Elizabeth: September 1587, 21-30

Pages 329-344

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, 21-30

Certain men of Armewe lately come from Spain report that the ships of these countries arrested there have brought great store of victuals from Andalusia to Lisbon and are there stayed again ; and to make sure that none shall go away, all the masters are laid in prison. In all other ports they make great preparations by sea. At Antwerp, Brussels, Macklin, Bridges and Gaunt, the Duke of Parma makes great provision of boats to attempt some of the islands. It is feared there will be somewhat attempted against 'Targoise' or this island of 'Walker'. He has commission from the King to rig out ten more ships from Dunkirk, which are preparing with all speed. Endd. p. [Newsletters XLV. 3.]
Sept. 21./Oct. 1. Report of proceedings in the COUNCIL OF STATE.
On this day there appeared before the Council of State the deputies of Frise, Caminga and the burgomaster of Leeuwarden, when the said Caminga exhibited the copy of certain letters written by the Estates of Frise to his Excellency ; stating that they had received his letter, and for the reasons contained therein and others moving them thereto, they thought well to open, read and detain the letters addressed to the towns, in order to avoid the inconveniences which they feared might follow thereform. They complained greatly of Doctor Richeus, declaring him to be a bad man and that he and his complices, disturbers of the public weal and mischief makers,were the cause, and even the authors of such letters. They also exhibited copies of intercepted letters written by 'Doke' Aysma and the said Richeus to the President of Frise, which were read, together with the copy of her Majesty's letter to those of Frise and to the said Caminga. After many very hot words of the manner of proceeding of the said Richeus and Aysma and their consorts, as they called them, it was demanded that they should be proceeded against as disturbers and infringers of the contents of the placcart ; whereupon certain enquiries were made of the said Caminga namely how these letters had come into the hands of the said deputies, who replied that the public messenger had brought them and the deputies had opened them. Mr. Killigrew said it was a strange thing to open a governor's letters, and also to keep those he had written to the towns, and which he had not done without express charge from her Majesty ; that they had done wrong in venturing upon such action and in England it would be considered a crime of lese Majest. Caminga replied that it was permitted to the deputies to open such letters by virtue of their office as deputies of the States, and that it could not be interpreted as a crime of lese Majest, as the sending of such letters was against the custom of procedure in their country. Killigrew again affirmed that what they had done was not fitting and showed the scant respect borne to his Excellency, and that had it been done in England, by any person whatsoever, with the letters of her Majesty or of a governor, it would certainly have been taken as such a crime and the delinquents punished accordingly ; referring the whole however to his Excellency's discretion and pleasure. Thereupon, the deputies departed and the cause was remitted to Councillor Valcke for consideration, to view the said copies, draw up what it would be well to write to his Excellency, and report. Present. Brederode, Killigrew, Leoninus, Loozen, Valcke, Teelinck, de Bye. No address or endorsement. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 177.]
Stating that Sir William Drury has dispatched one to his honour with the maps provided at Amsterdam. Sends by the bearer thereof "a copy of the Duke of Parma, which is one of the first that were drawn at full." Sir William means shortly to go to the King of Navarre. Some forces of the Duke are gathered by Ypre. It is thought they are going to Cambray. The Marquis of Guasta was before Berges on Sunday last with 1400 horse, but departed presently, having killed seventeen of our horsemen, who had gone out at a venture.Middelburg, 22 September, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 179.]
Sept. 22./Oct. 2. LEICESTER to the COUNCIL OF STATE.
