Elizabeth: October 1587, 21-31

Pages 380-397

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, 21-31

His Excellency allowed "Skynke" to draw into Cleveland Sir Robert Sydney and his regiment, and three companies of our English horse, but having failed in surprizing Middelaer Castle on the Maze in Gueldres, his Excellency ordered us home, "as well because the nights grew too clear, and not fit for any surprise in ten days," as also that the regiment was to be cassed. 'Tis thought that had we stayed we might have done some good. We understood there that the governor of Wachkendum having taken crowns of the enemy to deliver up the town, when they came with their troops, thinking to have entered the gates, he gave among them a whole volley of artillery which he had planted expressly to deliver them ; and so, with loss of crowns and men they failed their enterprise. At that time, we should have gone up with a convoy of victual and munition into Bercke, but the States so slacked the sending of it unto Skynke sconce as we returned . . . at what time we understood of the executing at Leyden (Leadin) of Colonel Cosmo, an elder of the church and of Captain Mansard, a very sufficient soldier, who had been in Sluce and deserved very well," but as I think you will have heard all particulars thereof, I need say no more. Compliments. Alckamer, Oct. 21, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 326.]
Oct. 21. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
Acknowledges letter of 21 Sept. received on the 11th. At once communicated it to the Duke, who was well satisfied, saying that he would be very glad for the commissioners to come before he left Brussels, on the 5th of November (old style). He was most ready to do everything reasonable to arrange matters to the contentment of all. He marvelled much at the doubts about her Majesty being deceived, saying How can they be so suspicious of me without cause ; I am not one to say what I do not mean ; and so the Queen will find ; but this long delay made him lose hope of the great good which is so much desired, with other remarks ; concluding that in every respect a good peace would be better than to continue these wars, with the death of so many people. While I was waiting to cross the sea yesterday evening, the Duke sent to speak with me again. I returned at once and can but pray you to persuade her Majesty to dispatch the deputies as soon as possible, too much time (as all say) having been wasted in delays, and no sure news being received, day after day. When I have spoken with his Highness I will again set out, both to speak with her Majesty (if permitted) and to order my house and family.Cales, 21 October, stilo vecchio. Postscript. Appeal for his great friend, Martin Faille. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 359.]
Oct. 22. LEICESTER to the QUEEN.
I have not neglected to give you often advertisements from hence, how small or slender comfort soever I receive from thence. It must suffice me to acknowledge with all humbleness what I am, and how I must suffer all that in your good liking is thought meet to lay upon me. I do perceive that there is nothing I do or can do is so graciously accepted as I was in good hope would have been. It cannot but be grievous unto me, having the honest and dutiful desire to please you that I have. . . . It is not the least that your Majesty neither can nor will yet be satisfied touching the matter of Sluys, wherein I will desire no favour, nor the assistance of any friend, but let the worst that mine enemies can say against me be taken ; and if there was any fault in me . . then let all blame and heavy displeasure light upon me ; but if others' manifest faults and unfaithful doings . . . shall be still imputed unto me, specially by your Majesty, I must yield unto your pleasure therein ; and yet to protest before God and man my 'none' innocency therein, and live and die with a clear conscience ; not having deserved any such hard measure for my true heart and ready will to serve your Majesty ; but did rather trust to have found so gracious a mistress of you, that would sooner have cast a just deserved fault upon the right offenders, than to draw by your means a dishonourable wrong upon your faithful servant. For besides histories, I can find within mine own memory how graciously and kindly divers princes hath dealt with their servants upon casual offences indeed committed ; as some for loss of whole battles with many thousands ; yet knowing it fell not through infidelity or lack of true intent to do well, moved gracious and good acceptation. . . . Myself, I thank God, never yet fell into any such mishap to your dishonour, and yet have I received the double grief of a great offender, and so, as far as I see, must rest withal, albeit neither dishonour to your Majesty nor dishonesty to myself doth merit it. Another matter your Majesty doth also still charge me withal ; that I have broken your commandment in not propounding the peace nor procuring you so speedy answer as you look for. I have said so much for my true purgation herein as seeing neither my 'none' nor other men's declaration can satisfy your Majesty, I dare not presume to show myself too earnest in my own defence, but leave that which I have already said to your own princely and gracious consideration ; making only this humble suit unto your Highness : that you will be pleased to call to your good remembrance the commandment I had indeed from your Majesty touching my 'prepouning' of the peace, and what I have for my part done therein, which shall appear both by my 'none' handwriting and their declaration that have been privy unto it, of which I desire Mr. Beale may say what he knoweth of my proceedings that way. . . . But to let your Majesty understand what hurt and what alteration this motion of the peace hath done, I think it will