Elizabeth: May 1587, 1-10

Pages 46-61

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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May 1587, 1-10

May 1. Certificate, by M. de Buy, of what he wrote to his cousin de Mallery to be represented to Duke George Jehan, palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria. Talking with Duke Casimir, told him that the Queen of England, if he should not march in person, would be glad that he should allow the son of Duke George Jehan to be made general of the army. To which Duke Casimir replied that if Duke George Jehan would give him an acknowledgment that he would undertake nothing against the Palatinate, and in favour of the good amity which there is between them, he was willing that his Excellency's eldest son would be declared head of the said army. Item, his said Highness said also that he would never consent that anyone whosoever should have any forces, nor by his means any military power, who had any design against himself and his nephew. This M. de Buy's said cousin was to put before his Excellency that the best way might be found to maintain their friendship and relationship. Endd. : "Copy of M. de Buy's certificate of Duke Casimir's answers concerning the Duke of Petite Pierre's son. 1 May, 1587." Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 170.]
The disturbances since my departure have been the cause that her Majesty has not been able to reply to the States' demands as they wished ; and it seems that some there, instead of desiring our aid, are beginning a civil war against us. But having heard Jehan Michelssen's report of your dutiful proceedings and continued good will, her Majesty feels that you have been her very faithful servitor, and for myself I thank you for the care you have had of my honour and reputation. As to my return, I know not what to decide. On the one side, everyone desires it ; on the other, those factious persons who have tried to prevent it, so do still underhand. Count Hohenlo has sent the minister Villiers to the Lord Buckhurst and Councillor Wilkes to declare on his behalf that I have entertained men there in order to kill him and therefore he was noways well pleased with me ; which has grieved me much, not only because the reports are false, but that he has such small esteem of me and my honour as to believe and allege them. And I cannot but believe that he has invented them at the moment when he saw me ready to return ; in order to serve his ends. I have written to the States and the Council of State to demand that the truth of it should be known before I decide what to do, for I do not desire that my return, instead of relief, should bring further distress to the country. Since my return from the Baths I have been told that her Majesty has already sent dispatches concerning your case to Lord Buckhurst, on which we await your reply. I will do all that I can that her Majesty may continue her favour to you at this conjuncture. The Court at Croydon, 1 May, 1587, stilo vet. Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 172.]
I have stayed this bearer somewhat, in order to advertise you of our proceedings here. "We are displeased with two points of your negotiations here. The one, for your acceptation of so slender satisfaction for so great indignities done unto her Majesty. The other for your earnest recommendation of a request thought [so] unreasonable by us here as the loan of 50,000l... If we deny it, we fear some change there, and to grant it is a matter that goeth against our heart, to disburse so great a mass of treasure. And although it hath been oft times alleged that the only way to make a peace (which is the thing that her Majesty doth chiefly affect, and to say the truth is most fit for her and the realm) is to put on a good countenance by being strongest in the field...yet no reason that breedeth charges can in any sort be digested." As the Earl of Leicester's going over is yet doubtful, I forbear to move her Majesty for your revocation.The Court at Croydon, 2 May, 1587. Postscript in his own hand "Themistocles [Leicester] (fn. 1) is greatly incensed against you by some information given unto him as I take it by Atye (but hereof I am not assured) that you were privy to the offensive letter written by 100 [the States] against him. But the chief ground of his mislike is in respect of the good will he conceiveth you bear to Sir John Norreys. You are greatly beholding to Cleanthes [the Vice Chamberlain], who in my hearing did very friendly with her Majesty for you, who was greatly incensed against you by Themistocles' informations, who now doth greatly possess her Majesty's favour. I would we were both well stablished at Bath. Il mal mi preme et mi spaventa il peggio." Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 174.]
May 3. Rough draft, corrected by Walsingham for the letter below. [Endd. 12 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 176.]