I had resolved to send back to England the men I had brought over to succour Sluys before my departure from Zeeland, but was obliged to delay this and to give order for the protection of Bergen op Zoom against a threatened siege by the enemy. But as the soldiers had been in the boats without any refreshment for several weeks, and you could not tell me of any place where it would be convenient to put them, as the towns refused to receive them, I was obliged to have them put where they would the least press upon the country as Maeslandsluys, Delfhaven and thereabouts, to be lodged and entertained at their own expence, according to the payments I had had given them, until we had decided, with the consent of the States what number must be entertained here ; having since agreed that the English soldiers over and above her Majesty's ordinary succours, shall be sent back as soon as they can be paid. For which we have waited until now, for it would be shameful, and the States could never answer for it to her Majesty, to send away those who have done them such good service, without means, poor and naked. Notwithstanding which I am told that Count Hohenlo has assembled all the soldiers he could from all parts to go before Willemstad to dislodge the said English by force from Delfhaven and the neighbouring places and cut them in pieces, whereof some of the principal men of Delph have boasted ; which I have heard not by flying reports but from so good a source that I am forced to believe it. Wherefore I wished to inform you thereof that you make take order to prevent them from taking this course, if they do not wish to bring out the ruin of the State of these countries. For though I have suffered indignities enough for the good thereof, I will not pass over or suffer this. And seeing that these practices have no end, but begin anew from day to day, and that they are drawing up writings to be signed by the captains and are holding assemblies apart, each claiming to have its own forces and dispose of them at will ; while Count Hohenlo gives law according to his good pleasure, and governs without any respect of the Council or of those in authority. I wish to warn you of the difficulties I foresee unless you declare to the States General and States of Holland respectively, on my behalf that they must signify whether they have given authority to the said Count to so act, and whether they avow or disavow his actions. And that they give order to all Colonels, captains and men of war to depart from his obedience, quit all particular leagues and maintain the oath which they have taken, upon the usual penalties of perjury. In default of this, or if they delay their declaration too long, I shall be constrained, in view of the place which I hold, to take measures accordingly, for I have seen that my great patience has only served to strengthen the evils, promote their plots, and to put these countries in extreme peril. Asks for a speedy and fitting reply.Utrecht, 2 October, 1587 [n.s.]. Received the 4th October. Copy. French. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 181.]
I can send you no news of our general affairs, as I live still in this garrison, "and our particular are very slender. We had an enterprise on Wau but it miscarried by the waggons falling in the water that carried our engines and artificial fires. The Marquis of Guasta marched all that night ; about ten o'clock the next day overthrew seventeen of my horse that were sent forth to beat the straits ; presented between one and two about a mile from the town with 1500 horse. We sallied, but either for that his people were harassed or that he distrusted to join with us for fear of our foot, he retreated from about a hundred horse of ours." For Monsieur Thouraize, I shall willingly follow her Majesty's pleasure and your opinion, though in my poor judgment, "it cannot succeed best, neither for him that is of a noble house to be wrested by hardness, nor for us that hold quarter. If there needed any spur unto him in that point for the peace, it should be out of time given him, for I dare warrant he meaneth soundly . . . and that he would do his best to procure Champaigny to come into England, who is 'thoroughly' thereto affected, and to take away the nice point of honour who should begin. Champaigny should take occasion to travel for the baths of Warwick, which he hath heard is very sovereign for the stone, a sickness he is much subject unto. This is his [Torreze's] plot. It may be prosecuted or entertained as you from home shall direct. He is now become his Excellency's prisoner and I think it will not be long before I am discharged of him, which I shall not sorry for. . . ."Bergen op Zoom, 22 September. Postscript. Sends a letter which has just come to his hands. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XVIII. f. 183.]
Sends "this gentleman, for his better direction, with Page the post" whom he has stayed four or five days for the purpose. Utrecht, 23 September. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 185.]
After much ado, the States have allowed his Excellency his former title and government, rather to please him and avoid a breach with her Majesty than "to satisfy his drift of peace, which he hath so assuredly promised, or his other demands of further supply for the service or confiscate goods for his profit and their peril. For these last they do deny with fair excuses ; the other they absolutely refuse to talk of. And I am assured they are fully bent never to have peace, which they say may possibly be made, but not possibly kept ; and though her Majesty do leave them . . . they account of themselves to be able to continue the wars ten years, though with loss of some towns they care not ; in which time they hope of the death of the King of Spain, when they assure themselves of that they shall then hold and expect a certain revolt of all that shall be lost in the mean time. "Further, it is credibly reported that they are underhand encouraged by the princes of Germany not to hearken to any peace, and though her Majesty do leave them, yet they will assist them. In this humour, they will labour to keep her Majesty's aid, if not, her amity at the least, whereof if they despair, the first thing they will endeavour will be the recovering of this town and Flushing out of her hands. Now, whatsoever is promised and endeavoured by his Excellency, this, I am persuaded, will prove the full scope and end the States do labour," wherefore I entreat you to further the supply of necessary things for this important place, now utterly unfurnished and lying open to so many dangers as his Excellency has more reason to see than will to remedy, as appears by some discourse he had of late with my lord governor, whom he still leaves without means to avoid the danger, and has even commanded hence the small store of powder made in the town. If the place is to be held in security, there should be a magazine of necessaries in what proportion is thought meet for the garrison : In my last, I suggested that such a stock might be custom free, but I now think this would breed offence in these parts.Briell, 25 September, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 187.]