be hardly believed, much less, I am now persuaded, if my travail and careful dealing to stay men's minds and to cause the people to think reasonably and well of your doings, with all other my endeavours that way for your service were told you, would have small credit ; but it shall satisfy myself to know that I have done you good and true service in this matter. Albeit it doth not lie in me to procure so hasty resolution in this case as some perhaps do think, I doubt not but if such a cause had been moved to your Majesty, it would not have a resolution in a week or two, where there is but one head and one council. How can then this cause, that toucheth all these countries so near be answered with such speed among many heads and so infinite councils. For myself I most humbly beseech your most excellent Majesty to remember with how unwilling a mind I came hither. I was meetly well taught, I think, the last year how to take such a voyage in hand, specially to that place where I was so greatly disgraced and discouraged. The living God doth know that nothing but your service and your own commandment could have caused me to have taken this journey again upon me. I know not what should move me but either desire of gain or trouble. For gain, I trust your Majesty doth not forget what benefit I had to set me forth withal ; and what I have had since, my self feels and smarts for. For I have not, upon my duty, received one penny in the world since I came over but my 'none' money I brought over, whereof a good part I borrowed of your Majesty ; and the small entertainment I have lately received for your allowance. Not one penny nor penny worth have I received of the States, either of that they did owe me the last year or for all this time now ; neither do I know which way to have it more than by asking. Other remedies there had been, but I mean not to complain now. And to seek troubles and travails at these years had been too, too much folly in me, if my late warning had not sufficed ; so that I hope I shall not lose both my labour, charges and thanks too, for being so ready to obey your commandment. It is all I seek and covet, your Majesty's gracious favour and good opinion, and so in good hope to receive 'or' long more comfort from your Majesty, and some speedy answer to my late letters sent by Mr. Hedley for my repair unto your presence, I will now and ever pray . . . for your Majesty's most happy and blessed preservation."Alkemere, ready to return towards Berges up Some," 22 October. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 closely written pp. 2 small seals. [Holland XVIII. f. 328.]
I have received yours to-day at "Alkmere" and am heartily sorry for your diseased estate, trusting that God will shortly restore you to health. For our state here, I can only say again that I am most weary to be in it, and most unhappy when I took this journey, being warned as I was by former times. Had I had any friend, I could not have remained here so long, and but for her Majesty's pleasure I know not what I should do here ; "for ever since the motion of peace was, I have had either little love or liking, saving at their hands that will wholly depend upon her Majesty . . . which numbers will not be the greatest, as matters are used. I desire not to be my 'none' judge, but let Mr. Beale and my Lord North that be there, and Mr. Killigrew and those that be here say that they know what alteration is fallen out. For my part, I have wished peace this good while with all my heart, and have showed my opinion how needful it was also for these countries, in respect of their disability and disordered government. And no doubt ways might have been taken to have made it well enough liked of these people. But there be too many advertisers out of England of your words and doings there, which hath done no small harm. And as I have and do wish for a good peace, so do I wish that it might also comprehend these countries, if it may be, for I cannot think that a good peace will be had alone for her Majesty. And I am half persuaded that good and substantial handling yet from her Majesty may bring these men to yield to reason ; otherwise you will hear shortly of great divisions and alterations in these countries. "You will hear that the house of Nassau will grow to the overthrow either of some of these provinces or themselves. They are settled both here and in Friesland as they think safe enough." My greatest care is for more money to relieve the soldiers, for the lack of it will hazard all that the Queen has here for her service. I see no more is to come without a perfect account ; but if you mean the States' account, I warrant you may look for none these three months. I have enough charged both auditor and muster-master to make haste ; but let the soldier feel the cold this winter as he did the last, and if you find not much ill-dealing, never trust me ; for many are without hose and shoes "and merchants are crying out for delivering wares to the captains of a year and two years, and for want of payment they cannot receive any and be undone utterly, being young men and having taken up all upon credit, and so they can deliver no more. . . . "Thus hoping now I am left alonefor the next to come [over] are Sir William Pelham and Sir Richard Bingham, that you will not think it honourable for me to remain in this sort . . . though there is less account made of me now than when I was but Master of the Horse, I will obediently receive all her Majesty's pleasure ; but for my 'none' poor reputation's sake, a hundred thousand pounds could not make me suppose the open disgrace and dishonour I am now here put unto. . . . But her Majesty's will be done. If it be well looked into, it is her case as well as mine."Alkmere, 22 October. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. closely written. Seal of arms. [Holland XVIII. f. 330.]
