." I have "persuaded for reconcilement" ever since my arrival and if I might confer with Count Hollock, I doubt not but to work to good purpose, and the rather as when I last left this country, he held some good opinion of me. The confidence your lordship reposes in me makes me more boldly declare my opinion of these wars, which must needs run to extreme issue if not deeply considered, and her Highness well persuaded... Our success will neither be safe nor honourable unless her Highness will enter more absolutely into the government, and so strengthen her power that she may make her own conditions ; otherwise, she will consume her treasure, hazard many of her subjects and, by discouraging the well-affected here, animate the rest against her ; and draw them all (distrusting her aid) to cleave unto the Spaniard. It would then be impossible to hold Brill, Flushing, Bergen and Ostend "without a monstrous charge by sea, which being lost ... we shall be then enforced to draw our swords at home to defend our own banks." I mean not for her Majesty to enter into any extraordinary charge, but only to make her forces and authority strong enough to encounter all occasions, whereby she would preserve the towns already in her possession ; cause others to fall to her ; have the shipping of these countries at her command, "which otherwise (being possessed by the enemy) will beat us in our own rivers," and lastly, receiving the customs, taxes and contributions, etc., now paid to the States, would be able (without touching her own treasure), to maintain a most honourable war, hold this nation at devotion, and work contented quietness to our state.Dort, 13 August, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 2 closely written pp. [Holland XVII. f. 75.]
Has deferred writing, as they have "neither slain enemy nor taken any place," but will hasten to report the first good day. Bergen up Some, 13 August, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVII. f. 77.]
I send your lordship my answers to James Digges' objections against me, which [answers] I will be always ready to avow to be most true. And that you may the better consider what credit is to be given to anything this man may inform, I send you an abstract of his honest dealings, praying you not to believe what are but inventions to keep me in her Majesty's displeasure and to discredit me in the world. I further crave your lordship's favour that if any money be appointed for the payment of the Low Countries, some portion may be allotted to me, for "discharge of such debts as I am fain to pay interest and exchange for, by the extreme dealing of my lord of Leicester." That you may better see whether I have kept back anything paid by her Majesty's treasurer, I send you a note lately received from my clerk, whom I left there to make up the accounts of what is due to my horse and foot company. If any further difficulties arise, may it please you to call Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Auditor and myself before your lordship or the rest of the lords, to satisfy anything objected ; praying your forgiveness if I importune you, for the extreme charges I lie at here, and the continual calling of my creditors upon me, constrain me to it. And as I may not myself have access to your lordship and the lords, I beg you to give my brother Edward leave to solicit for me in these causes.Brokenwhaffe [Broken Wharf], 13 August, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVII. f. 79.]
Aug. 13. Enclosing,
Sir John Norries' answers to that which he is charged by James Digges' letters and Miner's certificate.
1. That there was paid to Sir John Norreys' troop one month's pay and three weeks' lendings before the Treasurer's departure, and one week's lending since, whereof the Company received only 5 gilders a man.
Answer. "This is a most shameful untruth, for it shall duly appear that there is paid to that company at the least 1500l. more than hath been received of her Majesty's treasurer ; and for their lendings, although her Majesty had no treasure in the country, yet they never failed." 2. Some of this company have only demanded 10l. since his Excellency's coming, but could not have anything at all.
Answer. "I do not think that any in the company hath ten pounds good unto him. It is true that some offered to sell their reckonings for less than was due, which I refused as a thing unjust ; but made their accounts to be made up to the uttermost, which shall be paid them when her Majesty doth pay it. 3. Seventy or eighty licenced by Sir John's passport to depart.
Answer. "A most impudent untruth, for there is not any passport given to above two." 4. At the time of marching, Sir John's footband were but 96 strong and 16 or 18 stragglers and 6 or 8 remaining behind hurt and sick ; in all 110, utterly unfurnished, and hardly through poverty and want kept from mutiny.
Answer. "By the gentleman's own reckoning at the delivery of the company they were 122, which with 70 that I brought over for my guard, and my household servants, which were above 36, cometh to as many as I have pay for ; and yet there is none so simple but doth know that at the changing of the captain it is impossible so to provide but that some will disband ; and as for their furniture and poverty, it is so apparent a slander that all the country can condemn the author. I refer me to my Lord Buckhurst's report" and to the ensign who delivered over the company. 5. For his horseband, it was first denied to have them mustered, and upon view, not above 14 serviceable horses shown.
