Elizabeth: October 1587, 1-10

Pages 344-362

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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October 1587, 1-10

"As I was not careless or negligent of your Majesty's service before the receipt of your letter by Atye, so have I not failed since to endeavour myself by all the means I can devise to work you satisfaction in the matter I am so much blamed for. And as I had dealt, besides the General States, with divers towns particularly . . . so do I not doubt but it shall in very few days appear to your Majesty that I have done my full duty in bringing your desire with your great honour and good liking of all these people to pass. Albeit I must assure your Highness that there hath been as subtle and lewd dealing by some of the States to withdraw men's minds here from you and to seek other devices than your advice or help for them as might be. But all will turn to the best for your Majesty's purpose, for the States do plainly find that their practices will not hold and the rest of the country have discovered them too much, and therefore they mind now to make show of very ready good-will to join with your Majesty to treat for a peace. But how many fetches and devices they have used to impeach it shall be manifestly known also unto you, and yet to this hour they hold it disputable among them whether it be better for them to join with your Majesty in treaty or to offer to treat by themselves ; and very unhappy arguments have they made to persuade men to think they shall speed better without your company than with it. But the wiser and honester sort do acknowledge that they are able neither to make good war nor good peace without you ; and stand constantly in that opinion, as I have had the testimony thereof of numbers of them from their own mouth ; and therefore the States must now needs yield speedily to give their answer. Among other their persuasions to the people this is one, and of all doth work most, and that is that your Majesty hath appointed certain commissioners . . . to treat of that peace that be already much addicted to the peace and hath been dealers in it already to further it. The dispositions also of the parties be made worse than there is cause. But some of these men will spare no device to hinder this course of yours for peace. Albeit they be never so unable to maintain their war. And though perhaps your Majesty may think I would herein say somewhat for myself, yet neither for myself nor for the world will I abuse you willingly. But this I must say : that your Majesty hath won as great honour and love among this people by the manner of your proceeding with them as they can any way look for to get almost by the matter you offer unto them ; for your manner of dealing they take most kindly, and hath cut the throats of the contemptuous practicers, for the people are all resolved to run your course absolutely both for war or peace, and will commit into your hands themselves, their goods and country. And albeit peace was an odious name to them heretofore, yet coming from your Majesty as it doth, you shall hear it will be very thankfully embraced, and none more willing thereto than I find the protestants. Yet must I tell your Majesty how the States have used this matter which I proposed unto them touching your inclination and motion for a peace, notwithstanding that I did write particular and special letters to all the towns in every province . . . they did so handle the matter as, but in some few special towns, the rest never came to the knowledge of your declaration ; and yet . . . I caused two thousand at least to be printed, that, if such a practice were used, that by that means the people might know it, and but for that they had not heard of it ; which way also they did as much as was possible to prevent, for all towns had warning to intercept and conceal all those printed letters. Yet were the States content that a false and an untrue report should be published from place to place against you, that your Majesty of yourself would have a peace, and had contracted and agreed with the enemy without acquainting these countries withal, so little regard had they of your honour, although they had just cause to think the contrary. And howsoever your Majesty had forgotten this manner, it proceeded from yourself to me by all your instructions, as I trust by this you are persuaded by Mr. Beale. If otherwise it had been left to me, I would rather have wished never to have liked them to see your Majesty's honour any way touched for want of so just and reasonable a circumstance to be used as this was. And I doubt not but since your Majesty may now proceed with the good consent and liking of your friends here, it will please you to take that honourable course every way which may not only bring you quietness but assurance to continue for ever these countries people at your devotion. "I will not trouble your Majesty with the whole declaration of the cause of these States thus dealing to keep the people in war, more for their own profit and rule than any care of their country or love to their commonwealth. Their late platform, laid by faction and conspiracies, doth evidently show it, all which they maintain and continue till this day ; which is only to stablish a popular government, and are persuaded, if they might continue this trade one ten months, they would bring it to pass, and no doubt would have gone near it, if they had had the wit to consider sufficiently of your goodness. But the words your Majesty did use to themselves against that government hath caused them to draw into some other course which faileth in that you fail sooner than they looked for. The whole story of this, your Majesty must hear at more length than I may here trouble you withal, but upon this, your wisdom can conceive much of the rest, and Mr. Beale cannot be ignorant of this platform and the foundation they now lay. But your treaty and the joining of the people with you doth greatly disappoint them. . . ." "From Utrecht, where there hath been somewhat to do by the practice of the States." 1 October. "Your most faithful and most obedient servant and eyes [drawn]. R. Leicester." Postscript. I am now informed "that there be some of the States that secretly do all they may to make the people conceive that their best peace must be without your Majesty, and that they have already had some conference herein with the enemy ; which I am promised shall be discovered and the doers known ; but I think they will hardly bring it to pass, and I will lay good watch for it. It is most certain that this question hath held hard dispute among the States already, and not yet closed." Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal with crest. 2 pp. closely written. [Holland XVIII. f. 217.]