Upon perusal of your late letters, reporting your proceedings with the States General, we find it very strange to see you accept so weak and slender an answer as satisfaction for what you were directed by us to charge them withal [enumerates all her grievances against them] and many other disorders wherewith our servant Wilkes had before charged them. As yet (so far as we can learn) no satisfaction has been made either to you or Wilkes ; wherefore we see great cause to mislike your loose way of proceeding ; for "you ought to have urged them either to have yielded better satisfaction... or else to have acknowledged their faults and sought our favour by some offer of amends hereafter" ; for we cannot but think our honour greatly touched that a minister of your quality should "put up matters of so great contempt," moved thereto (as we see by your letters) because you thought a sharper manner of proceeding would have exasperated matters to the prejudice of the service and that it was "more fit to wash the wounds rather with water than with vinegar ; wherein we could rather have wished, on the other side, that you had better considered that festering wounds had more need of corrosives than lenitives. For your judgment ought to have taught you that such a slight and mild kind of dealing with a people so ingrate and devoid of consideration as the States have showed themselves to be of towards us, is the ready way to increase their contempt." And as in defence of their proud letter to the Earl, they said it proceeded from a piquant letter by him unto them, we marvel that you did not require to see the letter, which would have shown you their deceit, for we have seen it, and shall send you a copy, whereby you shall see that it has no sour or sharp words in it, "but full of gravity and gentle admonition, so as it deserved a kind and thankful answer ; and so may you maintain it to their reproof, for we do not think it meet that they should be let slip with so slight a charge, having offered so great indignities to one supplying our place there as governor...." "And whereas it appeareth by your last letters of the 19th of April that sythence the departure of Aty, there hath been delivered unto you in writing by the Count Hohenlo and Count Maurice certain grievances against the said Earl, which we would have been glad to have seen ; and therefore do mislike that you, having knowledge thereof, did not send over the same unto us, and the rather for that...Villiers, the French minister, did report unto Dr. Clark that whatsoever show the Count Hohenlo made, that all unkindness and dislike between him and the said Earl was removed, yet inwardly he stood ill-affected towards him, in respect of some information given to the said Count, that the Earl, at the time of his being there had entered into some practice for the killing of him ; a matter so foul and dishonourable that doth not only touch greatly the credit of the said Earl, but also our own honour...." Therefore our pleasure is that by examining Count Hohenlo himself, and any other who has been a party to the matter, you sift out how this malicious imputation has been wrought ; as we have some reason to believe that it grew out of a cunning practice to stay the Earl's return, and discourage him from continuing his service in those countries. "For we cannot in good sense conceive that the Count would have written so kindly to the said Earl as he hath done of late, if he had been persuaded that the Earl had any such malicious intent against him as is pretended." And being informed that Wilkes is somewhat acquainted with the matter, having acknowledged it to Villiers and Dr. Clark, you are to command the said Wilkes not only to discover to you what he knows, but do his utmost to discover the beginning of this malicious imputation. As to the other points in your letters, viz : the request of the States for the loan of 50,000l. towards raising an army, and the speedy sending over of our cousin of Leicester ; for the first, we marvel at your preferring such a request, "being not ignorant how greatly we stand charged otherwise, and how unable we are to furnish such a sum, over and above our ordinary contribution," for your duty was to dissuade them from propounding so unreasonable a demand. Besides, when the commissioners here made the same request, you yourself did not seem to think it convenient for us to yield more than 20,000l. additional. You shall therefore let the States understand that we see no cause considering the weak state of the enemy, who, from the decay of his forces and lack of victuals will not be able to continue long in the field or attempt the siege of any townswhy they should raise such an army as is set down in the project, for as far as we can learn from those who know the state of the country and the forces of the enemy an army of 10,000 or 12,000 (fn. 2) footmen, 4000 horse and 100 pioneers would be strong enough to make head to the enemy. And for furnishing the said footmen, we see no reason but that 4000 (fn. 3) may be taken out of the garrisons, so long as the army is in the field, and therefore do not find but that the extraordinary contribution of 100,000l. will suffice without any further charging of us ; and the rather that it will be so late before the said forces can be levied, that they would not be in the field above three months. "And therefore you may tell them that considering their unkind and ungrate dealing towards us, they ought with good reason to content themselves with the continuance of our former contribution without pressing us to any further charges. Yet if you see apparently that the 100,000l. will not suffice to maintain such an army as may make head to the enemy, and that for lack of some support from us that cannot put themselves with sufficient strength into the field, as also that our not yielding further support in this their necessity may breed some alteration of their good-will towards us, you may, as of yourself, let them understand "that in case they will undertake, with a supply to be yielded by us of a hundred or and hundred and fifty thousand florins to set into the field the numbers of horse and footmen will do your best endeavour to draw us to yield into the furnishing of such a sum, with assured hope to obtain the same." But you shall make no such offer but upon manifest likelihood of some such danger as has been before mentioned. And as touching the speedy return of the Earl, you shall let them understand that if they can put into the field the numbers above-mentioned, and make good proof that the 100,000l. shall be put into the hands of some of the country chosen by the said Earl to supply the place of Treasurer for that armyto be issued out by his direction, with the privity of the Council of State,at such seasonable time as shall serve to defray the charges of the said army, we will not fail, on receiving your assurance of the performance thereof, to send the said Earl over, to whom we have given order to put himself in readiness for that purpose. "Given under our signet" at Croydon, 3 May, 1587. P.S. "There is small disproportion betwixt a fool that useth not wit because he hath it not, and him that useth it not when it should avail him." Copy. Endd. 4 closely written pp. [Holland XIV. f. 184.]