Sept. 25./Oct. 5. THE COUNCIL of State to LEICESTER.
Having read his letter of the 2nd instant and weighed the contents as the importance thereof demanded, they have nominated one of the Council to go and tell him what they have done, and to inform him of all other matters worthy of his knowledge. The Hague, 5 October, 1587. Signed. Leoninus, president. Countersigned C. Huygens. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. Seal of Leicester's arms in garter. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 227.]
"Having sent my trumpet unto the Marques of Guasto for the ransoming of our prisoners there, he (as I take it to repair his honour) sent a challenge to fight with us, from 200 lances to 30. But forasmuch as this challenge was but by word and the trumpet's report, I dispatched my trumpet again unto him with a memorial under my hand, the copy whereof I send herewith. We attend here his answer, hoping the next will be our joining of hands. "Monsieur Thorise, knowing well the inclination of his Uncle Champagnie for the advancement of a peace, offereth to put in good hostage that he may go to treat with him thereof, which he doubteth to do by writing, lest his letters should fall into the hands of some that would oppose the same." I have addressed a letter to the lords of the Council which I commend to your good consideration. The state of our "lame wars" is well known to you, and other occurrences I leave to the relation of the bearer.Bergen op Zom, 26 September, 1587.
Postscript. Thanks him for two letters just received.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 190.]
Memoir in reply to the report made by the trumpet to the Baron de Willughby on behalf of his Excellency the Marquis del Guasto. Expressing readiness to meet him with fifty gentlemen, and will want to hear from him of the time, manner and place. Copy. p. [Holland XVIII. f. 191.]
Another copy of the same [Ibid. XIX. f. 306.]
Learning "that there is direction from your lordships that Sir John Norris should be paid some time after the date of my commission, I thought good to let your lordships understand what right there is also that I should therein be considered. . . . I I received of his band of footmen (which ought to have been 250) but only 110, and those most of them unarmed, very miserable and not thoroughly satisfied their weekly lendings, whereby I was fain to supply arms, money and meat, and since, of mine own charge, 'renforced' the band to the entire number. . . . "The like is of his horse troop. Of 100 I could never get above 16, yet her Majesty allowed plentifully for horse and arms, which she ought to have been re-answered. . . . How strong the company is supplied by me, the books of muster may witness, for I can assure your lordships they be at this present near a hundred. "I would not willingly oppose Sir John Norris his profit or reward ; but her Majesty's right I must in duty prefer above all. Neither can I forget mine own charge in this service, which, if I be no better dealt withal, must needs ruin me ; for I am not able to make this good without mine own spoil, having the last year lost a fair company, which I raised and maintained long of mine own charge." And these things being now made clear to your lordships I doubt not but that however good you are to Sir John, you will provide that her Majesty's service may not be the worse, nor myself more impaired.Bergen op Zoom, 26 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 192.]
Copy of the same. p. [Ibid. f. 194.]
Leaves news to the bearer. Asks his consideration of letter to the Privy Council.Bergen op Zoom, 26 September, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 195.]
Makes bold to trouble him concerning this garrison which, in October, will have been twelve months without pay. What the want thereof may breed, his lordship may judge. Prays that some good order may be taken "out of England," in respect of the dangerousness of the time and the corruption used by the enemy ; who daily makes great preparation for the sea, meant as it is bruited for Flushing. Greatly doubts the readiness of the Admiralty of this country, if anything is attempted against the place, and humbly begs that regard may be had to its importance. Flushing, 26 September. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 197.]
