Elizabeth: September 1587, 1-10

Pages 294-302

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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September 1587, 1-10

Sept. 1. THE QUEEN to the town of CAMPHERE.
Having heard that they have refused except by consent of her Lieutenant General, the Earl of Leicester to receive certain companies sent in without his privity ; but are willing to accept such as she herself shall put in, provided they are duly paid, as is the garrison at Flushing :she thanks them for this proof of their devotion, assures them of her own affection and determination to do all she can for the good of their town, and states that fearing some practice to the prejudice thereof, she believes it will be very fitting for the said Earl to send some troops thither ; to whom she will give orders so duly to pay them, that the town shall not only be defended against dangers, but be bettered by their aid. Minute. Endd. with date, name of town, etc. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 1.]
We have received from your lordship two letters, of the 12th and 19th of August ; the first concerning the relief of Sluys. We were all persuaded before . . . that you had used the uttermost care and industry that was possible. Your letters and the other pieces sent have confirmed our opinion. And albeit your lordship may haply hear of some misreports given out by base and malicious persons, we doubt not but that in your wisdom you can judge how hard it is to give satisfaction to everybody, and "therefore, seeing that men of judgment . . . rest thoroughly satisfied with your honourable proceedings . . . your lordship shall do well not to be troubled or grieved with such vain speeches and bruits, a matter that the greatest princes and potentates have been always subject unto." We have very attentively heard your replies to the answers of the Lord Buckhurst, Sir John Norreys and Wilkes . . . but do forbear to proceed further therein until her Majesty shall have seen the replies, although as yet she seemeth not to be at leisure for the same, when we mean to proceed to the charging of the said parties, whereof your lordship shall also have report from us. (fn. 1) Touching the running away of the soldiers into this realm without passport, we had already written to Lord Cobham to have such apprehended as should thus repair to the ports within his jurisdiction, as likewise, sithence, to certain justices of Essex to do the same. Minute. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 3.]
I forgot in my letter to add that her Majesty sends a safe-conduct under her hand and seal for the King of Denmark's commissioners, to come safely into the provinces under her protection. You may do well to impart this to the Duke, and move him (if he like of that King's intercession) to send one in like manner to Emden, as hers is, to be ready against their coming. Mr. Controller knows the contents of these my letters, and will write also thereof.1 September, 1587. Postscript. In a new safe-conduct, these words should be omitted :"Entendant que la serenissime royne d'Angleterre seroit intentionne d'entrer en quelque trait d'accord et pacification." Holograph. Endd. p. [Flanders I. f. 327.]
The report of a peace greatly dislikes the States and great ones ; "especially the Count Morrize and the Prince of Orange his friends," who think it impossible there can be any such assurance for performance of good conditions as may stand with their safety ; but that the Prince of Parma, knowing himself to be the causer of the Prince of Orange his death, will continually fear that the son will endeavour himself to work his revenge . . . and the others, . . . do fear that they shall not be so well provided for as shall be requisite for their securities. And on the other side, they conjecture that if it be not peace, his Excellency being so well addicted to the common sort, and their like so generally towards him, as their receipts shall be looked into and then their authority shall decline . . . . "Truly, if an honourable peace might be concluded, and good assurance for the performance thereof, with contentment to the Prince of Orange's children and friends, it should be much better for her Majesty than to maintain such a bagging, confused course of wars as this is, and most miserable to all sorts of people . . ." I account myself most bound to your honour for the good dispatch you have procured for me into Ireland, "though I greatly fear the good success thereof, so malicious is the Deputy in his proceedings against myself. I have also received sundry letters importing his untrue and false informations against me the which I greatly desire to answer."Flushing, 3 September, 1587. Stilo angl. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. Seal of arms [Holland XVIII. f. 9.]