Counsellor Valcke has communicated what he had charge to say to me upon my last, whereby I demanded that the States should avow or disavow the actions of the Count of Hohenlo, viz. that you had put off communicating my said letters to the States for certain good reasons, and that you were not sure of the proof of what was imported by them. I have since shown to the said Counsellor what the Count is doing ; having called from Naerden, Vianen and other places round about such soldiers as he pleased, and given such orders as seemed good to him ; has sent patents under his hand to the horse companies whom I had commanded to go with Col. Schenck, upon which La Sale has gone to him without giving me any notice, and urged other companies to go with him. These others now demand to be paid like those who serve in Brabant who, as they say, are paid three months more than the rest, or to withdraw towards Brabant, where they may be entertained and assured of their discounts. Into Bommel they have put as much garrison as they pleased ; at Hedel, have demanded much money, at Lillo, they refuse the companies whom you have ordered thither. And in general, to keep the companies in hand, they promise them their discounts without further action ; of which things I am well informed, but do not wish to speak at present. I should know very well how to provide for all these things, but as it is the pleasure of the States thus to let the service and repose of the country suffer, one must let it alone. I desire you to dispatch the provisions for Col. Schenck, for although the soldiers have marched, it is upon my word that the provisions should follow them. The States General inform me that they remit whether Meppen shall be held or not to my decision and yours ; wherefore I desire your opinion as soon as possible. I send you a note exhibited to me by the Count of Murs, for payment of his charges in the journey to the reiters desiring you to let me have your answer. Also a request from the widow of the late commissary Heernkins, that you make what provision for her you think fitting. I have informed M. Valck that her Majestyhaving seen the delays of the States, and that they cannot be induced to make up their minds as the needs of the country require, also seeing that the Prince of Parma continued to solicit her to listen to some agreementdesired to know what was to be hoped for from his advances, and that to this end the States should join some commissioners to hers, to enter into communication with those of the Prince ; upon which I believe he would agree to this being done in some town of the United Provinces, if the Estates so desire ; her Majesty assuring them of her determination to treat with as much sincerity and care for these provinces as for herself and her people, and that if the peace cannot be made under good and just conditions, she will not leave them without her aid and defence. As this is an affair of consequence I have desired Counsellor Valck to consult with you how best to put it before the assembly of the States, requiring you to give him credence as to myself, and send me your opinion therein with all the speed you may.Utrecht, 12 October, 1587. Copy. French. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 219.]
Having answered your lordship's letters (the last of the 26th ult.) I will now only say that yesterday, the secretary Cosimo informed me that the Duke wished for copies of both your last letters. He took them and asked me what news there was. None (said I) save that the ordinary from London which reached Antwerp on the 18th of September announced that the deputies were getting ready. Then (said he) his Highness must go into the field ; I remarked that I did not know what more I could do ; he said, Some one will suffer for it. Without doubt he is ready to set out any day, for a friend of mine, an Italian captain, has told me that the Duke is urging all to get ready, without their knowing whither they go. When his Highness has left here, I intend (with permission) to return home, after nearly six months' absence ; and to bring the matter up later since it appears that God will not [now] favour further progress.Brussels, 3 October, 1587, stilo antico. Add. Endd. by Burghley as received on the 12th. Italian. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 349.]
Oct. 4. "Money imprested and paid out of his Excellency's treasure for the services in the Low Countries from 11th October 1586 till 4th October 1586 [sic] stil. Anglican, which is to be reimbursed to his Excellency by the Estates accordingly."
"Imprests to divers and sundry captains and soldiers in the Estates pay Sum total 3880 5 6
Further list Sum total 1032 18 0
"Secret services and intelligences. 1426 8 8
"Carriage by land and water in these countries 223 10 8
"Entertainment and pay for 50 lances 350 0 0
Further statement of "Money imprested and paid out of his Excellency's treasure from 4th October 1586, till 4th October 1587 stilo veteri, and to be reimbursed . . . accordingly."
"Imprested to divers and sundry captains, officers and soldiers in the States' pay [not the same as above]. Sum total 800l. 0 0
To divers and sundry servitors and soldiers out of her Majesty's pay Sum total 221l. 0 0
Armour and other furniture delivered out of his Excellency's armoury to those in the States pay Total 69l. 19s.
Charges by land and water in these countries. 89l.
Transportation of his Excellency 145l.
Secret service and intelligences 400l.
"Sum of all the payments [in both lists] as before particularly appeareth 9139l. 11s. 10d.
Endd. "Sums of money disbursed for the States." 3 pp. in all. [Holland XVIII. f. 224.]
"Sums of money disbursed out of her Majesty's treasure to the use of the States, anno 1585 and 1586.
Under the following headings :
Money due by the States upon an account with Sir John Norreys 2886 19 0
Officers in garrison 380 0 0
Imprests made to the footbands 10524 1 0
Imprests to horsebands 330 0 0
Levy and transportation 2681 6 3
Pension (to Capt. Emanuel Luker) 48 12 0
Extraordinary charges "To Sir Philip Sidney for his charges about the surprises of Axel and attempt at Graveling" 586 4 6
Sum total of all sums issued out of the Queen's treasure anno 1585 and 1586 17436 12 9
Money disbursed (as above) 1587.