The bearer can better inform you of our estate than I can, who am in a manner as far off as if I lived in England, where I greatly desire to be, "being weary to live where there is no hope of any good, but great likelihood of some sudden alteration, the people not knowing whom they may trust, being greatly troubled with this bruit of peace." If the lord General were suddenly called away, it is to be feared they would hardly obey the States, nor do they deal so well with his lordship as that he has any cause to make a long stay here. I have desired Mr. 'Bell' to remind you concerning the payment of this garrison. [reasons as to Burghley, above]. Also to pray that the company of merchants at Middelburg may be brought to this town, which would wonderfully strengthen this place and be more commodious for them, for the town would make great profit, which breedeth great love. The burgomasters have much recommended it to Mr. Beall, "offering the merchants the Prince's house or any of theirs, with pack houses such as they shall best like of." Since writing this I have received your letter by Mr. Atty, wherein you take more care of me and my health than I deserve. "I am not a little sorry to see her Majesty run so violent a course for peace, which can no way be good for her nor these countries, having been the only cause that the Estates and his lordship hath not agreed ; they fearing that when he shall have the authority in his hands, he shall be commanded to make a peace and they forced to consent thereunto ; being also a thing so much misliked of by those of the Religion as most of them will leave these countries, not seeing any possibility how there can be any assurance thereof."Flushing, 26 September. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 199.]
Sept. 26./Oct. 6. A note of the Muster of the garrison of Flushing taken by Comissary van Broecke on Oct. 6, 1587, new style. Twelve companies, under the governor and captains Godere, North, Rich. 'Wincfelt' [Wingfeild], Browne, Randolph, Darcy (in England), Sherley (absent in Holland), Hender, Noel, Thos. Maria 'Wincfelt' (absent at Utrecht) Denys (absent at the Hague). Present, 1437 men ; ill, 186 ; prisoners 5 ; absent, 13 ; on ships of war, 6 ; at Ostend, 9.Sum total 1656. Underwritten, certificate by R. B[eale] that he was present at the taking of the above musters and that this report was delivered to him by the commissary of the States. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 201.]
Sept. 26. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
"Ad verificandum : Post tempestatem, tranquillum," your lordship has, by grace of her Majesty, made me quiet and joyful instead of troubled and melancholy, by yours of the last of August (to which I have already replied) and now by your very friendly letter of the 13th of this month, in which you acknowledge mine of Aug. 26 and 31, but have forgotten to mention that of Aug. 15, with which went M. de Champagney's letter, and a note about the commissioners and their passport. Your lordship will since have received three more from me, of the 8th, 13th and 16th inst. with a new safe-conduct, under the secret seal of his Majesty, subscribed by the Duke, the safe arrival of which I am anxious to know. And in reply to yours, I will say that I went at once and laid it before the duke, wherewith he was much pleased, saying in very friendly manner as follows :There is no cause to doubt my sincerity (as it is here said that her Majesty might do) for if I had not had a very good disposition for peace, I should not have made the first overture myself, nor should I have agreed to the things which you know of, adding : what was there to force me to do so? On the contrary, I rather had occasion to suspect them ; from their having made so many delays and lost me the best part of the summer, it being now more than a year and a half since this was first treated of. And coming to the point, that her Majesty intends to continue her purpose to negotiate a peace, if she may have reasonable conditions, the Duke replied : Why should it be otherwise, that being what I seek, yet I cannot forbear, in the meanwhile, from continuing preparations for war in case there shall be no other remedy, though no good offices will be wanting to arrange matters. As to the controversy between the Earl of Leicester and the States of Holland and Zeeland, the Duke does not deny that he has been sufficiently informed, concluding that he will be very glad for the deputies to come at the time mentioned, if whatever is to be done may be done quickly. In reply to my question he said I might communicate the letter to M. de Champagney and Signor Cosimo, which I have done, to the great satisfaction of both, and M. de Champagney kept me to supper, on account of a great toast, which he was proposing. Signor Cosimo, amongst other things told me that the Duke lamented over the time lost since the taking of L'Escluse, because of his promise to me and now that such large forces are arriving, the Duke will be