According to your commands, I came over with Sir Richard Bingham, arriving at Floshing on July 25, where I came to my lord of Leicester, delivered your honour's letter, and presented my service, but "received a very cold answer for my entertainment in any good place of service," and should have returned to you had not Sir Richard commanded me to stay with him, who being then made master of the Ordnance, desired me to be his lieutenant, "and do use the same." On the loss of Sluyce, it was thought the enemy would sit down before Ostend, on which my lord Marshal hastened thither, and I was commanded to go with him. We found there 19 companies, but in five or six days his lordship called away nine. We have now only ten companies, "too little by eight if the enemy should attempt us at a sudden with any great force," as our greatest strength consists in men and in keeping our town ditches full of water, which often we cannot do, for our sluices being broken and decayed, at every neap tide the ditches are empty. Also the waterworks of the town are broken, "which should defend the main sea, "which, if they be not repaired, "doth and will so gain that it will endanger the town." If we had eight more companies and some fifty horse, I think we could do some service upon the enemy, "for they environ us round about within two dutch miles, which we might some time visit if we had those forces, for I cannot hear but that many of his towns and sconces are weakly manned, and 'Bridges' hath before the loss of "Sleuce" hath been very desirous to have gone over unto her Majesty." Also, if we had two or three small men of war, it would not only keep the passage safe between us and Flushing, but we could annoy them by sea, by landing men in places on their coast which we cannot come at by land. If order be not taken on your coasts for "reprayhenching" all soldiers who arrive without passport and sending them back to be executed for 'insample' to others, we shall hardly this winter keep any, for few of the private men "carryeth the mind of soldiers, therefore they must be ruled with rigour, for courtesy will not serve. Within this month, fifty of our garrison have run to Newport, taken the enemy's passport to Calais, and so got passage to England. "We have here a very honourable minded gentleman to our governor, Sir John Connaway, who is both painful and careful." We are reasonably well provided of powder and shot and great ordnance ; but some provision should be made for fuel to burn this winter, otherwise I think there will be few houses, before it is past, standing in Ostend, for the soldiers of the town have pulled half of them down already and burned them, and if not looked to, "will bring it from a town unto a sconce." I pray you thank Sir Richard Bingham for his care of me. Our soldiers have so far had their lendings but they are so unruly that if these fail but for two days they are ready to mutiny.Owstend, 3 September, 1587. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 11.]
I know not to whom better to address my rude conceits of things to be considered of for her Majesty's service. Upon some apparent show of disagreement between the States and his Excellency, and hearing that Count Hollock had sworn all soldiers (within his government) to himself and against his Excellency "who at the same instant had put eight companies into Delphes haven and as many about Maeslant Slucewherewith all the towns and people of Holland were so stirred as we feared a present revolt, and whether it will do more good to terrify the States or hurt to offend the people," only the end will show to prevent the worst, on the 27th of last month, our Governor went to Dorte to his Excellency to require supply of such things as this garrison needs, but with no result. I gave a note of them by her Majesty's order to my lord Treasurer and his Excellency at Nonsuch and was referred to some order to be taken at his coming over when the States and he were agreed in matters of more moment, and in the meantime he would write for supply thereof. We hear that ordnance, powder and other necessaries are come to Flushing, so as that town is thoroughly furnished. Whether he thinks this place less needful of regard I cannot say, but we have no store of victual, powder or munition certain to this garrison for one day, and in the whole town not for two weeks. The powder made here is carried away as it is made, and if we should stay it, we may give offence and do ourselves no good. For want of money to pay their debts, the soldiers fall into infinite wants ; at the present, a third of the garrison is sick and not able to serve, and being without credit we lose the good-will of the artificers etc. of the town. Thus, wanting ability, credit and goodwill, I leave it to you to think how it will affect us unless the differences between her Majesty and the States be better compounded than I see any likelihood of. "I assure myself that neither the States nor the magistrates of this town would willingly we should ever be in better state than we are, for their end is liberty, which they fear is not ours," although we deal with them only by the points of the contract, and my lord forbears to erect any provision of victuals or munitions except as ordered by your honours, although reason and duty would urge him to it for our security. With a stock of money, I could maintain a continual store of both, without any other allowance than the ordinary one to myself and my company ; only I should require licence to employ the stock as I shall think fit for the service.Brill, 3 September, 1587. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 13.]
