Elizabeth: September 1587, 16-20

Pages 315-329

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, 16-20

I have by Page the post a letter from you with a safe conduct for the king of Denmark's commissioners but no word more. I am utterly ignorant of anything intended to the king of Denmark. I trust it is not meant to use me as any commissioner for there is no man more unfit, as is well known to both our councillors here that they have me in the greatest jealousy in the world ever since they have bruited these false reports of her Majesty for the peace, as also that I had instructions from her long since to have broken it with these men but stay only to get my authority to bridle them. Beside I have here worn out my health among these people and there is no service for the field nor yet for the country for me to do. I trust H.M. will call me home, which she may do with much more honour to her now than to stay any longer if she intend a peace. And as I think verily these peoples' evil dealing doth hasten and enforce H.M. to it, so do I not find otherwise that they be able to go through with their contributions, although it appears so by their lack and ill payments to all men. And yet are they most loth to hear of peace, but think themselves able to defend all the world. And touching the proposition for peace which I was commanded to deal with the States, they could give me yet no answer for they are all but deputies and cannot resolve in any such case without their superiors, to whom they did send the propositions, and in 2 or 3 days I look for their full answer. But I think they will make earnest protestations against peace, not that they would not be glad of it, but they think it impossible to have a good one well observed . . . I have written of this already . . . and H.M. and the Council know as much as we can inform from here as well of their wants as of their dispositions and how hardly they perform their payments to our soldiers . . . though they seem to be able to maintain still the war. I must leave the resolution to her gracious consideration . . . but I would not for 20,000l. that she had sent any embas over as was here not only given out but generally believed he hath exceedingly confirmed many honest men's love toward her, howsoever she shall see cause hereafter to proceed in the peace that she hath not yet betrayed them nor gone about any peace without first imparting the same to them, and to show them that the fault shall be in them that she is drawn to it, and also if they do not join with her as they hitherto have done, the fault is theirs and they give her just cause to look to her own estate hereafter. I pray God direct her heart to do what is most to his glory and her service. Peace is the gift of God, and so is war too when it is for a just cause. But war is not to be taken in hand but when it may be thoroughly maintained, for otherwise it passeth all the miseries that can be imagined, and so may the soldiers of this country say, for I think no men have suffered more misery . . . and therefore except H.M. for her part and these people for theirs be fully resolved to spend freely for the maintenance of these wars, any peace will be far better for them. For my own part I am heartily weary of my generalship, for there is no comfort in taking charge when the poor soldier is no more certainly provided for. Besides there is no likelihood of any worthy wars to be made under these men. They love nor care for any man that serves them. I pray you let me find your friendship in helping me home. My lord Treasurer and my lord Chancellor will doubtless further it also. If my abode might do any good I would not grudge at any pains to do service, or if I might have been enabled all this while to have been in the field, somewhat had been done, for such a time I look not for gain considering the numbers the P. sent into France to the duke of Guise and the many wants I know he hath had besides. These defensive garrison wars I like not nor it shall never see them prove well for these countries. I wrote in my last how Count Maurice went to Lillo where Count Hollock is with him. This day I have a very good letter from him, which I send you to see, so that if matters were to go well forward they would come in fast enough. I have bargained for M. de Turre's nephew, to help to discharge him for young Tyllanye, for the Spaniard Castilio will not do it. If these wars had continued it had been a happy thing to have changed Hollock for La Noue. It would have given great comfort to good men and much life to all soldiers. He and his son would be two sufficient persons. God will nev[er] prosper the other vicious fellow here. Thus with many thanks for this honest bearer, your son, whom I have no means now to employ, and pity to hold him from you.The Hague, 16 September. 3 pp. Holograph. Sig. Add. Endd. [Holland XVIII. f. 80.]
Sept. 16. The SAME to the SAME.