driven to make use of them by sending them to forage for food in Holland, to the utter destruction of all that country, though his Highness would have been very glad if he could have done otherwise ; and he could have done so if her Majesty had sent to treat sooner, according to her intention told him by myself. And he said that his Highness merely feigned to come to Brussels to give order for the coming of the new troops, having also the two forts made on the island of Cadsand (which were not needed) near the Sluse, on purpose to amuse the force in the belief (he swore to me) that without fail they [the deputies] would come in the mean time ; giving order also that the Italians and Spaniards should not hurry to come, who otherwise would have arrived some days ago ; but in the end, the Duke seeing such continued delay, and judging that he was being mocked, as I am sure he was instigated by some person of weight to believe, he ordered all the captains to hasten their coming, in order to avoid worse blame, for letting the season slip away in idleness. This was self evident, the soldiers being kept scattered near Antwerp and in divers other places so strangely that all marvelled how he would be able to use them for anything, and the Duke does not well know (he said) how to excuse it to the King. He said much more, protesting the Duke's sincere desire to please her Majesty, but adding that some persons of quality give his Highness to understand that the Queen is only waiting to see what the King of Navarre will do with the succours come to him from Germany, without any intention to make peace at all ; and that if those in France come to an agreement amongst themselves, then those forces will come into these parts, to give the Duke something to do. Against this (he said) they reckon to have ready forty thousand footmen, good soldiers, with abundance of brave cavalry and money. I told him that these reports were mere calumnies, invented by the enemies of the peace, and that the truth of this would shortly be manifest. God grant it, he said ; and if the Duke were not in earnest, M. de Champagney would not be one of the chief deputies, since everyone knows that he desires peace more than anyone else, and the disposition of the President is known also. To the President I have said nothing, in order not to go beyond the Duke's order. His Highness remarked much on your lordship's long letter, how desirous her Majesty seemed to satisfy him ; and he took up the letter and looked at it closely more than once. And it pleased him to see therein the name of the Lord Chancellor. Don Giovanni de Medici has arrived here and the cousin of the Duke of Savoy is expected, and also (I believe) a brother of the Emperor, with Italian and German noblemen for the service of the King of Spain. Some believe that in a few days, the Duke (if the deputies do not arrive) will go back into the field, to remain abroad the whole winter, and it may well be that he will go to Deventer ; to be near the army, and to avail himself of any opportunity to possess himself of territory. I believe that he has written to the King that if he cannot bring matters to an agreement amicably, he will go forward with his forces, and that they will not let him lack money or men. On the other hand I can also affirm that if her Majesty's deputies arrive with the good disposition required, they will find these lords (and the Duke himself above all) most determined to agree to all that may reasonably be demanded, with a certain and perfect renewal of love between herself and the King of Spain, as also for the benefit of the Low Countries in general, to make which good I will hazard the loss both of body and soul if it be found not to be so ; banishing from memory all jealousy of the past, the Duke of Parma being a most noble Italian prince, descended from Charles the Fifth, as he shows himself plainly every day by his treatment of the Spaniard who was never so kept in awe as now under his government ; non enim bene conveniunt (ab antiquo) natura et conditionibus ex diametro inter se repugnantibus. I am sorry that the news from your side comes here so slowly, I having only received yours of the 13th of this month on the 24th and I see that mine take the like ; yet I am afraid of the cost of sending an express. I do not write to Mr. Controller, believing that at this time he will have set out.Brussels, 26 September, 1587, stilo antico. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian, 6 pp. [Flanders I. f. 345.]
Since writing his last letter, the deputy of the company of English merchants at Middleburg has sent him an order from the lord Treasurer "that they should be freed from disbursing any more weekly loan" to the companies of this garrison. Asks him to remind the lord Treasurer to direct the Treasurer there so that they may duly receive it of him. The garrison has been without pay for nine or ten months, which may breed great inconveniences.Vlishinge, 27 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 203.]