Sending letters intercepted by the soldiers of Bergen, (fn. 2) and recommending M. de Thouraize, "a prinsoner of Burghes" as an honourable gentleman, wonderfully accomplished, and one who may much further a peace, if such is intended, and he were in England. Also, they might "much bind the Princess of Orange by exchanging him for M. Teligny, whom no doubt but he will redeem." The enemy's camp remains in Turnhout, and he has as yet attempted nothing. What his purpose is, his honour may gather by the letter hereinclosed.Myddleburgh, 3 September. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XVIII. f. 15.]
Matters are here so variable that one can deliver no certainty, but your lordship shall have what this day affords. The enemy has not presented himself before any fresh place ; and we have no likelihood of making head against him anywhere this year. His Excellency and the States have had many unkindnesses, then a reconciliation, since again a great division and now a hope of 'unition.' At his first coming over, most of the States forbore to go to him and the mislike grew upon certain letters dispersed among the people. Then a reconciliation was made and his Excellency came to Dort, to treat with them more conveniently, but they would not repair to him, and denied all his authority, "notwithstanding the former agreement, which they said was rashly entertained by some, and never intended by the States General. The government, they said, surceased at his departure last year . . . and was since in other conditions infringed." His Excellency, to encounter these ills first showed them the advantage which the enemy might take by these disagreements, but they answered as before. Then he threatened to depart, withdraw their assistance and leave them to themselves, but they altered nothing. "Lastly he vowed to protest them in all places and to publish against them any misadventure to the country, and delivered them a copy of the bill which should be printed . . . and he is now come to Hague and expecteth their answer." They met him at his coming, and said they had deputed some to deliberate with him, but have done nothing. It is thought they will submit. He is much grieved that they give out "his only being here is for peace" ; they also say that the people is practised with underhand. Count Hollock has sworn all those in his towns against his Excellency ; "yet voweth that he would serve her Majesty with any who might be here else . . ." Briell, 4 September. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 17.]
I am often written unto by Col. Morgan to see his promise to the soldiers performed for the taking of John de Castilio, and they all judge the fault to be in me that they stay so long unsatisfied. The Princess has obtained from my lord of Leicester the ransoming, for him, of one of the prisoners lately brought to Bergen ; so that M. 'Tilleney's' freeing will fall out the more easily. I pray you to take order therein by sending the rest of the money to satisfy the poor soldiers, or at least to write your resolution in this behalf.Vlisshing, 4 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 19.]
Sept. 4. Document endorsed "A copy of an order for the restraining of the Dutch merchants, to save transport of gold and silver," and with date at above." But apparently a project for such an order, probably sent to Burghley, as the endorsement is partly in his hand. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 21.]
Sept. 4/14. "A proposition to the States General, presented by the Council of State."
Expressing his Excellency's great grief and displeasure at the confusions and disorders into which the United Provinces have fallen for want of fitting authority ; also that the disposition of the moneys has not been left to him and the Council of State, according to the government bestowed upon him. For more than two months he has awaited some resolution from the States General for redress of these matters ; and now urges upon them, as they value their welfare and preservation, to send it to him without further delay. Ask them for the immediate payment of 50000 gulden to maintain the English companies at the charge of the county. Also to deliberate seriously upon the means for the war, and especially the fleet. Also to consider and resolve upon the difficulties in regard to the pay of the English men of war ; deputing some one to join with the commissary, Dierick vander Does, in the business of the accounts.The Hague, 14 September, 1587. (fn. 3) Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 22.]
Sept. 4/14. Certain points of which his Excellency informed the States General concerning the pay of the English companies and the fleet etc. The Hague, 14 September, 1587. Flemish. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 24.]