I find of late the very best affected toward her Majesty and myself greatly altered by reason of the motion of peace ; all so greatly suspecting some of our burgers to have some intelligence with the Prince. The practices are many ; as well by the enemy as Count Morrise and the Estates, who at this present are greatly bent against our nation. "Wherefore," I beseech you, move her Majesty that the late discharged companies may be supplied, and order taken for payment of the poor soldiers, who are in great want. It were not amiss if two or three of her ships lay here till we see what will become of the great preparations that the prince makes at sea, "for as for the Admiralty of these countries they will do nothing ; he being now in Friesland." The wisest and best affected to our nation think that the way to assure this place with the good liking of the inhabitants were to bring the company of merchants from Middelburg to this town. The burgers themselves, at Mr. Beal's last being here came to move him to speak to your lordship and the rest of my lords to that effect.Flushing, 22 October. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 332.]
I wrote not long since to your Majesty that I thought this gentleman was minded to go to the King of Navarre, (fn. 1) but that journey hath now so many difficulties, from the King being far off and the time of the year so spent that he is returning to you "whose desire was only by his travel to have made himself the more able to serve your Majesty hereafter. . . . I wish there were more of his disposition." I need not recommend him to your favour, your Majesty having had always a good opinion of him, and I trust he shall not speed the worse that he has spent his absence here with me.Alkmere, 23 October. Holograph. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 334.]
I have often been minded to write to your honour, but feared "intercepting" in this dangerous time, which might be more hurtful to me than my advice might do good. The people here have hoped long for some good agreement between the King of Spain and her Majesty, which stayed many in this town, "but now seeing there appeareth no likelihood they are out of hope, and also that of late our cloth is 'defended' to be brought into this country and all the dominions of the King of Spain," and what is here must be dispatched in three months after the proclamation ; "which is at the suit of divers towns in Flanders which have used cloth making and I think hope to have wools out of England as they have had before time ; or else they shall make coarse cloth and dear. Methinks if they mean so, they be not well advised, seeing they have sought the banishment of our cloth out of their countries, which is the greatest matter whereby a great number of our people be set awork by, and also considering the great quantity of the commodities which comes out of these countries and also manufactures which England consumes, which if it be prohibited will turn as much to their hurt as the defence of our cloth will hurt England. . . . This is the recompense which our country receiveth by suffering of so many of them there, and comforting them in this time of dearth. I fear we shall speed no better with the rest except we look well to it. It seemeth they use our country and the State to serve their turns withal, and if they can come to any good agreement with their King, they will give us the slip, and for all our friendship turn to be our enemies . . . howbeit I trust the Queen's most honourable Council doth learn to know them, and will use them as they find them." For religion, most are libertines and anabaptists and will obey neither God's law or man's laws, except perforce further than they like, and in effect are rebels like their predecessors of Munster and Westfalia. You shall do God and your country a good turn to send a number of them packing, lest they infect your people with their religion and manners. I write not of malice or envy, but of zeal to my native country. There is another matter of importance which should be seen to, "which is for carrying out of our gold and silver ; for that we have but a pound Flemish money for a pound of English money by exchange, for that a pound Flemish was raised to 30 shillings, which is a third penny, at the last calling up of money ; and we have but 30 shillings Flemish of this raised money for a pound English money. Consider what difference is in the goodness of the one and of the other. Our coin will be carried out of the realm if it be not foreseen in time. I certified my lord treasurer hereof a year ago by a letter sent to my son, who serveth milady Countess of Sussex, but whether it was delivered or not, I cannot tell. We have not an English merchant in this town now, nor never come here, nor dare not without passport ; and these folks have their trade freely there ; and their exchange and rechange and their posts ordinarily. . . . Seeing they seek to restrain us and our people from trade with them, it were but well done to do the like to them ; for if their trade were stopped there, for any profit our country hath by them they might be spared awhile to see who should have the most need of another. I believe we should have bankrupts enough here as well as there in London. The exchange thither is one of the principal stays of those few merchants which continue yet here. . . . Accept mine advice in good part I do mean for the profit of the realm, which is all the reward I look for, although it deserves a good turn. ..." There has not been such provision for wars here since they first began as now. Near forty sail will be ready here about Christmas, and as many more at Dunkirk. In this town are at least 500 mariners in wages, 200 being Genoese, some being good mariners, and also shipwrights, who make two or three ships here nearly ready to be launched. And it is said that there are great preparations also in Spain and Portugal. It would be good for you to look well to this, "and not to be to seek of all things needful for the defence of the realm, whatsoever may chance . . . for the talk goeth it is meant towards Scotland, and I think the Scot will not deal against England except [with] great assistance of outward friends. I hope you trust them not and then they shall not deceive you. There goeth an old speech . . . which is
That he that England will win
At Scotland must first begin."