You write to me to send your brother Beall home which I mean to do as soon as conveniently I may. He is my only stay and if he goes and I tarry I shall be utterly naked. He is a most sufficient man, and albeit you pity him to have him a commissioner for the peace I must say you look more to your brother Beall than to the common service for the church of God ; for if you will appoint weak friends to deal with strong adversaries you must look for the success accordingly, and the more I think of the treaty of peace the more I think it the bounden duty of all about her Majesty to persuade her to appoint her wisest, "lerndest" and soundest in religion to be in commission for her. I trust it be meant to make a peace for the Q. of England as well as for the K. of Spain, and if ye do so, then appoint such commissioners as ye may be sure will look next God to our gracious sovereign, for such as your commissioners be, such must ye look for your peace to be. I remember at my being there when commissioners were talked of it was thought good to name such men as were not too hot but temperate in religion. I pray you take example by my lord Buckhurst's dealings here ; for he presuming greatly the peace should proceed, would deal with no Protestant here whom he thought zealous, but with the most notorious papists of the whole land he conferred daily . . . and yet he was thought a man far onward in zeal to religion since he became a councillor. If such as you know to be very cold . . . shall be chiefly appointed to be commissioners, then what must be looked for. For my own part I hear that I should be appointed to deal here with the prince. I have sufficiently delivered causes to show I am the unfittest of all others . . . for I know I shall rather do harm than good if I be named . . . and therefore if ye love the cause and H.M. make the ablest choice of faithful men that you can find in England for this peace, for not only her security is like depend upon it, but her reputation through all Christendom with such as be of her profession. How forward this matter is I know not but . . . I have cause not to fear the forwardness that here is reported. If there be any time of respite thought convenient for God's sake let it appear that it shall be substantially and advisedly proceeded in. I do now send my Lord North and your brother Beal with this despatch, who hath been acquainted with all our doings here and hath taken great pains to further H.M.'s service. He hath voluntarily stayed with me here without any entertainment, and yet had leave to return home as soon as he had brought me into these countries and seen the end of Sluse. He can inform H.M. and you thoroughly of all things. As for your brother Beall, he is in my books apart. Among your letters I did light upon one concerning safe conducts to and from the King of Denmark etc. by which it appears H.M. would have the meeting at Berges . . . which I wonder at before she doth receive a full resolution from the States. She blameth me that I have not gotten it all this while . . . but surely the sending of these safe conducts and letters was not so well advised as should be. Neither is it possible for them to come to Emden by the 20th or scant the 30th, yet all haste shall be made with them. And you must in no case resolve upon Berghes except the States consent to join with you to treat, for you know it is under their jurisdiction. If no money be paid to the new bands but what the States must yield, it will cost the queen some 3 to 4,000l. or drive 2 or 3000 honest willing subjects to come away, for without they have money to discharge them they must tarry here and without money they cannot live, so also H.M. must be at greater charges the longer they tarry in pay undischarged . . . Hereof I must acquit me, let the fault light where it shall, for I will be no more reproved seeing I find no better assistance. The Marshal have I discharged and Sir Richard Bingham I have sent for and the rest shall follow without delay, so my officers being cassed and my companions being departed, as all are now, I trust I shall not be thought of so little account as to remain here alone without countenance or comfort. But the lack of a little countenance you will see will cost us treble our charges, for the manner of this dealing for the peace proceeds even as the enemy doth wish it. I know not what better time you can have then at this general despatch of officers to have sent for me also, but I see my friends forget me and therefore I must shift and speak for myself. I thank you again and again for this honest young man. He hath lost much time, for since my last coming over I have not had much to do for my secretaries. In much haste, 16 September. 2. Holograph. Sign. Add. Endd. [Holland XVIII. f. 82.]