Sept. 6/16. Declaration of the States of Holland that the Advocate of Holland, Maitre Jehan d'Oldenbarnevelt had never been heard to say in the assembly, general or particular, that her Majesty had charged his Excellency to have himself confirmed in the absolute government of the United Provinces by means of a peace made or to be made with the Prince of Parma, and that they would not suffer anyone to use such words in their presence. Also that the proposal made on the 2nd of this month by the Sieurs de Valcke and Josse de Menin has not been sent into any town, as his Excellency has been mis-informed ; but as he desired an immediate reply, the nobles and counsellors, could not do less than take a copy of the said proposal and reply and make report thereof to their principals, to have the reply approved by them, and the like in regard to the States of Zeeland, closely joined to themselves from all time ; that they might thus be sufficiently authorized in the assembly of the States General to satisfy his Excellency's desire. Which the States of Holland hope his Excellency will not otherwise interpret than as the desire they have ever had to please him, and to second his high and heroic designs for the service of her Majesty and the preservation of their afflicted country.The Hague, 16 September, 1587. By order : de Rechtere. Copy in French. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 26.]
Sept. 8/18. Act of the States General, whereby they confirm the authority of his Excellency as Governor-General according to their act of delation at his first coming ; grant him the contributions, so far as is possible, for the carrying on of the war and preservation of the country ; and declare that they have delivered to him their nominations to the Council of State, to choose therefrom such as he shall think most fit.The Hague, 18 September, 1587. (fn. 4) Copy in French. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 29.]
Sept. 8/18. Another copy of the same. In French. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 31.]
Sept. 8. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
Appeal for favour for the release of Martin de la Faille held captive by Lord Willoughby. It is said that Lord 'Willocby' agreed with the soldiers for a price of 3000 or 6000 florins, for the prisoner ; which is far less than the 60000 which he demands. The poor man is burdened with 15 children of his own besides five orphans of his kin dependent on him. Brussels, 8 September, 1587, stilo veteri. Add. Endd by Burghley's clerk. Italian and Latin. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 328.]
Sept. 8. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
I am anxious to learn if my letters, sent via Calais to Haines of Dover, have arrived safely and three earlier ones, and if her Majesty has dispatched her deputies towards Bergen ; whereof his Highness is anxiously expecting the news ; seeing that his whole army is dispersed here and there, upon the assurance given him by Mr. Controller in his letter of July 18, that the commissioners would set out. And when your lordship writes of the suspension of arms, it seems that the Duke allows it rather voluntarily than by having to treat of it, wishing to act to her Majesty's entire satisfaction, from the great affection which he bears her, and his great desire to accomplish so pious a work. And as in wars it is wont to happen that where one side is sated with calamities, they begin to treat of peace, I think that the chiefs and people of those provinces are all in this plight, and need someone to act as mediator, so it seems that all now depends upon the gracious interposition of her Majesty, and it is now your part to crave of her that she will put an end to these evils. Meanwhile the opinions of men concerning these delays are very various, some desiring to await the issue of affairs between the French King and the German forces, others judging otherwise. God grant a good issue, and that the Duke of Parma, who too long has been worried and wearied by delay, may not change his mind and take another course, for the more openly he devotes himself to the pacifying of all things the more bitterly will he feel himself to be wronged if so pious a work is little accounted of.Brussels, 8 September, 1587, stilo veteri. Add. Endd. Italian and Latin. 2 pp. [Flanders I. f. 332.]
Sept. 8. Duplicate of the preceding. Brussels, 8 September, 1587, stilo veteri. Add. Endd. by Burghley as received Sept. 18. Italian and Latin. 2 pp. [Ibid. I. f. 334.]
Stating that during his sojourn in England, there came into the harbour of Rye one of his captains, under commission from the King of Navarre, with his ship of war and four French prizes laden with corn, driven in by tempest and contrary wind, one of which had already agreed with the said captain to pay 1000 crowns or 3000 florins as ransom ; in regard to which it pleased her Majesty to grant him [Treslong] the mainleve of the said money, already deposited in the hands of Lord Cobham, but so far he has received nothing, by reason of the imprisonment of Secretary Davison. Prays for his honour's help in obtaining the money. The papers will probably be still in the hands of Mr. Davison or Mr. "Winnebancq." As his Excellency has been pleased to write of it both to her Majesty and his honour, he will say no more.The Hague, 20 September, 1587. Signed, Guillaume de Blois, dit Treslong. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. Seal of Arms. [Holland XVIII. f. 33.]