We have here many English fugitives pensioned by Spain, who work all the hurt they can against our realm, encourage attempts against it and "persuade" that they shall find friends enough there, but I trust men will not be so mad to seek their own undoing. If there be, I would they could see how those here are used by soldiers and oppressed with taxes and talliages. The worst dealing that is used to our people there is better than the best dealing here. If any such thing should fall out, woe to England. All these provisions depend (in my opinion) on how matters fall out in France. It is said the Duke of Ferrara is coming hither, and some say a brother of the Emperor and other potentates, and that the Duke of Savoy is to govern here, and the Prince of Parma to go away. If he do, I believe he will do all he can to make a peace that he may have the honour to leave the country in peace ; "which so doing he is well worthy to be doubly honoured." It would be a joyful thing to the common people here and in many other places, for all feel the smart of these wars "because there is no trade free in any place of Christendom by sea or land. . . . In my foolish opinion it were not amiss to muster your people all the realm over and London every ward apart, and to see that men be provided for their defences with good armour and munitions, principally such as be 'able' . . . and good watch and ward kept upon the borders, and to hearken to their doings in Scotland. Noblemen and gentlemen must not now spare money nor buy lands, but seek to defend that they have, for if an ill day come, those that have most may perhaps have the least." It is better to be governed by our own dame than a step-dame ; by our own prince than by strangers. I beseech you to take my plain words in the best part, as they are meant ; and may God convert our enemies or else weaken their power.Antwerp, 2 November, stilo novo, 1587. "If Italy be too busy and that the Holy Father and the Holy league mean to go forward with their reformation according to the decree of Trent, I see no better way than to procure the Turk to set them a-work, that they may keep their men at home and leave these countries in quiet. All their malice is bent against England. . . . There be some 'myttert' men along the Rhine which brew little good. If the Reich (Ryke), that is the princes of Germany, which be given to the Religion do not look about them, they will work them a mischief one day. They be too strong there with help of their friends, almost a little kingdom. They lack a Crombacke, who through their means was put to death at Gotha [Gootta]. He plagued them and kept them in fear by the help of the Duke of Saxony, that they durst not stir." If this letter come not through, "the post is a knave ; I mean the bringer, Pappett, a Fleming." Endd. 3 pp. [Newsletters I. f. 130.]
Oct. 23./Nov. 2. Note of the two passages in the above letter concerning the preparations of the enemy and the veto upon English cloth. Endd. p. [Ibid. I. f. 144.]
Asking him to be godfather to his son.Flushing, 24 October, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 336.]
As before my last letter to you by Mr. Chidley it pleased God to give good success to such as I sent out to learn the enemy's intentions, "both in defeating of convoys and surprising the corps du garde even in the front of the enemy's camp," so has he continued his blessing. Our men lately encountered near Machlin about 60 or 80 soldiers, besides other passengers, and being not above 20 in number, slew many and took others prisoners ; in which action they behaved themselves so valiantly and with such resolution as that the enemies themselves and all the country thereabouts wondered much thereat, reporting that they thought them rather devils than men. After that there followed them a whole cornet of Spanish horse, and our men (though few in number) abode their encounter and slew two of them at the first charge, and retreated without receiving any great loss, save that a serjeant of my foot company was slain at the first attempt. Amongst the other prisoners there was taken one Edward Smart, an Englishman, who at the first revealed himself what he was to the corporal of the company with protestation of the affection that he had always borne to her Majesty's service. He allegeth that he was employed by Dr. Wilson for an intelligencer from those parts, and that sithence that time he hath against his conscience remained there as a Catholic and that the occasion why he hath not still continued his advertisements hath been only want of means and fit messengers to convey his letters. And that (the better to disguise himself on the other side and to gain credit with the enemy) he got to be employed as a Commissary of Confiscations, and after was used for a Commissary of Musters amongst them. He confesseth to have continual and familiar access unto the Duke himself, the rather for that he was brought [up] in the Duke's mother's house. He assureth me that upon conference with Richardot, principal secretary to the Duke, touching the advancement of a peace, it was answered him that he thought the King would willingly yield to honourable conditions of peace, but hardly be driven to yield to any public but only a private profession of religion. And that touching the enemy's great preparations at this present, it was the rather thought to be for this place, by reason that one Timothy Mocket, an Englishman, told him that there is some intelligence from a captain of this place ; but what captain it should be, he protesteth he knows not. He confesseth that there be many Englishmen there who rail exceedingly against the State of England, and urge much an invasion thither (and amongst the rest a priest, one Fenne, a very pestilent person), but those motions are but slenderly hearkened unto. This prisoner I keep here until such time as I may understand her Majesty's pleasure and your opinion of the man. This day is returned from their camp at Tornhoult a drum of mine whom they have kept these eight days. He confidently affirmeth that Sir William Stanley, with his five watchet ensigns and his whole regiment is come to Turnhoult ; that he see them come marching in, knowing Sir William Stanley well, for that he was his drum in Ireland. He ascertaineth me also that there were looked for this night at the camp 3000 Italians newly come, who were marching on within a little of them. "This is all the news we have. What we attend, you may well conceive. Our best hope is that our honourable friends will have a just consideration of us and our actions, whatsoever shall become of us."Berghen op Zont, 25 October, 1587. Postscript in his own hand. "We hear not yet of any order or relief from his Excellency since my last letters. Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 338.]