Answer. "If the company were disbanded before the review, it was the fault of those that remained there and not mine ; for before my coming away, I had caused proclamation to be made that none of them, upon pain of death, should leave the cornet ; and if upon the first breaking away of them justice had been done upon any one of them, the rest would have taken example ; but contrary, it seems their disbanding was furthered, for one Captain Euen, in the same town where the company lay in garrison and where this accuser did reside, was permitted to entertain above twenty of them. 6. Thirty of his best horse licenced to depart by his passport.
Answer. "This is most untrue, for I gave passport only to one whom I recommended to Capt. Thos. Sherley, and he is since, as I hear, his lieutenant." 7. His horse-band so weak "as it had been as little charge to have raised a new company as to draw them together."
Answer. "A false conclusion of a foolish informer, and answered in the 5th." 8. Of his footband, he carried away all the musketeers, and gave passports to others, in all 70, who sold their armour ; the rest being very poor and not 100 strong.
Answer. "Most untrue, and answered in the 3rd and 4th." 9. He received of late a month's pay for them, "but nothing had," beside abridged of their weekly lendings.
Answer. "Answered in the first." 10. "The dissolving of his horse-band, 12 being sold by his lieutenant, Mr. Ropar, to one captain, with many other abuses."
Answer. "This I do neither know of nor believe, but the lieutenant is in this country and shall answer it himself." 11. All means used by him to deface his troop. "He shipped 21 horses more than his own stable, besides such as were sold."
Answer. "A mere untruth and slander, proceeding from the malice of the informer, whose behaviour shall be so set forth as little credit will be given to his report." 12. "His passports dated since his revocation."
Answer. "Let the passports be exhibited."
The Certificate of Rowland Myners.
1. "His company only 90 horses ; the rest supplied with his own horses.
Answer. "If there were but 90 horse, it were as many as I have pay for ; but for what reason should not they that were mounted upon mine own horses be allowed, being of the ablest men of the company ; and the like is used by my lord of Leicester in his company.
2. "Six of Captain Roper's licenced to depart, and their horses sold.
Answer. "Such as were his own men and his own horses it was reason that he might either bring away or licence and sell their horses.
3. "Eight others licenced by him.
Answer. "I can hardly believe it, but I will send unto him to make answer to it.
4. "Ten gone over with him and their horses sold.
Answer. "The Lieutenant shall be sent for, to answer it.
5, 6. "Four more gone and their horses left behind. "Two more gone and their horses sold to Capt. Shurly.
Answer. "The Lieutenant is also to answer.
7. "Six others unhorsed.
Answer. "If there were any unhorsed, it was by reason they lost their horses in the last journey to 'Weasell' and no means to mount them since.
8. "Three Scottish men whose horses were taken from them.
Answer. "The Scottishmen were discharged by Mr. Diggs, and then their horses, being mine own, it was lawful for me to take them away.
9. "Three other Scottishmen ran away with horse and armour.
Answer. "The loss was mine if they ran away with their horses, for I am sure I paid for them.
10. "He is indebted to twenty of his company of horse, most of them having his passport to depart.
Answer. "This is most untrue in every point ; for first I gave passport to none but Scottishmen whom Mr. Diggs discharged, and the most of them were overpaid, and the rest very near paid, and yet I am allowed nothing for them.
11. "He gave 20 velvet coats ... to be defalked of their pay, and in like sort their cloth coats.
Answer. "The most of them that had velvet coats had nothing good to them."
[The answers apostiled in the margin by Norreys.] Endd. by Burghley's clerk ; added in own hand "Mr. Digges would send all muster rolls into England." 3 pp. [Holland XVII. f. 81.]
On July 29 I wrote to your lordship how the matter stood as to the safe-conduct from the Duke for the commissioners of her Majesty ; and hearing from Calais that the packet passed there on the 3rd of this month, I make no doubt of its safe arrival, and that the commissioners have embarked. The news of their coming is already spread abroad, to the great joy of the people. I arrived here yesterday from Bruges, where I am stayed because, having written to M. de Champagney for another safeconduct, to serve in case the first should not arrive safely, and receiving no answer, the letter cannot have come to his hands, there having been divers couriers and others stripped and murdered between Bruges and this place by the soldiers of his Highness since he went to L'Escluse. And as at any hour your reply may come concerning the setting out of the commissioners, I shall start to-morrow morning to go to his Highness, if I may have good company on the way, which is very dangerous. So far, we do not hear whither the Duke is going with the army. I believe they will not move if the commissioners come, as his Highness seeks in all things to give satisfaction to her Majesty, as I wrote before at large. [The usual assurances of the Duke's sincerity, love of her Majesty and of peace, etc.].Ghent, 14 August, 1587, stilo anglico. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 308.]