Sept. 10. Paper headed "A note of such sums of money as are owing by Richard Huddilston Esquire, late treasurer at war to several persons, and were by him issued for her Majesty's service."
Viz : to William Beecher ; Henry Parvishe ; George Leicester ; Alderman Martin ; Mr. Atey ; Mr. Cofferer [of the Household] for Joseph Marre ; Sir Thomas Pattyson ; the company of Merchants Adventurers at Middelburg ; Thomas Brune, her Majesty's victualler ; Benedick Grove ; the Clerk of the Cheque ; Griffith Madox, Clerk of the munition at Flushing ; and Henrike Ortison, merchant of Utrecht. Total 4483l. 5s. 8d. besides what is due to Brune. Endd. by Burghley. "10 September, 1587. Delivered to me by George Leicester." 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 35.]
"Through the great silence I have not failed to perform my promise to the advancement of the service of her Majesty in the quarters, most necessary, especially at Rome, to the effect to conserve the friends there in their good will, as they were before ; the which the contrary party has sought to alter so much as they could, helping them with the occasion lately happened in England ; but by my continual advertising and instructions of good hope of larger friendship . . . of the hands of her Majesty, through taking away the foresaid occasion of the Scots queen, . . . . [I] effected thus much, that where before I was commanded to stay my writing and communication with his honour," I have now order to continue it, of which, and of my goodwill towards him, I pray you signify him, to whom I make my hearty recommendations, "congratulating him of his new honourable estate, . . . of which promotion I have given advice at Rome, the which is good hearing unto him [sic], the more that his honour is matched with such a honourable party as is the Lord Treasurer . . . of the which and of other great affairs, tending to the overthrow of the pretenders of the invasion of the realm, I could give his honour good particular and present means ; but considering the weight of the affairs, it is not to be committed to the pen, . . . for the which [reason] I wish myself by him for a time, and have done all diligence to bring to pass, but there is commission procured by the contrary party . . . to stop my going over ;" so that our friends at Rome "give advice to procure it by another way ; that his honour by the way of the Roinne mer should impetradt for [me] to stay there (fn. 5) for a time, which abiding there is thought by our friends shall advance such a piece of service, tending to the conservation of the realm and her Majesty's state, as may be wished for this present, a point which our contrary part much abhors, and seeks to 'impediated' [sic] with all their forces. To this effect, they have advanced him there through whom they think to practise the same more at their will but against that plot, her Majesty is able to prefer another, which may much before him, in such a state, procure the advancement of her service. By these means aforesaid, I fail not in these parts to do the like service where it may do good. The parties at this side be much disposed to his honour's pretention. I will not fail to ply [?] it at all times when occasion shall permit, and offer the same as concerning the affairs of Rome. None of our friends there have consented to this promotion of Allen, but have much stomached at it . . . This sending of me thither rather openly than closely, it will prove a piece of so fit and necessary for this present as may be imaginated. Thus much it shall please you to show to his honour in all speed, to bring the sooner in effect this my pretended coming, which is to open a communication between his honour and some special well known friends at Rome, to further this communication here." Antwerp, 10 September 1587. (fn. 6) Signed in cipher. Add : "Al magnifico Signor, il Signor Antonio di Fonti, gentilhomo in Londres." Endd. From B. at Antwerp. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 336.]


  • 1. The passages in italics inserted by Burghley.
  • 2. These seem to be the letters of 28 August and 6 Sept., n.s., printed at pp. 252, 281 above, which are copied in the same hand, and the folds correspond with those of this letter. On the 2nd Willoughby forwarded two intercepted letters to Leicester. Hist. MSS. Com. Ancaster MSS., p. 59possibly these were the originals.
  • 3. Printed in extenso in Dutch by Bor, Bk. XXIII., f. 34.
  • 4. Printed in extenso by Bor, Bk. XXIII., f. 34.
  • 5. i.e. in England.
  • 6. The words in italics are in cipher, deciphered.