Payments to divers English captains and their companies of 150 men apiece Sum total 18153 19 2
Imprests to divers English captains in the States' pay 447 0 0
Ditto to divers captains, strangers 2317 17 0
Charges of coat, conduct and transportation 4770 0 0
Charges of carriages 340 9 10
Payments to the cannoniers 122 5 0
Sum total of payments in 1587 26151 11 0
Sum total of all the payments contained in this book anno 1585, 1586, 1587 43588 3 9
Endd. 4 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 221.]
Asks his help in the Rostwick case. Mr. Bourne called him in hope of being backed by the lord Chancellor, to answer a fraudulent deed against her Majesty. Wishes both Mr. Bourne's daughters were free from husbands of his blood, had rather part with both than one for many considerations. Thinks it very strange to be bound in 4000l. to abide the Council's order ; hopes that when they have well digested the cause, they will think it a reasonable thing for him to enjoy the young gentlewoman "unless by a friendly course she be sought at my lady."Ostend, 5 October, 1587. Postscript. I have a man here, one Savell, a seminary priest or a Jesuit, a very dangerous fellow. (fn. 1) I took him by a great chance, going towards the enemy's camp. "He hath to carry into France and these countries a great many of relics as he calls them ; the bones, sinews, flesh dried and such like of traitors which have lately suffered in England. He confesseth they should be delivered to Charles Arundel, to the Lord Paget, to the Lord Westmorland and others, and notes in writing. I have a little moved him to tell me truth of such questions as I have propounded. . . . He stands sworn to conceal their secrets which have put him in trust and therefore desires to be excused to answer to anything upon oath." His Excellency orders me to send him to him and he will send him into England. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 229.]
I thank your honour for your letter by Mr. Atye, and "am the more pressed to follow my suit . . . when I see it is not my hard fortune alone, but rather a common cross to all professing war. For mine own retiring into some corner of the world . . . my age may challenge that contented quiet, as one no further profitable ; but for that worthy gentleman whose ability may much advance the service of his country, I am more sorry than for myself." [Concerning one Mr. Jorden, a young gentleman serving in his company of horse and his reconciliation to his father, commending his gentlemanlike carriage and good government of himself]. I beseech you to continue your good disposition towards him. His desire to see service and be made more able to follow his country's wars has been constantly maintained so long as hope to learn ought remained ; and now, he has obtained licence to return.Utrecht, 6 October, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 233.]
Oct. 6/16. "Answer of the nobles, gentlemen and most towns of Holland and West Friesland to the Declaration of his Excellency, made to the States General at Dordrecht, the 7th of September (sic), 1587. (fn. 2) Imprinted at Delph etc." MS. Copy in English. 22 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 235.]
After closing my letters to my Lords of the Council I received by a boor of Bridges and a drum, who came about prisoners, a letter to me and one to Captain Brackenbury, which I thought good to certify to your honour and to my lords. The letter I have sent to his Excellency. It is to the following effect : I understand that my letter of Sept. 29 could not be read, therefore I now write the contents. What wanteth here you will find in Capt. Brackenbury's letter. There is a traitor here who by means of a boor that I well know sends letters to La Mote and to the Prince ; the which boor, according to promise has brought me a letter in French, with certain marks thereby. I would I knew how to send it you, though with danger of my life, for I doubt it is of some great matters. "If it were in Flemish I would write it in this manner, and to translate it as yet I find not the man which I dare trust. "I writ you of the clerk of the Grave Barlemount's regiment, how that I hope to work him to do us some good service, and how that I received much news from him, and that I thought twenty crowns would be well deserved . . . that Mr. Cofferer oweth me." I received it by your messenger, with your letter. I also wrote in the letter that could not be read "of a high Dutchman that was governor of Axell when it was taken. His name is Melshard van Shenochs. The Grave Barlemount and the Grave of Arenborch do expect great service from him." I wrote too of the great preparation of shipping, great and small. All the ships' carpenters in these parts have gone to Antwerp. More than 300 French mariners have arrived. Here is baked much of biscuit and bread, and there is great store of meal, and all manner of things and more than 2000 saddles and bridles made ready. Every day there arrive fresh soldiers and it is reported that the Roysters are coming with eight regiments of High Dutches. All the Dutches and Walloons are drawn out of the garrisons and Spaniards placed there through all Flanders. Here is true news from France that all the horsemen sent by the Prince are overthrown, and not three men escaped. The lord of Maldynghame is slain, with divers other men of account. I pray you make no doubt to sign the passport I send, "for I know presently to confiscate his passport, his ships and goods, and that by his own default." He is a traitor, but has saved my life by disclosing to me the treachery, though more to safeguard his debt than to do good. I have promised the boor 50 gulden for his service, also his liberty if he should be taken with you, and have given him the twenty crowns you sent me. Give me a few days before you send, that I may bring you some certain knowledge how they mean to proceed. Look well to your town, and to such small boats as come to your 'key.' Stand upon strong watch and guard.In Bridges prison, 16 October, 1587, stilo novo. Yours in true haste and service, Tho. Trent. In Conway's writing throughout, and addressed by him. Endd. "From Tho. Trent" [sic]. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 231.]