Sept. 16. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
With this will go a copy of my last (of three days ago), therefore I will only say that going the day before yesterday to President Richardot to procure another safe-conduct for use in case the other should miscarry, and talking with him of the peace, he informed me that the Duke had said to him that he was much vexed over the two months which he had lost by giving up the campaign, from his belief in my assurance, and Mr. Controller's, that the deputies were coming at once upon the arrival of their passport. [Richardot] assured me that his Highness was exceedingly angry about this, saying that he had been fed with words, and that it will be taken by the King in very ill part. He recalled my urgency to have the safe-conduct, as if it would never arrive in time, and what I had said in April, that my lord Buckhurst had order to communicate to the States of Holland her Majesty's intention, as he wrote to me he had done, hoping that shortly it would be brought to a good end. And from that time had heard nothing further, but would now say that the Earl of Leicester has order to do it ; and so forth, concluding :Credat mihi D. Andreas, quod ipsi nectunt moras ; we are being mocked, but will take better care in the future. So he ended ; very ill-pleased with me. Yet I think I can go on negotiating in friendly fashion, although I must take heed how I speak of the suspension of arms and such matters. So I am forced to deal very cautiously letting them vent their anger when they speak with me, and answering little ; andnot without much adoI have managed that they will wait till towards the end of this month, to begin to treat before Michaelmas which failing, omnes in me cudetur faba, nimis turpiter me dabo ; but I hope and believe to be out of all this and wait like the apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit. The President also said, touching the safe conduct, that it all came from ill-wishers to the peace, instigated by the enemy of mankind. I hope the safe-conduct will now be satisfactory. I shall be glad to know that it has arrived. I spoke to M. de Champagney touching the commission of these deputies and he replied that it was drawn up in like manner as those in time past, and prayed the Lord Treasurer not to take objection to it, for it would be strange if the Duke undertook such a business unless he were sufficiently authorized by the King. The President has said the same to me, so I hope your lordship will now be without anxiety on this point. I submit that after the first interview they should go to the Duke, being sure that he would go to them if he could do so with propriety. Simple as I am I know the great difference between the head and the tail. Yet as his Highness himself said to me at the camp, her Majesty has previously sent her deputies to Bruges, on matters of much less importance, and here at Brussels negotiations can be carried on much more conveniently for both sides. For the rest the case is between a King and Queenbrother and sister. Believe me, I have felt that the Duke wished he could once meet her Majesty, for he said with a happy look that then he could quickly arrange everything. I have seen this from his delight in talking with me sometimes of the time when he was with the Duchess, his mother in England, which he still regards with affection, from the pleasantness of that country and the hunting and various sports and pastimes which he remembers to have been made for him. [Again urges the coming of the deputies, etc.]Bruges, 16 Sept. stilo vecchio. Add. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Flanders I. f. 341.]
I see that mine of Aug. 31 was not come to your hands when you last wrote, which will show you what end my working with Count Hollock has had. Your grave reasons touching the state of this country prove that your lordship hath not left the very bowels unsearched. And yet . . . I could have produced many arguments probable enough to have confirmed what I wrote, had not the concluding of your letters fully assured that a general resolution seemed ready to embrace peace. . . How joyful I was to embrace my discharge, in respect of the great charges of my place, all may judge that have sustained the like ; yet I cannot be free from disgrace at the suddenness thereof ; being discharged before I heard one word from any there, and upon very short warning compelled to break up my house. But you have proved how ready I ever was to thrust my shoulders under any burden laid upon me, and so humbly thank God for whatever he may send me. Yet considering the hardness of my estate at home, I beseech you (as the last favour I expect to receive) to persuade her Majesty "to grant me licence for one, two or three years, to retire myself into some place in Germany, where living a private and sparing life, I may somewhat ease my poor, unfortunate children and may yield some means towards the satisfying of my debts. . ." The Hague, 17 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 84.]
Has discoursed fully with Mr. Neidam of his last being in Antwerp and Brussels, but charges him with these few lines to beg his honour's favour towards his Excellency, that he may be employed in some place wherein he may do grateful service. Has as yet no cause to complain of his Excellency, nay, rather "to acknowledge a perpetual obligation to him and his" for restoring him to liberty, but considering his poor estate and that years come upon him, desires to have some means hereafter to maintain himself.The Hague, 17 September, 1587. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XVIII. f. 86.]