Urges the appointment, on behalf of her Majesty, (fn. 2) of an archbishop, of her part, who will serve as her agent in the affairs of Italy, to keep up correspondence with the princes and lords who might be willing to treat with her, but for lack of such a person cannot venture to do so. And to bring this about nothing is wanting but the good will of her Majesty ; by reason of this the Regina Madre of France was mentioned, so that by her Rome might be informed and persuaded. Card. Farnese remains friendly as before, although he made some demonstration on the promotion of Allen, of necessity since it was done by others, and he had become suspect of being of the contrary faction. Finds the Duke of Parma as well disposed as could be wished and only wishing to know her Majesty's pleasure, which he desires to carry out if occasion offers, studying meanwhile to gain the good will of the States of the country. If Mr. Secretary thinks it necessary to urge him to anticipate the time which he thought fitting ; asks for a formal instruction ; in case he thinks it ought to be communicated to a certain third person, but will not do it unless Mr. Secretary names him as fitting. From what can be gathered from his words, it seems that already some one else has treated of it with him. But even this day has been warned by him to make ready to go with him, and so the reply can be sent in the usual way. Feels sure he will be able to satisfy his honour entirely and asks pardon for his bad style and writing.Antwerp, 24 October, 1587. Signed in cipher. Add. Endd. "24 October, 1587, from B. at Antwerp." Italian. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 361.]
"The misery of this garrison is wonderful . . . for it is more than a year that there hath been any pay here ; but only lendings of half a crown a week to the soldier, which is but to keep life into him. The poor men go naked, and be in such case, both from sickness and want of clothes that . . . if there be no supply to relieve them this winter, many of them will perish for want. The captains cannot help it, for they are run in credit so much already . . . that the burgers will give them no more." This town is of great importance for the recovering of her Majesty's money disbursed to the States, yet there is little care taken of it. We had twelve companies here this summer, which is as little as may be, and now three of them are cashiered, a thing most dangerous at this time, for the country was never so like to revolt from us as now, "by the means of the peace that hath been propounded by his Excellency ; for they of Leyden have begun to thrust out their ministers and those that were best affected to her Majesty. More, they have put to death Col. Coseby and Captain Mansert and an elder of the church, saying they would have betrayed the town for his Excellency. "His Excellency is still in North Holland. Those parts, we hear, have wholly agreed to stand for her Majesty." The Prince of Parma makes great provision for shipping, having twenty boats ready at Dunkirk, and at Antwerp many mariners come from Breame and those parts. At Brydges, Sluse and Newport, they do nothing but bake biscuit. The cashiered companies that come here for shipping are in such miserable state that it would pity any man to see them ; "their armour and furniture taken from them by their captains, which is 'disducted' of the soldier of that that was due unto him of his pay ; a thing most horrible to be suffered." My lord governor puts a wonderful charge [upon himself] in relieving them, or they would die in the streets, as many of them have done for poverty. The captains say that by what Master Digges takes from them they are undone, but I see no man smart but the poor soldier. Flushing, 25 October, 1587. Postscript. News comes to-day that the Prince bends all his force to besiege Bergen up Some. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 340.]
Since my former letters . . . I do understand more and more of the increase of the mislike generally of the notion of peace, not so much from any cause any man hath to mislike with so good a matter, and specially for these countries, their estate considered, but some ill-disposed persons, as in my other letters to your Majesty I have signified, have taken occasion greatly to deprave and discredit this good intention of your Majesty. And would have the people conceive that it hath been long your intention to make a peace with the King of Spain ; yea, before you entered with these countries, and that your chiefest cause to deal with them was to get their best towns into your hands, whereby you might not only recover what charges soever you should disburse, but bring the said King to a great deal better and sooner end of peace for yourself. They call to remembrance what helps you have given them in respect of the danger you may easily bring them into ; your men and money not able to countervail the peril which your treaty of peace will cast them into. They put the people in mind also how your Majesty did refuse both the sovereignty of the countries or to be protectrix of the people. Both these titles, they allege, you have refused, and they now interpret it that you never meant to stand with them in their cause nor for the cause sake, and therefore are to take heed how they trust to your Majesty for a peace ; being a matter which they could never yet, since the pacification of Ghent, find any ways or means to assure them that they might possibly have any good conditions performed ; or having all the conditions they can devise agreed unto, yet can they not see any security for them. Their reasons be very great and probable, and I will out of hand send them to your Majesty. They also confirm these allegations to the people with another argument of your small care for them, in that you do proceed so forwardly and earnestly in the peace, not first having conferred with them to know how their state stands, or what they can say to dissuade your Majesty not to think any treaty of peace good for them, as they say they could, if any man had been sent in that sort first to them from you before you had summoned them so absolutely to give your Majesty their full answer whether they would join with you in a treaty with the King of Spain or no, and that their commissioners must forthwith be named, as your Majesty's were already ; by all which together they conceive and would have the people think your Majesty meaneth only a peace for yourself, and useth this form but for fashion's sake with these men. So that your Majesty is to consider of this weighty case which groweth to hard and dangerous terms, wishing myself now as matters are, either in Flushing or Brill, for here will some great broils fall out 'or' long. "The States have used great cruelty of late in Leyden against three persons that favoured your Majesty, (fn. 3) whom they put to death and banished twenty others, whereof their divinity reader (fn. 4) was one, old Counsellor Meddykerk another. This gentleman can inform you of it, and I will send it also shortly at more large. 'Utryk,' 27 October." Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. Seals of crest in garter. [Holland XVIII. f. 342.]