My last letters were on the 15th of January. I do not write often, as I receive nothing from you, which I attribute to your great occupations, but should be very glad to hear that my letters had been received. In this town we stand upon our guard, seeing and having arms on all sides. The Lorraines have had time to make great martial preparations and it was said that they would go as far as the banks of the Rhine, but this report has rather died down, which we impute to the jealousies which there are in France, by which the League is enfeebled. As to what we hope may be done for the succour of the King of Navarre and the churches of France, you will, I believe, have more sure information than we have in this town. The Swiss seem none too well united amongst themselves, as some Catholic cantons have separated themselves in order to join the side of Spain. The lords of this town are about to treat of an alliance with the Swiss, at any rate with the cantons of the Religion ; their secretary being at present in Switzerland to this end. The Duke of Savoy keeps coy and those of Geneva stand on guard and are collecting all the corn they can, in order not to be taken unprovided. People talk of great preparations in Spain and Italy against England. The Pope is amassing treasure ex presentibus futura prospiciens notwithstanding that St. Peter said aurum et argentum non est mecum. The Emperor wishes for an imperial Diet, and has sent an embassy to obtain the consent of the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, but the time and place is not yet known. The election of Poland is put off until the end of June. Meanwhile, factions increase, and it is said that three brothers of the Emperor aspire to that crown. It is reported that the Archduke Maximilian is contriving a marriage with the daughter of the King of Sweden, as a means to this end. But I think, if they hold an Imperial Diet, it will be in order to make a King of the Romans, whereof there is diverse talk.Strasburg, 3 May, 1587. Signed J. L. Add. Endd. Fr. p. [Holland XIV. f. 187.]
You must provide for the worst if wind and weather hinder the coming of the money from England. The ambassador and I have tried to get the merchants to provide two or three thousand pounds but we see no hope that they will do it, and men cannot live here without ready money, as no credit is to be given to our nation. Our men fall into strange conceits of the small pittance they have after so long patience as they have endured. I beseech you have present care of this, as being more to be regarded than in any former time. "Sir John Norreys is entered into a journey of importance, and if any occasion should happen, I am no way able to supply him."Utrecht, 5 May, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 189.]
I have written lately at large in answer to letters received from you. "I am sorry I had cause to frame them of that tenor." I have also received a letter from Utrecht dated about the end of April, wherein you assure me "of the hatred and mislike of Count Maurice, Count Hohenlo and sundry of the States, and of their ill-meaning towards me, not wishing me to come over except I brought a face every way able to command them." (fn. 4) But in a letter to Mr. Secretary, of the same date, you "contrarywise persuade and hasten my coming, as the cause else is desperate." How these two can be reconciled, together with a third project, differing from both, I cannot tell. I think you must have met with cunninger heads than you left here. For my own part I thank you, as it gives me good cause to make more difficulty than I meant to have done for my going over. I am still pressed by her Majesty to take the journey, yet see no cause sent from you to draw her to any such resolution. But it must rest upon her pleasure, which I will obey at all hazards, wishing "that I had excused your lordship's travail, seeing so much time already lost for the common cause, and delays depending upon practice and discourse only, without effect or fruit.... I cannot tell for which to thank you, either for desiring my coming or persuading my tarrying."Nonsuch, 7 May, 1587. Copy. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 191.]
I should not have failed, according to her Majesty's commands, to give all assistance to the Baron of Buckhurst in redressing the misunderstandings arisen since the Earl of Leicester's departure. But immediately after he left, I came from Dordrecht to this town, as being the one most well-affected to her Majesty, withdrawing, at the same time, from all public affairs, holding communion only with books, while patiently awaiting the will of God. The letters from her Majesty were only given me when Lord Buckhurst came hither on April 23, when by his skill and God's blessing, affairs were already restored to a good condition ; as Secretary Athy has doubtless reported. The Earl of Leicester's return must be hastened, both for her Majesty's service and the welfare of these provinces I pray you, with your well-known zeal, solicit this point both to her Majesty and the Earl.Utrecht, 7 May, 1587, stylo veteri. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 193.]