Sept. 17. Note, by Robert Ardern, gentleman, on this date, of all such sums of money as he has delivered in victuals, to have been put into the town of Sluise in Flanders, to the captains of the footbands in her Majesty's pay, and to be defalked as they shall grow due upon their entertainment by Sir Thos. Sherley knt., her Majesty's Treasurer at Wars for the Low Countries. Total, paid to 27 captains, 585l. 8s. 8d. And also of the same victuals delivered unto sundry not contained in the lists received by the Treasurer out of England. Total, to 4 officers, 54l. 9s. 2d. And also for victualling the pinnace called the Sun, serving in the Low Countries under his Excellency, with 35 men under Edward Fenton gent. captain of the said ship. Total, 15l. 9s. 4d. Sum Total, 655l. 7s. 2d. Endd by Burghley "2 October, 1587," probably date of receipt. 3 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 88.]
"I have received your letter of the 10 of this present, (fn. 1) which I presently imparted to his H[onour] so far forth as through all the study I could use I might understand your meaning therein ; for both your cipher is marvellously mistaken and false written according to your untrue English style, and also the matter itself is delivered in such obscure terms as it is not possible thereby to gather your meaning aright. Howbeit, his H[onour] liketh well of your diligence, and you are now at liberty to write as heretofore ; praying you to omit no opportunity to write continually hither by so good means as you have. And for the matters you have now written of ; first, we cannot possibly imagine what you mean by saying that you cannot procure your coming over hither, that your friends at R. wish to procure it another way ; as that his honour by the way of , which as you write it is, by the cipher Roinnemer (fn. 2) should impetrat it, etc. ; we cannot tell what your meaning is by these words. And where you say that Allen was preferred against the will of your friends at R., we are surely advertised that Cardinal Farnese was a great doer therein. But his H[onour] willed me to tell you that he would be glad to hear from you in answer of that he commanded me to write to you about so long sithence ; which was about an overture or motion which he wished you to make to the P[rince] there, to this effect : That her Majesty here could wish him to provide for himself in taking the possession [of] those countries, considering the hard measure that both his father and himself had always received at the K. of Sp[ain's] hands. And her Majesty could far better endure him as Duke of Burgundy and her neighbour there than a King of Spain ; in which kind of treaty he should find her Majesty so well disposed as he could wish touching any reasonable conditions he might propound. And so, for this time praying you in [his] Honour's name to make your particular answer to this point, and that you will explain your meaning signified in your last, remembering hereafter to write more truly, your cipher, either in that or else in some other language. . . London. (fn. 3) Draft. Endd "18 Sept., 1587. M[inute] to B." 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 343.]
Those companies of the last supply which your honour writ of, are even now upon the point to be cassed . . . This place hath been a long time doubted to have been attempted by the enemy, and that was one special cause why my lord sent me hither . . . but now the spring tides and floods growing high, it is the less to be feared, and with a reasonable garrison, may be well maintained against any attempts that the enemy shall give for this year." I set out to-day towards my lord into Holland, and will there deal for my own discharge, which will be the easier obtained as order is come to dismiss all the chief officers. I pray you to write earnestly to my lord that I may be returned hence and so into Ireland. If I saw any way that my service would be required here, I would with contentment endure it, but as the action has fallen out, I can neither pleasure myself or further the service ; and the charges of these countries are so extreme that I cannot endure it.Bergen up Zone, 18 September, 1587. Postscript. A few days since there happened an ill mischance between Captain Uvedall and a gentleman called Whetstones, who "falling out into some speeches overnight, met by chance the next day, and so unknown to any went themselves without the town, where it was the said Whetstones' chance to be slain," but the other (it not being done of malice) stands acquitted by martial law and is no danger for it. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 90.]