"By the last I sent you an advertisement of defiance that was in terms betwixt the Marques and us of this garrison, and what I conjectured the cause to be. Now, to convey from himself the dishonour, he mistaketh the trumpet's message, and supposeth it to be sent from us, which was never intended." For Sir Richard Bingham, Sir William Drury, Mr. Chidley, Mr. Vavasour and myself, accompanied with some eighty lances . . . sortied four English miles without thinking of anything but to entertain fight with them till our foot came to us ; about 300, led by the Serjeant-Major General. As such a matter cannot but be published, I write this to give you full satisfaction, and send you a true copy of the Marques's letter and the trumpet's protestation. Here are no other intelligences worthy of telling you. "His Excellency is gone into North Holland, the States are yet far off and untoward, and our wars grow cold with the season of the year." To-day the Duke of Parma musters his camp at Turnhout ; likewise his mariners at Antwerp. It is thought they will rise presently after. "What may concern peace or wars is best known to you, from whence we here must look for either, but it is high time for some thorough resolution, because delay may give advantage to break off with great danger that which yet seems easy to be treated of." Berghen op Zoom, 7 October, 1587. Postscript. Sends "such mean advertisements as are brought him by one of his espials. Holograph. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 248.]
Acknowledges his of the 4th instant. The trumpet told him of Willoughby's coming out with 50 horsemen, to signify that he did not wish to fight then as the Marquis's people were more than his, but had presented himself with 50 horsemen, to break a lance with an equal number. Told the trumpet his deep regret at not having known this desire with which would most willingly have complied ; and may add that he will take all possible means to gratify their inclinations, when he could act, as then, without leave of his General. Can say the like for many other knights and soldiers. Thanks him warmly for the dogs being sent, and will send in exchange something from his own country. Turnhout, 5 October [n.s.] 1587. Copy. Italian. p. [Holland XVIII. f. 249.]
(2) "The protestation of John Baxter, trumpet to Lord Willoughby."
Being sent to the camp at Turnhout for the ransoming of some prisoners taken the day before by the Marques of Guasta, marching with 1500 horse towards Bergen, he was asked by the said Marques why neither his lordship or any of the garrison would sally when he presented before the town. Who answered that his lordship, with 50 other gentlemen of quality sortied after them four or five English miles, and marvelled much that the Marques, being so many in number would not abide their coming, for they desired nothing more than that he would do them the honour to encounter them. The Marques then demanded if he thought his lordship with some company of horse would meet him in equal number half way between Turnhout and Bergen. Unto which he replied he was assured of it, and that his lordship would give a hundred crowns reward to him that should bring news of it. "Nay, said the Marques, wilt thou be contented to abide here while in the mean time I send my own trumpet to make the offer, and if they will accept thereof, thou shalt have two hundred crowns, and if not, fifty jerks with a rod." "Whereunto the trumpet answered that he durst adventure his life for the acceptance thereof . . . and therefore desires that he might be dispatched away, promising forthwith to return with answer." Whereupon the Marques willed him to let his lordship know that they "did earnestly desire the accomplishment of this offer, and would be ready to perform it in any number that should be desired, from two hundred to thirty, without any ambuscadoes or other policies or entrappings to be used on either side." All these speeches were interpreted by a Dutchman, whom the trumpet understood very well. The trumpet having reported these things, was immediately sent back with answer in writing "that the offer was accepted for the number of fifty, and therefore required that the Marques would confirm that under his hand which he had made offer of by word, and withal to appoint the time, place and manner for the performance thereof. "Upon receipt whereof, the Marques flying from his former offer, pretended to mistake the trumpet before and supposed a message intended to be sent first unto him in that behalf, as by his letter appeareth, and by that means seeketh to convey from him the dishonour thereof, whereupon the said trumpet protesteth that he never declared any such speeches as the Marques by his said letter supposeth, but that the truth of the same was in manner as before was declared. Signed. John Baxter. 1 pp. General endorsement on the covering sheet : "From the Lord Willoughby, touching a challenge between him and the Marquez of Guasto." [Holland XVIII. f. 250.]
Copy of his letter of Oct. 3.
The above is a copy of my last, sent by an express as also is this. I find myself more and more out of countenance because nothing is heard about the deputies coming, and I have no heart to commit ourselves further, fearing to be flouted by all. Thus I labour in vain to my great loss and the benefit of no one, losing my reputation by saying so many things and no result following. Whereupon I pray to be pardoned for resolving to take my way homeward on Monday next, believing that there is no more hope of any good ; it being in every one's mouth that her Majesty will determine according to the issue of affairs in France, which being still uncertain, it seems to me better to withdraw for the time, in order not to land myself in further difficulties, by letting my house and affairs go to utter ruin, while I am pointed at by malicious persons as if ambition or reward had drawn me into this, whereas on the contrary it would have been much more to my advantage to have attended to my own affairs.Brussels, 7 October, 15 October, stilo antico. Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders I. f. 351.]
Credentials for Sir John Herbert, one of the Masters of Requests, whom she is sending over to communicate certain matters which she believes to be for the good of their common affairs. Copy. Endd. "8 October, 1587." French. p. [Holland XVIII. f. 262.]