"Atye, my servant, is returned, and I find her Majesty much offended with me that I have not sent the Estates' answer and resolution to my proposition ere this. What I have done herein you know, and how often I have called upon them, and also left you at this time to do the like. Wherefore now again I am commanded without further delayher Majesty finding herself so delayed, or rather mocked, as she saithto let the Estates plainly know that she will make no longer stay upon their resolutions, but doth now send to know directly whether they will join with her Majesty or no to treat of any peace ; as also, if they will so do, then presently to nominate and appoint such commissioners as may join with her Majesty's in the same, and to certify their names to me, for she will no longer depend upon their declarations touching their abilities or contributions, for she is sufficiently persuaded therein, as well by their own declarations of late as by their proceedings otherwise. And she findeth herself greatly touched in honour that through their default she hath kept the Prince of Parma so long in suspense of her own answer, which she promised should have been given long since unto him. Notwithstanding all which, she doth assure them that she meaneth as sincerely towards them all and doth mind to proceed as carefully for them as she will do for herself and her own people. And if a peace cannot be had for lack of reasonable conditions, that she will not leave them destitute of defence, as in all reasonable sort she may, with preservation of her own estate. Whereas, contrarywise, her Majesty is resolved that if presently she receive not their direct answer touching this matter of treaty and how her men last sent over with me may be paid, she doth mean to take such other course as shall be thought meet unto herself. "Her Majesty is also much offended touching the stopping of Sluyse haven, a matter she doth so greatly regard, even for their own good, as they could not have done a thing better liking unto her. But finding them so little to esteem of her earnest recommendation of so small a matter, and yet for their own benefit, she doth take it very evil." All which she has written in such sharp terms as though there had been some fault in me, which I must protest against, and that I have earnestly pressed both States and Council, but had no satisfaction. As for their stay about my authority, I pray it may be the last, because I find her Majesty disposed to revoke me very shortly. I am to charge you to deliver this to the Council and especially to the States General. And seeing her Majesty deals so graciously with them, I think they should not break from her but try the end of so reasonable a motion, and the rather that she offers not to leave them if reasonable conditions cannot be had. Copy (by Atye), endorsed with date. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 205.]
Not long ago you wrote that I should be dismissed home, and to that end I have in some sort dealt with the Earl, but have no direct answer, as he awaits further resolutions from England. The place I hold is needless unless in time of a camp in the field and I have never had any entertainment rated me but what you promised me in England. His lordship's dealings to me have been most honourable, but my grief is that I was removed from my place in Connaught, which was a certainty, "with great loss and everlasting disgrace, and all my friends and followers persecuted by that malicious Lord Deputy, and altogether for my sake," and have received no comfort from thence, in spite of her Majesty's letters and your own ; and this with some circumstances concerning the place first promised to me here make me doubt that all was not intended for my own good, as I was told in Ireland. I hope you will not suffer me to be so thrown off, having deserved only well during my government there whatever may be objected by my adversaries. I beseech you therefore that I may be discharged hence and return to my place in Connaught, and that meanwhile I may settle my brother there in my absence ; which being done with sufficiency, I shall be willing to attend this or any other service. In any sort, I pray not to be left behind his lordship, "for other men to triumph at and to blaze out their services which are gone before," whose times were far different from these ; as may be seen by the present state of the Earl, "who being crossed in such sort as he is, what shall an inferior man look for." I leave the state of affairs here to be declared by the bearer, Captain Oliver, who has been an eye witness of all this year's service, and has deserved well both now and of a long time ; but as he is not unknown to your honour, I need give him the less commendation.Utrick, 28 September, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 207.]
I received yours of the 22nd, and not knowing of Barenvellt's "mislike with his Excellency," delivered the letter as directed. He and Mandemaker both showed themselves in words ready to further the matter, and desirous to know how this money should grow due to Sir Philip Sidney, that they might exhibit the account to the States General, promising me their best furtherance. Your later advice comes too late for retaining that letter, "yet in my simple opinion, as those letters can do no great good so the delivery of them will do no harm." My fellow Wyllford has now sent me a note of the whole sum of 586l. 4s. 6d. sterling due to Sir Philip (the copy of which I enclose) "but the States must have it particular, as Mr. Beale knows, and all will be little enough to recover the same," which will ask both time and charge. I have meanwhile retired here, but as Mr. Beale is gone, if you desire me to follow the suit I will not fail to have Mr. Killigrew's opinion. Since my coming hither, I have had no conference with Jehan de Castillio, but he often sends to ask what hope there is of his delivery. "I tell them that I must have patience as divers gentlemen of our nation have which are most cruelly used by his and nothing near so well as he is here of us." I cannot find by the Princess [of Orange] that she will consent to his release till she sees certainer hope that those my lord Willoughby has promised will redeem M. de Teligny. But it is very unlikely that Castillio would serve to release M. de Teligny and if longer detained, sickness, with his age may endanger his life, whereby your honour would be hindered of what may now be recovered, for his ransom lies here in Middellborowe, ready. I have stayed as yet the 300l. for which you gave me a letter of credit. Colonel Morgan has taken upon him to answer the soldiers that took him [Castillio] and would have me pay it to him, but before I disburse it," I mean to see that the soldiers shall have their due ; who hitherto have no cause to find fault in your honour ; but Morgan telleth me that he must have a 156l. more than the 500l. Mr. Beale will tell you of the poverty of our soldiers here. Of the twelve companies more than a third part are sick for want of money to buy clothes, for their weekly lendings is little enough to find them victuals . . . It would move any one to have compassion that seeth them, the poor men be so bare. . . . "Our men ran daily away from this place, Bergen and Ostend to the enemy, who hath of late received so many as that he doth erect two companies of our English runaways." Edward Crispe, that was lieutenant of Sir Philip Sidney's cornet is to be captain of one of them, which the Duke is erecting in Antwerp.Flushing, 28 September, 1587. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 209.]