Since writing to your honour yesterday, my lord governor has received a letter from the Lord General (copy enclosed) concerning the removing of John de 'Castille' to Middelborowe for change of air ; which hath been obtained to pleasure some Portugal gentlewomen of that place. . . . The governor asking my opinion, I told his lordship he was well enough here, and what sureties soever they should give us in Middelborough it were to small purpose, considering how that those of that place stand affected to us here ; and perhaps miss to have him again when we would ; and besides I have no such order from your honour, which maketh Castille fret, that your honour should have greater authority than the Lord General. I told him in this cause it hath, for that he is bought by her Majesty's order, to be kept at her devotion, and that which your honour doth is by her Majesty's commandment. I have told his Excellency of your order, "alleging how little cause his lordship hath to like of them of Middelborough, who run a contrary course, and therefore think him [Castillia] better here than in any other place ; and now that there is some hope again of his health . . . your honour may write to the Lord General concerning this." We have here good store of ordnance, with the twelve great pieces that came from England, but only two cannoneers in the town, while, in time of service, there is ordnance enough to keep fifty occupied. From the preparations the enemy makes at Antwerp, it is thought he will bend towards Bergen up Soome, which the Duke means to attempt both by sea and land. Captain Baskeville and Captain Buck, the provost-marshal, write that, since we had it, the place was never so ill provided, both of men and munition, as now, "the which if it be not 'forseen,' in time I fear me it will follow Sluce. The enemy hath already brought great store of his ordnance to the castle of Wau, so that he beginneth to make his approaches."Flussinge, 27 October. Postscript. Praying him to certify the Earl of Leicester of his orders about "Castillie." Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XVIII. f. 346.]
I have written of late at large of the state of things here to her Majesty, my lord Treasurer, Mr. Wolley and Mr. Beale ; therefore pray you to be referred to them and to pardon my brevity to you. Only this I think fit to say ; "that this matter of the peace falleth out to be utterly misliked, even of the best sort generally everywhere in these provinces. They think no peace can be good for them, and this hastening of their resolutions, together with the intelligences they have from England, that her Majesty hath meant it long since ; that she is displeased with me for not propounding it sooner, and that she is agreed already upon the conditions, doth make the matter more suspicious to them, and causeth them to be jealous of all our English dealings. You will not think what alterations are grown hereon. And I pray God that by her Majesty's means some good course may be taken for redress, and that speedily, for it grows every day worse and worse. I omit nothing that lieth in me to continue the well affected in their good devotion, but no practice wanteth to alter them."Utrecht, 28 October, 1587. Postscript in his own hand. "I have written to Mr. Beale an opinion of mine own concerning these men here that rule all . . . I assure you, there is some secret and great treasons among some of the best of them, for there is no reason otherwise for their doings . . . and nothing hath gotten those men this footing and authority but only this proposition for peace ; and no one thing makes me suspect their doings more than the joy they make that they have this occasion to withdraw men from her Majesty ; as the contrary doth appear by tears and sorrow on all the well-affected sort, whom these men follow with all jollity, to touch her Majesty and me to the uttermost they can." Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVIII. f. 348.]
Oct. 29. Receipts of the Tellers of the Exchequer for the week ending on this date.
Stonley. Weekly remain - - - 1393l. 4s. 9d.
Receipts - - - - 796l. 18s. 2d.
Total - - 2190l. 2s. 11d.
Killigrew. Weekly remain - - - 2463l. 16s. 3d.
Receipts - - - - 369l. 17s. 0d.
Total - - - 2833l. 13s. 3d.
Taillor. Weekly remain - - - 3351l. 13s. 10d.