My lord North and Francis Nedham will bring you all the news, but your favour makes me bold to write, only in discharge of my duty. His Excellency has for eighteen days awaited a full answer from the General Estates, but notwithstanding daily promises "when they came to present the same . . . it did prove to be a shipman's hose, open at both ends ; in respect whereof, together with a report that was thrust abroad here among the people (which is avouched by the Dutch to come out of England) the General did publish his protestation to the magistrates and people the contents whereof I assure myself your honour hath seen. . . . Whereupon the towns and 'Common' being greatly satisfied, and now perceiving that this was one of the accustomed shafts of the Estates, show themselves more ready than ever to be at her Majesty's commandment," yet nothing has yet been performed. The reason of this (besides their desire to keep all in their own hands) is guessed to be bruits that come out of England of a peace with the Spaniard, "and perhaps if it were so, they do rather wish to make peace for themselves than to stand in the hand of another." My lord came hither by Rotterdam and Delfte, and as it was given out that her Majesty was least honoured and her lieutenant least welcome in those towns, I noted how the people behaved themselves, and dare assure you that the 'Common' have never shown his Excellency more satisfaction and affection than then. On the 12th, Count Meurs returned from Bream, where the reiters, landsknechts and pioneers were to have been ready, but came back without either horse or foot, who refuse to come upon the fickle promises of the States unless her Majesty give her word for their pay. On the way, he surprised a little town called Mappell [Meppen] in Munster, belonging to the new Bishop of Cologne, which, it is said, (being kept) will keep the enemy from all provision that way. The Count Maurice went, five or six days ago, into Zeeland and thence with Count Hohenlo to the fleet before Lillo, where there was great triumph and shooting off, with much expenditure of powder. It is said that the burgers and soldiers of Antwerp "ordinarily frequent thither without passport and licence" ; also it is whispered here that Count Hohenlo practises with the enemy. The Duke of Parma is reported to be at Brussels, but his preparations both for ships of war and flat bottom vessels go forward at Antwerp. How they may be employed is unknown, but Lillo, Tertole and Axell are spoken of. Either the Escluse has weakened him greatly or the forces sent into France stay him from any enterprise ; "otherwise he might have done his will for any means there was to resist him." Mr. Nedham will tell you "what want there is of money here, how the captains do cry out upon Sir John Norreys, what hold the States take of his words touching the garrisons of this last winter and how earnestly I desire my lord at home." On the 8th instant, "M. Piron, governor of Axell, sent hither one Courtoys, a Spaniard, who had lived long in England, but now, as he confessed himself, came over to the enemy to offer his service, but could not be accepted, wherefore he was first committed and afterwards banished ; but the sequel is, he was here arraigned by ordinary course of law and executed." To-day my lord goes to Leyden and so to Utrecht, Amsterdam and North Holland.The Hague, 18 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 92.]
As leisure served, I have designed the order of our march, the state of the ground and the manner of our encamping before Blankenburg, only for myself, but Mr. Nedham, seeing it, would have it to show your honour. "If the raggedness of the work and writing cause you rather trouble than otherwise, 'tis his fault" ; but I would be glad at any time to send you "the designment of the happy success of some good exploit of ours." As for other matters, I wish wars might be so followed "that at some time we may dare look the Spaniard in the face in the 'champion' [i.e. field], lest our minds by habit and our honours by such continuance both change and decay."The Hague, 18 September, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 94.]
My fellow, Nedham, will tell you how all passes here. I have dealt with his Excellency, according to your honour's commands, to have his warrant for Sir Philip Sidney's diet from the day he died till the day Sir William Russell came, who answered that he had signed it and delivered it to Mr. Lindley. I replied that he might have signed some other, but not that. Mandemaker and 'Bearnvelt' are not here. I will take them your letters, "but as matters stand now, it will be hard to obtain the same, for things are far out of frame here." The bearer will tell you "what is fallen out to two of my fellows, Captain Udall and Captain Edward Russell . . . which by all men's report are a couple as brave men as be on this side." Lord North and Mr. Beale depart for England within four or five days.The Hague, 18 September, 1587. Postscript.Colonel Morgan tells me he has given Sir William Pelham an obligation of Mr. Henry Bromley, son of the Lord Chancellor for 280l., to pay out of it 200l. to your honour for the said Colonel's debt to you. Sir William has written to you about it by Mr. Bromley, his son-in-law. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 96.]
Sept. 18/28. "Placcart concerning the musters and other commandments over the men of war, as it is corrected and resolved by his Excellency" on this date. Printed at Leyden by Thomas Basson, 1587. Translated and collated with the original in French by G. Gilpin. 6 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 98.]