My lord Willoughby inveighs against my leaving any companies in evil state. As I have answered both the matter and almost the same words, charged by my lord of Leicester and the mustermaster, I need not trouble you with repetition ; yet "I cannot but marvel why my Lord Willoughby doth object that since he had my companies, he hath furnished them with arms, money and meat, for if they wanted, it had been a very hard part for him to have denied it, and appertained to him to do it ; and whatsoever he hath lent them, I doubt not but he will see himself well repaid." If he had so furnished them in my time, "then had the soldiers been beholding unto him and I to be blamed" ; but it may be doubted whether my lord will imprest 2000l. of his own amongst them as I have done, since already he so exclaimeth of his spoil and ruin for having disbursed some trifle. "As for my lord's demands, I think he is so well acquainted with the course of martial affairs as he will not look to receive the pay of my companies before he had them, or at the least had order to have them, and notice given thereof, either to me or to the officers ; from which time I neither seek to hinder his lordship nor ask it for myself, and for him to claim it before were an unjust demand, for at my coming away, neither had he commission to receive any of my companies nor I had order to deliver them, else I would have delivered them up myself in such sort as they were ; whereas afterward either for want of government or using authority, they were suffered to disband." It is without question that he may claim his entertainment from the date of his commission if the words so bear it ; otherwise it is at the discretion of the giver when it shall begin, but neither of these can prejudice my being paid until my coming away, and the matter is of small moment as the double pay of colonel and his lieutenant will not exceed 180l. For what pretendeth her Majesty's service, his lordship might have thought more advisedly before charging me "with either want of will or sufficiency to perform her Highness' service as far as himself, whereof I trust I have made so good proof as I shall not need to say any more, his lordship not being here to reply. . . . If it be examined how other companies were left the last winter and how mine were maintained, it shall then appear who had most care of the service." If there be anything else you desire me to answer, I shall be very ready to do it, but rather by mouth than by writing. Mortlake, 8 October, 1587. Holograph. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 252.]
[Apologises for not writing before.] I have been mostly abroad, either for the raising and mustering of the reiters, (of whom we have not yet a single horse), and yet we ran great risk of all being massacred, for on returning, the enemy had cut off and closed all the passages, and followed us closely with 1500 horse and 2000 foot, while we were only about 900 horse, having left our foot (about 1000) with a cornet of horse at Meppen, a little town in Munster, which we had surprised in passing. It is of importance, as it furnished all the victuals (being the receptacle for all the 'Lordendrayers' of Bremen, Hamburg and Emden) for those of Grningen, Coewarden, Lingen, Zutphen, Deventer and other towns of the enemy. Secondly, I have not dared to do so, for reasons which you can better judge than I can write. However, I have done all I could in your defence both here and by letters to the Sieur Ortel and also to Dr. Joseph Michaeli, that he should tell M. Walsingham (whose familiar he is) that I and two hundred with me will testify the good services you have rendered for the defence and honour of his Excellency against their letter full of calumnies of February 4, of which I now send a copy. Nevertheless, I hear that her Majesty is entirely satisfied as to all that has passed, for which I am very glad, and the more so that I learn by your letters that you are shortly to return hither, when I shall not fail, according to your desire to put my son again into your service together with all else that is in my power. [Thanks on his behalf.] Never since the beginning of the troubles have we been in such piteous state or in such perplexity as now ; by the divisions and dissensions both between his Excellency and the States, and between the latter and the nobles, so that I fear, if they do not shortly give him better satisfaction, he will depart sooner than we wish. Count Hohenlo will not be appeased, and has not yet spoken to his Excellency, which grieves us much, for their dissensions prevent our doing anything at all, and for consolation we have only the grace of God and the good success of the King of Navarre, to whom we pray God to give prosperity and victory, that he may force his enemies to such a peace (which the King and the Queen mother are now practising according to the letters of M. de la Pre, the agent in France, of the 26 of September, n.s.), as he shall find fitting for his own safety, the quiet of all the faithful and the maintenance of the word of God and the true Christian religion. His Excellency has also (by the Sieur Killegrew, on the 10th of October) proposed a peace, on the part of her Majesty, whereby all have been much amazed, seeing that by his letters to Junius of Zeeland and those of Sept. 9 from Dordrecht to the several towns, he protests the contrary. Nevertheless, the States of Holland have withdrawn to Haarlem and the others each to their own place to resolve thereupon. I pray God to enlighten them to take such resolution that we may live peacefully with liberty of conscience and free exercise of the Reformed Religion. But I fear, and am indeed assured, that the King of Spain will never grant this, especially as fortune is now favouring him, wherefore we may beat our brains in vain, and should do better to use our utmost endeavours to make good war against him, in order that we may obtain much better terms than now, when we are under his feet.The Hague, 18 October, 1587, stilo novo. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 254.]