Receipts - - - - 1203l. 0s. 8d.
Total - - - 4554l. 14s. 6d.
1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 350.]
I conceived not any unkindness against my friends for not forewarning me of my discharge, but rather grieved at my continual crossing fortunes, which I am most ready to bear . . . not doubting but the short end remaining of my age will ease all my troubles. I am right sorry of your honour's sickness, whereby I perceive you could not procure my licence for my 'Garmayne' journey . . . but now I understand her Majesty hath made a flat refusal thereof unto my Lord North, whom I requested to make that suit for me." How much my wants and shame will make my return home grievous if not favoured with some relief from her Highness you know well. I beseech you to use your furtherance therein. My lord North writes that her Majesty seemed well pleased towards me, which has lifted me up to some hope of relief, if my friends "please to take the occasion for me." Sir Richard Bingham will give you all our occurents.Dort, 30 October, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 352.]
Oct. 30./Nov. 9. THE DUKE OF PARMA to THE QUEEN.
From Andrea de Loo's account, and letters from her ministers, had understood that they might enter into communication with benefit to all Christendom. Had embraced this opportunity with zeal, but notwithstanding many hopes given him of the coming of her commissioners, the matter is still delayed, and he doubts whether she has not changed her mind and had indeed almost resolved to think no more of it, yet as the said Andrea de Loo is now returning thither writes these few lines to assure her that it will not be his fault, if the resolution taken does not go forward. (fn. 5) Your Majesty will make use of this my offer as may seem good to your wisdom, and whatever you shall further give me to understand, I shall ever be ready to serve and honour you with as good heart as I now pray God to preserve your Majesty.Brussels, 9 November, 1587. Signed, Alo. Farnese. Copy. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 363.]
The Prince of Parma is making great preparations for war, and means to march with all expedition, and as if to a triumph. His own costly apparel "doth exceed for embroidering and is beset with jewels, and the embroiders and diamond cutters work night and day. There are five hundred velvet coats of one sort for lances, and brave new coats for horsemen. Thirty thousand men are ready and gather in Brabant and Flanders ; and in Hennegow and Artois a great number taken up. It is said they shall be in two armies, ten thousand for some great exploit in these parts and twenty thousand to march with the Prince into France. Which way or how soon they shall march is not yet known, but all are ready at an hour's warning. [Provisions, munition, &c., enumerated.] The new ships from Antwerp cannot be ready before about Lent, but within three or four days there will be thirty sail of ships, to wit cromstevens, (fn. 6) hoys and fly-boats, "for there is day and night working upon them." Many mariners are come to this side, and 5000 men move to "Tourhold" [Turnhout] within these two days ; besides all this, a great deal more of preparation which is hard to know. "Whither they are to go is not certain, but some boast shortly to land 20,000 men in 'Walkeren,' by way of Terveere. Some say, with the shipping of Flanders at Dunkirk and other places to put men into Scotland, for there is store of horses and good friends, and the King's navy of Spain to come at that time into Ireland. Some report to come . . . and upon the sudden to overthrow Barrowe [Bergen-op-Zoom] for they know it is unprovided and the States unwilling to help it and at variance. Others say by two or three ways to enter Tergose. If the Earl of Leicester depart, they doubt not of good proceedings with all expedition. "The fleet before Lillo ought to be strengthened and licences stayed for a time, until it been seen what effect these matters will take." Here is certain news that 2500 Germans in France are slain by the Guisarts ; but much heavier news that the King of Navarre's companies, under the son of Cond have slain Duke Joyeuse, with 600 of his best men, and it is hoped that now the Germans can join that King. The Prince of Parma has received a marvellous costly garland for crown from the Pope, and is chosen chief of the Sainte League and now puts in his arms the two cross keys. The King of France hath written for the Prince with expedition, and is said that he marches thither, and by the way will besiege Cammerick [Cambrai]. The Count Mansfeld remains governor till another come, and one of the House of Austridge expected . . . for the Prince will follow his calling for the Sainte League and will not meddle further than in matters of wars. Andreas de Loo hath been at Cales, bound for England, and by the Prince sent for back in all haste, and now remains at Brussels, attending [i.e. waiting for] the commissioners of England. These proceedings make men marvel, and the Papists rejoice. God for his mercy . . . send his word free passage and preserve her Majesty from treason. Sir William Standly with his companies are come to Turneholt."9 November, 87, stilo novo, in Antwerp. Endd. "Occurents [sent] from the Lord Governor of Vlushing" ; and by Burghley "6 Nov. 1587. By Mr. Byngham." 2 pp. [Newsletters XLV. f. 10.]