Sept. 18/28. The same in French, as given at the Hague on this date. 5 pp. [Ibid. f. 133.]
Sept. 18/28. "Instruction of the Officers of the Musters of the men of war in her Majesty's pay ; practised in the British army ever since the 1st of February, Anno Serenis : Regina Elizabeth, 27." Printed at Leyden by Thomas Basson, 1587. Together with "precedents of billets for receiving and discharging of soldiers, to be delivered by the commissioners of musters resident unto the captains. Also the oath to be ministered to all officers, captains, and soldiers on entry into pay and at musters." 4 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 102.]
Sept. 18/28. Copy in French of the above, translated by Gilpin from that in English exhibited by Mr. Digges. Printed at Delf, by Albert Henry, printer in ordinary to his Excellency, 1587. 5 pp. [Ibid. f. 123.]
Sept. 18/28. "General Instructions of the Musters for the men of war in service of the United Provinces of the Low Countries. As the same is corrected and augmented the 28 of September, 1587. Printed at Leyden by Thomas Basson, 1587. Translated or collated from the French original by G. Gilpin. 7 pp. [Ibid. f. 106.]
Also appended thereto of the same date
1. The form of the oath taken by Colonels, Captains and soldiers at his Excellency's first entrance into the government, and "again resumed and by his Excellency resolved" on the above date.
2. "Resolutions taken by his Excellency upon the redress of the musters." 5 pp.
3. "List of the arms and entertainments" of companies in pay of these provinces from henceforth.
2 pp. [Ibid. f. 110.]
Sept. 18/28. The Original of the said Instructions in French. 10 pp
Appended, of same date.
1. The form of the oath, as above, but only for colonels and captains.
2. The like for the soldiers and common officers. Each p. Printed at Delf by Albert Henry, printer in ordinary to his Excellency.
[Ibid. f. 115.]
Sept. 18/28. French copy of the "Resolutions taken by his Excellency" 5 pp. and the "list of arms and entertainments," 2 pp. Printed at Delf [ut supra]. [Ibid. f. 127.]
Another copy of the Placcart, Instructions, form of oath, resolutions and list of arms, etc. 26 pp. [Ibid. f. 137.]
If it had pleased Sir John Norreis to show the five muster and warrant books that he had signed by me, your lordships would have been satisfied "that of all men he hath least cause to complain of me, having not only respited a great number of faults ... but also for every particular that I have checked the cause is set down. The like I mean to do with the rest of his books.... Some matters of great importance had need be censured by your lordships, because I perceive the Treasurer hath received directions contrary to the course by his Excellency here established." I send you enclosed the causes why I could not finish the checks of the other bands. If you saw how I have been impeded by the States' and captains' willfulness, I should rather be pitied for my toils than condemned for negligence.The Hague, 18 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XVIII. f. 155.]
"The causes why the Muster Master hath not finished the Captains' Accounts and determined the checks" ; viz : the ill-conduct of the captains ; the delays of the States in sending commissaries to join in the work ; and the faults which he imputes to Sir John Norreys. 3 pp. [Ibid. f. 156]
Sept. 18. Notes by Burghley ; endorsed by him "A memorial" and with date.
Point 1. "to be considered for answer to My Lord of Leicester's last letters of the 10th or 11th of September [being an abstract of the said letters].
2. "For answer to these things" :
"His lordship is to be thanked for his labour in repelling the false reports, both of her Majesty and of himself, and it is to be well liked that his authority is so largely confirmed, with the power to dispose of their contributions with privity of the Council." And as they have agreed to give 80000l. besides their ordinary of 20000l. by month, it would be well if he could obtain payment of the new bands, their continuance and placing in garrisons, etc., that her Majesty may better bear her ordinary charges. He would also do well to have a perfect account made betwixt his treasures and the States, showing what is due from each side, and so some means found how her Majesty might be answered for sums laid out for them. 3 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 159.]