"Whether I have cause to be grieved to the heart or no, I will refer the judgment to your sacred Majesty, that hath known my true and faithful fidelity to you from my first service, many years past, until this day ; and now to find your heavy conceived displeasure as I do in my later years, in the midst of an unhappy service and in the throng of many miseries and enemies. The causes of your Majesty's so hard conceit of me I know not, but by your hand writ, and as I must receive the same to my condemnation, so in all humility I must again make the same my true and full purgation, beseeching your most excellent Majesty to give me leave to lay briefly down what doth accuse me and what shall excuse me. First, touching my disobeying your special commandment in not opening the matter of peace to these States as you commanded me, I must thus answer :that if I have not as speedily opened that matter to them as was possible for me I will desire no favour, neither will I crave any other testimony for me than your own counsellors, who have been acquainted from day to day with all my doings ; and for your Majesty's less trouble by my long writing, I will humbly refer you to Mr. Beale's declaration . . . and to receive such true information from him as he hath declared unto him, by me abstracted out of your own hand-writing to myself ; whose commandment or devotion if I have broken, I will neither desire favour in this world nor in the world to come." If then it appear that I have faithfully discharged what was committed to me in your own handwriting, I trust I shall be held guiltless of what, to my deadly grief, you have imputed to me. "And seeing I must of force say somewhat for myself, having so ill neighbours to speak for me, I dare be bold to justify that neither was it possible for me to do more than I have done, nor for any other man to deal further for your honour, nor to open this matter more for your advantage and least dislike to the people of this country than I have done. That I have not neglected any time, after I had commission from your Majesty, in opening the matter, the date of my commission and the date of my proceedings here with the States shall be my testimony. That I have not sent you a resolute answer all this while is not my fault. If these men be so slack and slow in their resolutions . . . shall the fault be cast upon the solicitor of them? . . . and if they have wanted daily or hourly solicitations to hasten their answer, let then the whole blame light upon me. And finding their manner of delays as I have done, let mine enemies here report what ways I have taken to advance the service, and to make the detractors or hinderers thereof generally and publicly known ; the effect whereof I assure myself will in few days appear to your Majesty's self. And when it doth seem to your Majesty that my being here is very plausible to myself, and a place I desired myself, I will here to your Majesty protest, and take the holy name of Christ Jesus for witness, that since you were Queen of England, I never went with worse will to any journey or any place. First, I will prefer your own presence before all the world. Next, I was never in worse case to take such a journey in hand than at that time ; for my debts were great and the forfeiture of the greatest part of my land lay in danger. My 'none' estate of body was not so ill since I was born as when this service was laid upon me. And yet . . . I trust I stood not upon any very hard terms after I saw by yourself and found by sundry of your Council that you thought this service would not take good effect without I should go, not but that there were many more able and more fit, but by cause your Majesty was so earnestly solicited to have me sent over and persuaded thereby that I might do more than any other. And for these causes only did I conform myself to your Majesty's will . . . for I swear by the everlasting God that to have been hired to take this journey in hand, the best Earldom in England could not have brought me to it neither . . . if I had not fully trusted upon your gracious word and promise that I should be relieved within three months, but that is forgotten and all else that may make for me ; and yet no man there that hath so just cause to excuse himself, beside his want of wealth, as I have for my very want of health, whereof your Majesty doth know. "Therefore dispose of me as shall please you. If my life may no way stand you in better stead to be a little prolonged at home, I shall submit myself to God's will and yours, and once perceiving your so little care of your so old and faithful servant, I shall the less care what shall become of me. I am sure this persuasion of my desire to remain here can neither come from yourself or myself, for as I took it, I knew your gracious unwilling mind to let me go, and you knew my earnest and lothsome