After dispatching my last from Utrecht, I came to Horne where, notwithstanding some ill offices, I was honourably received and found the people devoted to your Majesty. This I must impute in great part to the faithful service of the governor Snoye. I have said and written so much to you of this that I leave him to your princely remembrance, for it is not common in these days to find such a man. I have remained here three days, to confirm the people in their duties to your Majesty, and to withstand "the lewd and ungrateful practices used to the rest of the towns hereabout, specially Enchuysen, a town your Majesty hath often talked with [me] of, and very desirous always to have had assured for you." I have so far prevailed as to have their promises, by some of their chiefest burghers to be wholly at your commandment ; "but the States have been jumbling with them ever since they gave first out your dealings for peace with the Duke of Parma . . . to draw their good liking away, knowing that there was no one thing in the world that would so soon do it." Yet upon the Declaration set forth of the true manner of your dealing, they were well satisfied again. Now just before my coming, they had a copy sent them of my last earnest calling upon them to join with you in treaty of peace "giving the people warning withal that I was to come to them very speedily to abuse them and to surprise that town for your Majesty through their governor's means, who was wholly yours, . . . and having this town and some others in these parts at your devotion that then your Majesty might compel them and all the rest, with your cautionary towns already had, to come to what peace you would." On this they shut up all their gates but one and wrote praying me not to come to their town, as they heard my coming was to take their town and alter their garrisons. The day after I came hither, they sent two of their officers to make the like request, "whom I told that I was not so greedy to come to those that were so light of credit, and that had offered such wrong to me, being your Majesty's officer as I was, and yet their governor also" ; and then declared how graciously you had dealt with them hitherto and what causes moved you to hearken to an offer of peace ; that you would deal for them as for yourself, and not leave them destitute of help if they broke off for lack of good and reasonable conditions. I also put them in mind of their great necessities, which both your soldiers and their own felt to their great smart, letting them understand how much you had spent above all contracts and promises, and that to deal thus unthankfully must cause less regard to be had of them. It was to be marvelled at, I said, how they, to whom you had given so many favours, could suspect you or your officers of surprizing a town "when they would forcibly almost fasten their whole dominions upon you and become subjects or what you would." But these suspicions, I told them, could not touch your Majesty but were their own most harm ; I was here at a place as good as their town, and these people with many more content to put themselves under your protection, either for war or peace and so sent them away. A little later they desired to be heard again, praying that I would forbear to give you knowledge thereof till they had been at home and sent to me again. This was Saturday. To-day, Monday, a trusty friend tells me they are all in arms in the town and great division among them for showing such causeless distrust of your Majesty, "saying that there is no cause to mislike with your motion, for it is to prove whether a good peace may be had or no . . . and to have a good peace they should be most happy and next God bound to your Majesty for it." Within two days we shall see the result. In the mean time I will go to Medemblick, the next town to Enchyusen, which, with its governor is at your Majesty's devotion, and do my best to recover Enchuysen before I depart thence. Then, "having Flushing, Brill and Utrecht (as you have) and these, you shall be able to bring the Prince to better conditions and bridle these States of Holland at your pleasure.... Your Majesty will still blame me for want of their resolute answer but I protest to God I cannot bring them faster on if my life lay upon it ; neither can I assure you to have any certain answer this good while. They are full of shifts and yet such for this matter as may ask toleration at their [sic. qy. your] hands, for how hateful a matter peace hath been to the generality almost of all these countries is well known to all persons, and how lothsome a thing yet it is to all but to such as for love and trust in your Majesty will conform themselves, I can sufficiently testify. . . . For it doth concern them and their posterity both in their lives and liberties, and therefore to be borne withal if they take deliberation. . . . Every province and every particular town's assent and advice must be had in this case, and your Majesty can conceive how hard it will be for so many men's minds . . . to be had in a short time. I am credibly informed that the treaty in the Prince of Orange's time was seven weeks after it was propounded before he could get their assents certified, and I cannot tell how many weeks more before they could agree upon the articles. . . . If it stood but upon holding up of hands on the general resolution of some private towns, I could get quickly hands and seals simply and wholly to commit men's lives, liberties, lands and all into your Majesty's hands, as Utrecht, Overyssel . . . these three or four good towns under Snoye, and one whole province in Friesland called Oestergoe. These, whether the States agree to join with your Majesty or no, I know will take that course you do . . . and the town of Dort I hear will do the like, for since my being there . . . they have disjoined themselves from the rest of Holland and cometh no more at their Assemblies. They made an open protestation against the States for the slanderous reports against your Majesty ; they have refused Count Hollock also to come into the town and took in Sir Edmund Carie with his whole band, and doth entreat them exceeding well. . . ." I have sent to every province and great town to send me their resolution apart, giving them all the reasons to induce them to join with your Majesty that I could set down, and I know it troubles the chief practisers among them, for they are not yet agreed whether it be better to treat apart or join with you, there is much cunning used to persuade men against trusting to your Majesty, "and as many towns as they can bring to that mind no doubts but they will." I have troubled your Majesty overlong, but thought it my duty to let you understand how things pass here and upon the first next occasion will send an express messenger over. "In the meanwhile, I will recommend my poor self to your wonted gracious goodness, and to trust I am not worn out of your remembrance altogether . . . whose hands and feet I humbly kiss."Horn in North Holland, Monday [blank] of October. Holograph. Add. 3 very closely written pp. 2 small seals. [Holland XVIII. f. 256.]
Oct. 10. BURGHLEY to DE LOO.