Has delivered his honour's letter to Maundemacker, who will give it the best furtherance he can, but matters are so far out of order that there is small hope of doing any speedy good. Will need to have an account for the money for Apsell [Axel] grows due ; also what is due to Sir Philip as Colonel of the regiment of Zeeland, and a note of his entertainment for the same. Without this he can do no good, and my lord of Leicester thinks it will hardly be drawn from them, seeing what delays they make of all things, but Adrian Mullenar, once Sir Philip Sidney's secretary and now my lord of Leicester's has promised "to follow the suit of it." Barnevelt does not come to his lordship ; but will present him his honour's letter and see what furtherance he will give it. Means to return to Flushing until he hears further from his honour.The Hague, 19 September, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 161.]
Sept. 19. G. G[ILPIN] to WILKES.
By mine of the 1st of this month, written at Dordrecht you have learnt the then state of our affairs. Since then we have continued in "parlementations" ; sending deputies from one side to the other, until the high and provincial Councils of this province and the Chamber of Accounts sent some of their college to congratulate the coming of his Excellency, offering their service in composing the differences between him and the States General, and desiring to be informed concerning the peace of which there was such great bruits. His Excellency thanked them and assured them that as to the peace, the Prince of Parma had made some offer to her Majesty, but that she would not in any way treat thereof without the knowledge and advice of the States ; that it was doing very ill offices to spread such rumours, and for this cause, and to defend both her Majesty's honour and his own, he had made a Declaration of his acts and carriage in the place he had served in, presenting it to the States General and afterwards sending copies to the towns of the different provinces, with letters written in strong terms, as you will see by the copies annexed in Flemish, not having yet had time to put them into French. I hear that all those of the Council did not approve of this Declaration being published, lest it might show the enemy too much of the actions here, but his Excellency thought it necessary. The Remonstrance of the aforesaid deputies so well pleased him that the next day he went to the Hague, where after nine days of patience with nothing done, the States have at length taken their resolution on the points proposed, and having presented them to his Excellency, he has accepted them. You will see the tenor thereof by the annexed copy. The provinces have consented to the 200000 florins ordinary by month, besides the extraordinary, but reserve the general means to themselves ; quid hoc sibi velit, you will easily judge. Those of Utrecht, who should pay a tenth of what those of Holland do, will only contribute a twentieth. Moreover, all the provinces having nominated those from whom his Excellency shall choose the Council of State, Utrecht remits their nomination to his Excellency's good pleasure ; which two things have been protested against by the other provinces in a verbal remonstrance to his lordship. This is suspected to be a practice to draw some away from the Council who are not agreeable to the States, which will be the cause of fresh complaints. Now we shall see what will be done to put into good order matters too long passed over (forcourruz). Count Maurice has gone towards Lillo with ships of war to strengthen the fleet, as the enemy has some enterprise in hand ; making ready many ships at Antwerp. Count Hohenlo is at St. Martin's dyke with some men, but no one knows his intent as yet. The Count de Murs has been near Bremen to meet the Reiters, who have not appeared at the appointed place, so that, after taking the town of Meppe and leaving there 1200 foot and a cornet of horse he has returned with the rest. The place is important as being a passage, but not tenable, being too far from the places which we hold. We know nothing certainly of what the enemy will do, but in a few days many things will be discovered.The Hague, 19 September, 1587. Signed "Celuy que cognoissez." Postscript. My comrade greets you and begs you to excuse him if he delays writing to you for some time. I also pray the same, for the world is full of bad men, and everywhere there are spies and tale-bearers. Add. Endd. as from "G.G." Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 163.]