As the post is going for London, I send this to say that I still enjoy the liberty of this town, at the request of Col. Morgan to one Mr. Middleton here, and of Mr. Middleton to one Mr. Owen, who obtained it of the Prince. On Tuesday last, Mr. Middleton and I dined in the Castle with Col. Mondragon, who used me very kindly. What discourse we had. I defer to tell you at another time. I have as yet no certainty of my liberty, though persuaded by Col. Morgan's letters that I shall shortly enjoy it. The Prince is still at Brussels, but his departure for the field daily expected. "There is a great disette of grains in all these parts ; a peace and union with her Majesty, Holland and Zeeland is generally wished, and the common people (yea others) persuade themselves that it is in treatise or will be shortly ; for otherwise many would change their habitation." I beseech you to write to Col. Morgan to assist you, and if possible that Don Juan de Castilla, whom he holds prisoner be not released unless I likewise obtain my liberty.Antwerp, 7 May, 1587, stilo Anglo. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 273.]
To employ the 30,000l. sent over by the bearer upon weekly lendings seeing that the amount will not suffice to make pay until the 12th April and H.M. cannot be induced to send a greater sum. Endd. : May, 1587. p. [Holland XIV. f. 195.]
Having been troubled by a tertian fever, I have had neither spirit not strength to reply to your lordship's very welcome letter of April 28 ; from which I am comforted to learn your firm opinion of the perfect intention and sincerity of her Majesty for the conclusion of a holy peace.... For my part, I have ever been assured of the same, nor has the Duke himself felt any doubt as to her Majesty's good disposition and affection to him, although he fears sometimes whether she may not listen to some who would persuade her of the contrary. It would truly be a great pity if by such means this pious negotiation were disturbed.... As to his Highness, since he has seen your letter, which I gave him translated into Italian, he seems not a little satisfied, whereas before that I had left him much displeased, forasmuch as he had granted all that could be desired, and that from the first it had always been declared that his Highness could not settle the matter of religion. I am sure you will know how to arrange about sending of the deputies to treat. The king of Spain, as I hear, has expressly commanded that no consent shall be given to the exercise of any religion but his own ; so that therein the Duke can do no other but will concede them all other favours which they can desire, wherein I am sure he will go as far as possible ; indeed I find his Highness most desirous of quiet as I believe her Majesty is also. And it would grieve him if by reason of Drake or any other occurrence, he were ordered to make a stay of the treaty, as it would then be out of his power to do what he now desires for the general good. I pray you to give your aid therein. His Highness returns your greeting, and desires to know you personally. Without your letter, he would have remained very ill-satisfied. I cannot yet learn when I shall have my dispatch, his Highness saying to me, the last time I spoke with him, that he had done his part, and if her Majesty will give order for the deputies, those on his side will be quite ready. It will be a great favour to me if you will let me know what your wisdom has been able to accomplish in persuading those people to be willing to embrace the peace.Brussels, 17 May, 1587. Copy in de Loo's handwriting. Endd. Italian. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 275.]
May 8/18. DE LOO to [SIR JAMES CROFT ?].