mind for to go, as God in heaven doth know ; and I beseech the same God never to bless me if I were not the worse for my last year's journey here, by 25000l. of my 'none' proper goods ; and the same God is witness how greatly I have spent since my last coming over of my 'none' also, not having received one penny of the States, nor anything of your Majesty till even now . . . "And now, gracious lady, have some compassion of a free servant that refuseth no service either at home or abroad. Be not pleased utterly to see him undone and spoiled. For before the lord, I know not what shift in the world to make after one month. . . . "Howbeit, to make up my last moan, how hardly hath your Majesty dealt with me, your poor servant, to lay such a burden upon me as should for ever disgrace me here ; nay most of all dishonour your Majesty, for I beseech you look again upon the beginning of your letter to the States, how there you charge me with plain breach of your commandment, that I had not delivered to them your pleasure at the first touching the peace, whereby not only my credit must be shaken, but the late slander set forth of your Majesty fully confirmed, and yet nothing at all furthering your service or purpose you would have ; neither yet your Majesty remembering your own letters to me ; giving me more wary direction touching that matter. I beseech your Majesty be not offended that I stay that letter from delivery till I hear again from you, for if I must deliver that, being both against your own honour and my poor honesty, I must desire and beg pardon for ever looking yourself or my country in the face. And for my 'none' true justification, I will offer if I have ever broken your commandment or neglected my duty, to seek satisfaction at these men's hands :let me not only lose your favour but receive condign punishment. If, otherwise, I have observed all duty. . . . I humbly crave ordinary allowance of your favour, and none other recompense but speedy repair to your presence for my comfort. . . ."Utrycke, 29 September. "Your Majesty's humble and most faithful servant, too unworthy to be your 'eyes.' (fn. 1) Postscript. Albeit I have not delivered your Majesty's letter to the States, I have given them the substance by Mr. Killigrew, as may appear by my letter to him, immediately upon Atye's return. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. closely written. [Holland XVIII. f. 211.]
The news of your honour's sickness has grieved many of us, beseeching the Almighty to restore you to health. I have spoken to the Princess of Orange touching Jehan de Castillie, who desires that he may not be delivered until she has answer from M. de la Noue. "The man is weak, old and subject to sickness," and as yet I have forborne to deliver your message, but if he could bring the Princess to yield to his liberty, the money you have or must disburse might be had again, otherwise if he should die, you risk losing all. Let me know your advice. Meanwhile I will keep close the letter for 300l. from the Merchants Adventurers till I hear from you ; "there is no soldiers that I can hear that do murmur at it, for that as Colonel Morgan saith, he hath given his word and satisfied most of them. Certain men of Armuy[d]en, come from Spain, report that the ships of these countries there arrested brought great store of victuals out of Andalusia to 'Libborne,' where they were all stayed again, and to make sure that none shall go away, they have laid all the masters in prison. There and in all other ports they make great preparations by sea. "At Antwerp, Brussels, Mechlin, Brydges and Gaunt the Duke of Parma maketh great provision of boats to attempt some of our islands. I fear me it will light upon 'Turgouse' or this island of 'Walcker[en].' He has commission from the King to rig out ten more ships out of Dunkerke which are preparing with all speed." The Count of Arenberg is retired from about Sluys. They are in weak estate and work but slenderly about stopping of the breach, some of the twelve companies of Spaniards not forty strong. "If princesses were given to attempt, this place might be recovered, but that age is past with us."Flussinge, 30 September, 1587. Postscript. Mr. Beale will tell you of the misery of our soldiers. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Seal with device. [Holland XVIII. f. 213.]
Sept. Notes on "The state of Sir John Norris' reckonings, set down by Auditor Hunt," and signed by him. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 215.]
[After Sept 25.] Notes of a muster taken on April 29 at Ostend, by the States' commissary only, with the assistance of some officers of the garrison ; and a second and last muster there on Sept. 25, 1587. No signature or endorsement. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 189.]


  • 1. Two eyes drawn, as in so many of his letters to the Queen.