Does not know why the Earl of Leicester has not delivered unto them what he was charged to do at his last departure from England, or if he has done so why he has not received some direct answer from them. Recital of events from the sending of their commissioners here to England to show that they were unable to continue their contributions this present year, so that without greater help from her their estate seemed almost desperate. "Thereupon Lord Buckhurst was sent, who found that they were unable to levy and pay any army this summer of themselves, without making unreasonable demands upon her. Upon this she commanded him to tell them plainly, that she would bear some portion of the charge if they would answer for the rest ; but if not, then he should induce them to consider how to come to some good accord with the King of Spain, in which she had opportunity to do them good, many overtures having been made from the King of Spain by the Duke of Parma for peace and that not without good provision for their surety. And after this, understanding of their decaying state, and at their earnest request, she sent the Earl of Leicester as well as supplies for Ostend and Sluse, although both towns should have been maintained only by them, although it proved afterwards they had no care at all of their own, to their great reproach and her grief. Recounts efforts for relief of Sluys ; but all her intentions were made frustrate for lack of any aid from them, and so the town was lost, though not without the honour and reputation of her soldiers that defended it. "Hereupon, seeing, on the one side, your declination or rather backwardness, and your disability to maintain your defence, and on the other part, the enemy's new great preparations to exceed his former forces ; and therewith having the former overtures renewed to us to treat of peace, both for ourselves and you, we gave order to our said lieutenant to deal plainly with you how necessary it was for you to incline to procure your safeties by treaty of peace where it was offered ; and yet not so to yield to any treaty of peace, but to continue both your forces and our own in the mean time, that if peace could not be had with reasonable conditions, neither we for ourselves nor you for your selves should accept the same, but with God's goodness to hope in the justice of your cause for our further defence. "This was the matter that our said Lieutenant was commanded inwardly to open to you at his first arrival, after the loss of Sluse, and to this we looked for answer, and for lack of answer we are not contented with our said Lieutenant, although on his behalf it is said that he could not have convenient time to deal with you herein, for that he was so interrupted with your overthwart dealings against him, with sundry false reports of us and himself ; as that we had agreed on a peace with the King of Spain without regard to you ; that our commissioners were to go over to confirm it ; that the Earl of Leicester was by us willed to surprise divers your towns, to yield them to the King of Spain if you would not assent to peace, with many 'mo' such sort slanderous bruits spread, yea believed and maintained for true by some of your own number ; all which was, we affirm in the word of a prince most false, and maliciously devised with devilish minds, abhorring as it seemeth, from all liking of godly peace and quietness. Now it resteth that by our own letter you plainly see what we meant should have been declared to you ; and so now, we finding no cause to change this our opinion of an universal peace, if it may be had with reasonable conditions, and which, without treaty and proof by a colloquy cannot be known how it may be obtained : "Therefore to conclude, we require you not to neglect nor misinterpret this our motion ; assuring you in the word of a prince we mean therein sincerely towards you and the universal state of your country, and mind to proceed in the same as carefully for you as we shall for our own part and our people. And to the furtherance hereof, without any unnecessary delay, we require you to determine upon meet persons that may serve with ample commission to come to such place as shall be indifferent for that purpose ; to propound your demands, where our commissioners shall assist yours with all their powers and credit, for furtherance of the same. And the names of your deputies we require to be delivered with some speed to our cousin of Leicester to be certified to us. And if your peace cannot be had with reasonable conditions, we will not leave you destitute of defence, by the help of God's grace, and in all reasonable sort we may with preservation of our own estate. Draft, with many corrections, additions and passages underlined for deletion, entirely in Burghley's hand. Endd. "20 Sept. 1587. M[inute] of her Majesty's letter to the States General." 6 pp. Holland XVIII. f. 165.] Draft of the same, translated into French (in Beale's hand) and endorsed by Laurence Tomson : "A report of the charge given to the Earl of Leicester, to be delivered to them. Motion to hearken to the treaty of peace, their necessity considered." 9 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 169.]
Has received his letter of the 2nd inst. in answer to his own concerning a bruit that his honour was going into France. Means to take his journey into those parts himself, so soon as he can hit upon a safe passage thither, "to see the wars there." Craves his favourable letters of commendation.Berghes op Zom, 20 September, 1587. Postscript. Sends by this bearer some maps of divers countries and provinces, as a token of his dutiful good will. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 175.]


  • 1. See p. 301 above under this date.
  • 2. La Torre wrote that it might be procured by means of the Roine mere. Reine was often so spelt in those days.
  • 3. This draft is in the handwriting of one of Walsingham's clerks. The words here given in italics are underlined, probably as being meant to be put into cipher.