[To the same effect as that to Walsingham, above.] If her Majesty will not pity him, he rather wishes his grave, and to end his miseries than to see again the land for which his dearest blood has never been spared. But prays his lordship's favour and furtherance, hoping that some good hap may follow, whereby his age may end in peace.Dort, 31 October, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XVIII. f. 354.]
Oct. Muster roll of Captain Anthoine Dophem's company in the regiment of the Prince de Gavere, Conte d'Egmont, etc., passed by Commissary Guillaume Weerts at Hulst, October, 1587. 100 names, but about 30 of them crossed through. 25 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 356.]
Oct. Memorial, entirely in Burghley's hand, and endorsed by his clerk. "October [instead of November erased] 1587. A memorial of things to be imparted to the Earl of Leicester by Mr. Herbert." Headed by Burghley as "to be declared to the Earl of Leicester at his lordship's convenient leisure, by commandment of her Majesty." She requires re-imbursement of all sums paid by Mr. Hudleston or Sir Thos. Sherley to persons being in the service of the States, and not in her garrisons or cautionary towns. She hears that my lord of Leicester has often commanded this to be demanded of the States, but has no sufficient answer why it is not performed. She also says that "if these kind of sums" had not been expended for the charges of the States, her own soldiers had been better paid, and not as now "in great lack for default hereof." Being earnestly moved to send more money to relieve them, "answereth peremptorily that she will send no more money until she shall have an answer to the former points and also a good declaration made in particular how Sir Tho. Shyrley hath paid such great sums as (she saith) he hath had" of which she can hear no perfect report, notwithstanding her charge both of a mustermaster and Auditor, who should answer this matter. She would also know what sums have been "by way of cheque certified to be defalked" to the bands since October of last year, both Treasurer and Auditor saying that the muster-master gave them no knowledge thereof. She says she is never duly advertised what her monthly charge is, nor how far the treasure she sends extends, "so as though it be continually alleged that great sums are due, yet why such sums are due, or to whom they are due, and who are paid and who not paid . . . is never certified." And though the answers of these kind of reckonings, as her Majesty saith, doth not properly belong to the Earl of Leicester as General, she would have him straitly charge the proper officers to labour therein and that speedily, viz., the Auditor, Treasurer and Muster-Master. She is also greatly grievedas she hears and partly sees that great numbers of private soldiers come over in lamentable case, alleging for their defence, when they are charged as vagabonds and threatened to be punished, that they were of the last number of 5000 that were sent over this summer, and that their captains have paid them neither wages nor lendings, but have also disarmed them, and sent them away without any food, money or passport. These reports, though it may be they are false in parts, yet they move great commiseration where the numbers are so great and all concur in one sort of complaint. And for an instance, yesterday there came thirty to the Court gate, who said they were of the company of one Smyth of Norfolk, and levied in Lincolnshire, and her Majesty hearing thereof, caused only two to be brought to the Council, who did allege the foresaid kind of misusage by their captain, adding that he had done the like to all the rest of their company. But for to stay the report of any more to come to the Court to offend her Majesty they were dismissed with sharp speeches, as being not to be believed ; and the marshal ordered to threaten [them] with the stocks to depart ; yet for pity of their manifest poverty, the Council made a purse with some money, and caused the subalmoner, as of his own pity, to give to every of them a portion to conduct them to their countries. This was the accident that moved her Majesty to command that my lord of Leicester should be thereof acquainted, and to cause some [question ?] to be made, not only of this Captain Smith's behaviour, but also, if the time be not past remedy, to cause some search to be made how the captains of the foresaid numbers now cassed, have been paid, and how they have used their soldiers, and what is become of their armour and weapons. These thirty above mentioned said that they could not make complaint to the Lord Lieutenant thereof, because at their captain's discharging and misusing of them in Zeeland, his Excellency was at Utrecht . . . but how true these their complaints are, we know not, and yet the like is generally made by the greatest part of the poor wretches. "And what doth most move her Majesty to mislike hereof is that these numbers returning to their native countries in such a pitiful state as they are, and delivering to the country, by their report, their cruel usage of their captains, it is to be thought that they themselves will never willingly come to service, nor others that shall be feared by their reports will, without great coercion come to any foreign service, a matter which her Majesty, before her Council, did yesterday most seriously deliver to be otherwise thought of" ; and commanded that my lord of Leicester should be advertised, that some punishment might be had of such disorders. Draft. 4 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 29.]


  • 1. Mr. Harry Noell. See Leicester's letter of Oct. 16, above.
  • 2. The words in italics are in cipher, but deciphered.
  • 3. Pescarengis, Valmaer and Capt. de Maulde.
  • 4. Professor Saravia.
  • 5. The text in Italian to this point printed by Motley : United Netherlands II., pp. 286-7.
  • 6. Crumster or cromster : a kind of galley or hoy. Oxford. Dict. sub voce.