Two fishermen of Antwerp, taken last Tuesday night near the Flote by Admiral Justinian's soldiers, report that there is great preparation there of ships, old and new, and that the enemy's forces lie strong thereabouts. "It should seem that their intention is for Berghen, both with their fleet to assail ours, and if they can pass them, that then their other forces shall march by land, to attack us on every side." Their forces are very strong about Bercham, Turnhoult, Burganhoult and Damburgh, and it is certainly thought that their designs are either for this place or Tertolle ; but whatsoever they be, I doubt not but that we shall render a good account of our service. Yesternight, by appointment of the Admiral, 120 of his men, with seven small skiffs, attempted to take one of the enemy's ships of war, riding before Antwerp "but through the clearness of the night were so discovered as that they [the enemy] had good leisure to arm themselves, and there being great store of shot of artillery from the town, they were driven to return, passing safe by the enemy's forts only with loss of one man and another hurt ; but they mean not to leave it so. And for my own part, I will not fail, God willing, to entertain any occasion that may be advantageous to the service."Bergen op Zom, 15 August, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XVII. f. 83.]
At Haelst M. de Champagny's messenger brought me his letter touching the duke's commissioners. I send this by some friends going to St. Omer, together with the said letter and note, for giving of a safe-conduct from the Queen to these commissioners. As to the suspension of arms, your lordship will see what M. de Champagny says. Great forces are daily expected from all parts (for the service of the King, if peace should not be made) ; and the Duke cannot allow the season to pass with nothing to show, therefore it seems to me desirable to dispatch the commissioners to Berghes at once, as at first resolved, and let his Highness know certainly the time and place, whether Berghes, the Castle of Wow or elsewhere, that his commissioners may be there ; and take such resolution as seems to them fitting, as well for the suspension of arms as for the treaty of peace ; for until those commissioners are seen on this side of the sea there will not lack those who suspect that she desires delay. The Duke has always said so, and all peace and contentment suffer thereby. This may be accepted as the Duke's resolve, and the suspension of arms should be arranged to begin as soon as the deputies on both sides meet, and to be continued for a time to be agreed upon by them ; so that it be not prolonged further than will comport with the Duke's honour. I hear from a good source that in Antwerp they are arming strongly and that 125 ships had come out from Spanish ports. Likewise that from Italy, Burgundy, Germany and other places there are coming about forty thousand footmen, who will be in these countries by the end of September. Asks pardon for faults in treating and writing.Aelst, 15 August, 1587, stilo anglico. Endd. by de Loo : "Copy [i.e. duplicate] of the letter to the Grand Treasurer." Date added by Burghley. Italian. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 312.]
I. Seigneur de Champagny to Andrea de Loo.
Thanking him for his letter, informing him of what was written from England. His Highness has nominated as his commissioners (under the safe-conduct of her Majesty) the Count d'Arenberg ; President Richardot ; the Fiscal Maes (Counsellor of the Chancery of Brabant) ; Secretary Grenier and himself. As to the suspension of arms, he dares say nothing, it not being fitting to do anything on either part, seeing that his Highness's army grows larger every day, and greater numbers being daily expected ; and also that this matter can be more conveniently discussed by the commissioners in conference when those of the Queen have arrived. Prays that God may grant success. Brussels, 24 August, 1587. Copy by de Loo. Endd. Italian. p. [Flanders I. f. 310.]
Aug. 14/24. II. The Deputies appointed by his Highness to treat with those of the Queen of England. [as above.] Endd. by de Loo, and with double date by Burghley. French p. [Ibid. f. 311.] Also copy of the same list, made by Burghley's clerk and endorsed by his Lordship. French. p. [Ibid. f. 314.]


  • 1. Referring to the Act of Satisfaction of 5/15 August, passed at Middelburg (Bor : Ned. Oorloghen, bk. xxiii., f. 17), accepted by Leicester on Sunday 6/16. Japikse : Resolutien V., p. 728.
  • 2. This paragraph printed by Motley : United Netherlands, II., p. 143. The earl of Sussex referred to is Thomas Radcliffe, third earl, ob. 1583, who had been lord deputy of Ireland. He was an enemy of Leicester.
  • 3. The passages in italics are in the cipher which Wilkes and Nedham used with Walsingham. For the key, see note at page 35 above.