As in my last of the 13th of last month I wrote that as soon as we should hear from my lord of Leicester of his dealing with the States for their consent to the intended treaty, you should know her Majesty's further resolution, which has only been delayed from lack of knowledge how the States were contented with her intervention ;you shall understand that Mr. Robert Beale, sent from my lord at the Hague about the 21st of last month only arrived on the 4th inst., being stayed at Flushing for lack of wind. And now the Earl writes that he could only propound her Majesty's intention to the States on Aug. 22 and then found them so far from hearkening thereto "as they began of new to give credit to former false rumours of her Majesty's conclusion already past secretly with the Duke of Parma for the Peace. Nevertheless, his L. did so far persuade with them as they seemed to think better of her Majesty[s] intention, (fn. 4) but yet in no wise they could absolutely allow of any reasons used by his Lordship to them ; persisting fastly upon an old rooted opinion, which was that whatsoever conditions of peace might be granted to (fn. 5) them, the same would never be performed nor long continued, whereof for proof they delivered many particular examples passed of the violations of former promises by such as have governed for the King in the times of (fn. 6) former treaties, wherewith the Earl of Leicester was somewhat troubled, as he saith, how to answer the same, not being perfectly acquainted how things had passed before ; but insisted only upon the assurance of her Majesty's Christian and princely resolution to move them to like of none conditions but such as should manifestly maintain their surety, whereunto they might give more credit because her Majesty would be as ready to maintain hereafterwards in such state for their freedom and liberty which (fn. 7) should be granted unto them by the King of Spain at this Treaty as she hath been to defend them from former violences offered unto them by the Spaniards. In this sort of dealing with the States, his lordship spent five or six days, and in the end, about the 15th of September, won of them thus much, as that they would send to the towns and countries from whence they were authorized to intimate this motion of her Majesty, and the reasons used by the Earl of Leicester on her Majesty's behalf to the furtherance thereof. And so his lordship conceived some hope that as soon as time could serve for answers to be brought from the several places, he should receive some uniform answer from the States, agreeable to her Majesty's motion. And for furtherance hereof, his lordship hath written his own particular letters to a great number of the towns, both of such as he thought would be induced hereunto, and to some others whom he thought would be very obstinate or hard therein. And since that time, as Mr. Beale doth inform us, his lordship hath received answers from divers of them, expressing their inclination, (fn. 8) with the condition of the assurance of her Majesty's honourable constancy in procuring the performance and observation of all such things as it should please the King to grant unto them by her Majesty's means. And one particular thing I think good to impart unto you ; that very many of good reputation in those Low Countries make not their doubts for the observance of the conditions that shall be granted unto them during the time the Duke of Parma should have any principal rule in those countries, but they do more doubt of their principal ministers, whom the King may use hereafter in those countries ; such is the good opinion conceived of the Duke for his own nature and worthiness in all places, that he is a prince of honour in keeping his promise, without respect of any glory or benefit. And to tell you true, it is the only foundation which her Majesty maketh to proceed in this treaty, against the opinion of very many, and also an opinion that she hath (though he be a great man of war) that he is Christianly disposed rather to maintain peace than to raise war ; whereof her Majesty looketh to make proof and experience by this treaty and the consequence thereof." My lord of Leicester hath moved her Majesty very earnestlyas he did a fortnight past, though then not grantedto send some special person of credit to the States to renew this motion, whereby he hoped her Majesty might be fully satisfied ; for which purpose she is sending Mr. John Herbert Esquire, one of her masters of Requests ordinary, largely instructed and specially authorized, not only to exhort and require, but to charge and command the States, as they will have regard of her Majesty's favours past and to come, to delay no more time, but to make choice of commissioners on their behalf, "to be sent to meet those of her Majesty at Berghes," for whose departure, in Mr. Secretary's absence, I am ordered to make all things ready. "About which matters, even this day conferring with some of them, being learned and that have had experience in like former treaties, perusing that which hath been accounted for a 'salveconduct' from the Duke of Parma, and was sent by you hither for the commissioners' surety to come thither, is not of such force as were requisite for their persons and for so great a matter ; being indeed but in form of a common passport ; for so also the title of the latter writing sent hither by you, bearing date the 21st of September, doth declare, being in the upper part entitled with these words : 'Duplicat de pasport pour les Deputez d'Angleterre,' "wherefore they and we here think requisite that it should be reformed to a more princely manner of grant, for the honour both of the cause and the persons. Therefore a form has been devised under the Queen's hand and seal as a safeconduct for those named, on the Duke's part ; the copy whereof I send that the like may be granted by the Duke, in the King's name and under his seal ; adding the names, titles and dignities of our commissioners to be inserted therein, and praying you to hasten the same with all speed possible. The original of that under the Queen's hand shall be sent you to deliver to the Duke ; and our commissioners will not stay their journey, "upon assured hope that the Duke will not deny nor delay this reasonable request. . . . "And because you may beforehand understand all manner of obstacles that might impeach the good course of this action now ready to be entered into, you shall understand that of very late even since Mr. Beale arrived here, we have intelligence by many ways out of Spain that there are mighty preparations of a navy and army to the seas . . . and [the] most common reports be that this army is presently to come to invade some part of the Queen's dominions ; whereby we are in some sort brought to an alarm, and I think her Majesty will be compelled to prepare forces both by sea and land to withstand