I believe you will have thought it strange not to have heard from me, but it has been only from want of matter, for I have been little at this court ; both because of the Whitsun feasts (fn. 6) and because his Highness has not been very well, and also that, having presented her Majesty's letter, and given his Highness her message by word of mouth (on which I knew he would wish to deliberate) I went to visit my mother, aged 84 years, and on arriving was seized with so violent a tertian fever that I thought I should have died. I have not yet recovered my strength but being returned here, I write to tell you how astonished his Highness is at what is contained in her Majesty's letter concerning Religion ; declaring that from the first I have been told that he could not grant the exercise of it ; and truly the Lords of the Council here have continually assured me that the king had expressly commanded him not to consent to it in any way. And this is what the Duke wished to hint at in his letter to her Majesty, saying that he hoped she would be content not to urge it. From his Highness' affectionate discourse with me, it may certainly be said that he is acting with great zeal and most sincere heart and open mind ; seeing it to be for the good and quiet both of her Majesty and the king to make a good peace, which he has now authority to conclude ; and will do so with all possible reputation, honour and glory to her Majesty, preserving at the same time what is due to the king his master ; and conceding to Holland and Zeeland, by the intercession of her Majesty, some years in which they shall not be molested or questioned for matter of religion, with all other favours (saving the exercise) which may be reasonably desired. And it seems to his Highness that they may as well be contented with this as were Maestricht, Ghent, Bruges, Brussels and lastly Antwerp ; with many other places which have become reconciled, and now go on in happy agreement. And they ask me what was done in England when her Majesty came to the throne, seeing that in the time of Queen Mary numberless persons were born and bred up in the Catholic religion. And in fact this has been the chief point of which my friends in Antwerp have warned me ever since January a year ago, when by licence from her Majesty I first began to meddle in this matter, on being informed of the good disposition of his Highness, and his desire to accommodate the differences between her Majesty and the King of Spain, on condition that she would be pleased not to seek to lay down the law to the King in the matter of Religion, any more than she would have him do to her ; as indeed no Prince would allow, each being left to render account to God to content himself with the rule granted him by the divine favour. And Lord Buckhurst having caused me to say to the Duke at another time on the part of her Majesty that she was content not to stand otherwise on the point of Religion, or to wish to press the King to more than he could grant with safety, conscience and honour, it seems that the Duke was satisfied with this, holding the Queen to be of so noble a disposition that she would not demand more than was in his power, [the document is here injured by damp] and declared himself ready to treat, if her Majesty would do the like, giving her the appointment of place and time for the meeting of the deputies, in order to decide the business as quickly as possible ; that he was most ready, and did not wish that by delay, any accident might happen to make the king change his mind ; and that he had orders from Spain to bring the treaty to a stand, as if such a thing should happen, we might come to lack that which now may be had with the highest honour and reputation. Cum sit that daily strange chances are seen to intervene, the fortune of war being ever uncertain. Therefore, as I have often written, it is well to strike the iron while it is hot, for it might happen to the United Provinces as the proverb says : Chi tutto vole, tutto perde ; and it being likewise granted that a poor agreement is better than a good lawsuit. Whence it may be said that it will be no small thing which the intercession of her Majesty may enable them to recover, to her perpetual praise and immortal glory. And thus there might be concluded a very honourable peace, which would be a blessing to both crowns, to their people and their realms, enabling them to live in peace and happiness, without further shedding of human blood. [Enlarges further on the advantages of the treaty.] I cannot learn when I shall have my dispatch, and it may be that his Highness will not make much haste, seeing or believing that matters on that side are not yet sufficiently settled to come to a conclusion. As also, sometimes he does not know how to make a reply which will satisfy the Queen, while on the other hand he is energetically preparing for war. I would willingly depart, being here at inconvenience and great charges, and to great injury of my private affairs, as you may easily imagine ; having abandoned my house for a whole year. Yet all this, truly, would cause me but little vexation if I could spend my blood for the public good, which may God be pleased to bring to a happy end at last. From Antwerp I hear that they have sure advertisement that by love or by force his Highness is to be King of Poland. God grant it, for he is worthy of the Imperial crown. I send you copies of the letters written to Lord Buckhurst, to which I hope for his reply before departing, in order to satisfy his Highness, who wishes to have news of him. And finally I say that by no other means than by this benign Prince can there be concluded with more advantage and honour the aforesaid peace ; for which (and this I declare from the bottom of my heart) it would greatly grieve me that so good an occasion as the present should be lost. Ut recolemus illud poeticum, quis nisi mentis inops, optatum respicat aurum ; begging you to pardon me for my boldness, and praying that the Divine mercy may grant long and happy life to her Majesty, the Lord Treasurer, yourself and Mr. Secretary. Brussels, 18 May, 1587. Postscript. It coming to my ears that divers are threatening me, saying openly that they shall lie in wait for me on the sea, I beg that Mr. Secretary will give orders that I may pass without harm ; and from Calais or Dunkirk I will write to Hains, your man, of my arrival there. Holograph. Endd. Italian. 4 pp. Covering sheet wanting. [Flanders I. f. 276.]
Reiterating their former requests for the return of the Earl of Leicester, and assuring her Majesty that no other could do the good which they expect from his presence.Utrecht, 8 May, 1587. Signed by Vander Voort. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 sheet. [Holland XIV. f. 197.]