the same ; a matter very impertinent at this time to the furtherance of a peace by any treaty." Therefore, I think when our commissioners come, if these reports still continue, the Duke must be required, of his honour, to promise her Majesty, either that he knows that the preparations shall not be used against her, or that he will with all expedition send to the King to know his meaning and to stay all such occasions of doubt, considering his promise, " (fn. 9) that immediately upon the meeting of the commissioners there should be a cessation of arms ; whereof there will be little use, if it be not general, but that their arms should cease, and wars really made upon England [is] a matter not to be any wise allowed in time of treaty for a peace ; whereof I pray you earnestly inform the Duke, and namely Monsieur 'Champigny,' who is one of the principals named to be in commission for the treaty. And if you can possibly, I require you to obtain of the Duke presently in writing under his hand, an assurance either of his knowledge that these preparations are not nor shall be meant against any of her Majesty's dominions ; or otherwise, if he be not able to assure the same, then at the least that he will by his writing assure her Majesty that he will upon his honour with all expedition send to the King his advice to stay all hostile actions, or to have the King's answer, like a prince of honour, whether he mindeth or no to employ those forces against her Majesty ; which though in some construction may seem hard to require of a King intending hostility, yet as the case is, when her Majesty yieldeth to a cessation of arms and to a treaty of peace with the said King, it is a request both reasonable for her Majesty to make, and honourable for the King to grant it. And whilst I am writing of this sentence, I am commanded by her Majesty to write expressly to you to hasten an answer from the Duke to this last point ; for even now, since I began my letter, her Majesty is advised to be more sure hereof before her commissioners shall cross the seas ; such are the frequent reports out of Spain of these preparations ; and yet her Majesty will stand to the Duke's answer if the army shall not be known to be actually prepared against England ; which, if it should be, no man will think it meet that her commissioners should come." Below are written the names of the earl of Derby and Lord Cobham with their titles, in Latin. Endd. by Burghley : "10 Octobris, 1587. Copy of my letter to Andreas de Loo from Rychmont." 8 pp. Enclosed in the joint letter of the ministers, Oct. 15. See below, under that date. [Flanders I. f. 353.]
I only send you salutations, having directed my letters as you willed me. "I am sorry for the cause of your absence, and still more sorry for my abode here, because it toucheth myself, else your case is as dear to me as any friend I have living. "These countries are in a desperate case, and I cast into a desperate action by the last dispatch by Atye, whose letters to the States could not be delivered, for that they were all spoiled and marred ; otherwise it may be, upon the unkindness I conceived, I had delivered them. Which if I had, had undone the whole service of her Majesty here ; so little care, I see, is had there of the matters that concerns you so now. But I will learn to do as I am bidden and commit all to God, who knoweth my care and is witness of my loyal discharge of my duty, for at his hands only I must look for any reward. The course I took is misliked and condemned, and therefore to dispraise the other will breed neither credit to me nor the cause ; but if her Majesty had given me more credit, or not so hastily to have fallen into this later form of peace, I doubt not but she had reaped greater honour and more security than she is like to do. Yet will I with the hazard of my life deal to preserve her honour, and uphold the honest hearts I see here bent toward her. "The Colonel Snoy is worth his weight of gold. He hath left all the States and the Count Morryce, and openly declareth himself for her Majesty. And yet there is not such another in all these countries for true zeal to religion. He is now almost proscribed by the States of Holland, who are the men that hinder with hatred all things that appertain to her Majesty and disgrace all men in every place where they can, that do love and affect her. The end is they seek a popular government, which will never be had here, and this last motion to hasten the peace hath enthroned [?] Counts Morryce and Hollock in highest degree of favour with all those that mislike her Majesty's course for peace ; and daily they win more and more to them." Her Majesty must send some one to make her mind plain, and to let it appear (as I have now written to her) that the only cause of her motion was that she saw these countries could not continue the war ; and so was moved by compassion to propose what she thought honourable and fit for a prince to yield unto, and yet for the glory of God and their surety. "For my 'none' part I will not now say what labyrinths you have brought me into, and no man will I blame so much as yourself, that so hastened me hither, where I am now in worse case than ever, for this diffidence between H.M. and the States hath wrought me quite out of credit with them. . . . Counts Morryce and Hollock are canonized for their open contempt against the peace, and her Majesty's dealing therein, and myself crossed, to my great danger, in every place by them.Horn, 10 October. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 258.]
In commendation of the Sieur Ortel whom she has requested to go over with [Sir John Herbert] to assist him in the negotiation which she has committed to his care, to obtain a good and speedy resolution, as the necessity and importance of the matter requires, praising his careful and dexterous discharge of his office in her realm and his efforts to remove or soften the bitterness and misunderstandings which have at times arisen. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. French. 1 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 260.]


  • 1. John Weldon or Wildane, alias Savell ; mentioned as imprisoned in the Bridewell in 1588. Cath. Rec. Soc., Miscellanea, Vol. II., p. 279 ; marked as to be executed and subsequently executed in 1594. Potter : English Martyrs (Cath. Rec. Soc.), pp. 154, 290.
  • 2. Printed in extenso by Bor : Ned. Oorloghen, Bk. XXIII., f. 50 (2).
  • 3. The text is printed by Lady Georgina Bertie : Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 523.
  • 4. The words here put in italics are inserted in Burghley's own hand.
  • 5. Over "offered for" erased.
  • 6. Over "expressed in" erased.
  • 7. Over "as" erased.
  • 8. Over "conformity" erased.
  • 9. So far the letter is in the handwriting of Burghley's clerk, but from this point is entirely in Burghley's hand.