May 8/18. Commission given by the Council of State dated 9 May, 1587, to see that the moneys of Brabant shall be properly received and employed ; with authority from H.E. to Nicholas Doublet and Dirick Jan te Lonck to superintend the same.The Hague, 18 May, 1587. Fr. p. [S.P. For. Arch. XC., p. 236.]
My lord Buckhurst and Mr. Wilkes have promised me all the favour they may concerning my payment from the States ; who were earnestly dealt with by Sir John Norris and Mr. Wilkes before my coming over, but could get neither promise nor assurance of pay, which will be my undoing unless I be relieved by some other means. This bearer, Mr. Webbe offered to do me all the good he could in this my suit ; and counselled me to get my cause recommended by the lords of the Council to my lord General at his next coming over, promising also himself to solicit him in my behalf. If you will speak to him to assist me as much as he may, I shall feel assured of satisfaction from them. Mr. Browne has left the victualling at Bergen, and has no cause to use my houses, yet he keeps them from me ; neither offering payment for them or anything else had of mine, amounting by inventory to 702l. 12s. ; and when I desire my money, his deputy answers that I shall have nothing until your honour has determined thereof. The delay makes Mr. Browne talk much to my discredit ; besides my lack of my own, which I beseech you to end before my Lord General's coming over.Mydelbrough, 8 May, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 210.]
Her Majesty learning that the Captains in the Low Countries do not keep their companies so complete as they ought to do, and yet demand pay for the whole number, thought meet, for avoiding this abuse, that the men should be paid by the poll, for which purpose, instructions were given to Sir Tho. Shurley, the Treasurer there. And now her Majesty is informed that this order "is impugned by some of the captains in a kind of mutinous and disordered sort, by threatening the muster-master and casting out libels against him" ; as though it were done by his particular advice, which is not true. Wherefore she desires you to find out the authors of the disorder and have them punished with all severity ; and also to remove such captains as shall be proved to have been parties thereto. And whereas the captains have objected that such payment would work their undoing, in respect of credit which they have given for soldiers now dead, stolen away or licenced to depart, the Council finds no such difficulties, as the captains and the clerk of the bands might deliver upon their oath a true note of the death or departure of the said men, with certificate from the merchant and victualler what they have delivered to these men upon the credit of the captains and so order taken for their payment. And to the end that her Majesty's instructions to the Treasurer may be duly put in execution, we think meet that your lordship, assisted by Sir John Norreys, the Treasurer, Dr. Clarke, Mr. Wilkes, the Muster Master and the Auditor, shall send for some of the ancient and discreetest captains of the garrison towns, and acquaint them both with her Majesty's mislike for their impugning of the said direction, and with her pleasure that this method of paying by the poll be hereafter duly executed and exemplary punishment inflicted on such as are found to be offenders. It being also reported that the clerks of the several bands have not kept true and exact accounts, I have refused, upon order from the muster-master, to deliver up "true books by poll" of the numbers in the bands :his lordship is to cause the said clerks to keep their books in good order and deliver them as above specified. And whereas her Majesty has presently sent over 30,000l. and that it appears that for a full pay up to April 12 last, the sum of 42,000l. is required ; they think it necessary (seeing that her Majesty cannot be induced to send a greater sum) that the 30,000l. be so issued as to relieve the soldiers' wants by weekly lendings, as is done in the two cautionary towns ; and from the same 30,000l. some convenient sum to be alloted to each of the captains by way of imprest, such as by conference with the above parties shall be thought meet. The manner of distributing the treasure by way of lendings we leave to you and the above named persons, not doubting but that you will take care that captain and soldier may be so provided for that no disorder may ensue. Some accounts should be made with the captains and their bands up to a certain date (say May 12) that her Majesty may know what will be due to them then, all defalcations being made ; and therefore what treasure should be sent over. Draft corrected by Burghley. Endd. with date. 6 pp. [Holland XIV. f. 198.]
For our dealings about 'Joan de Castiel' I refer you to the bearer, Capt. Fremin, "whom I have used as a special mean in the matter, and found himhaving interest in a great part of his ransomvery forward" as regards your honour's request. The money I have sent to Bergen-op-Zoom and Col. Morgan promises me that in three or four days I shall have the prisoner brought thither. The full sum of his ransom is looked for by the other captains that have part therein, which will breed some difficulty, but I make no doubt to have him here by that time. I pray you to procure weekly lendings from the merchants for the two companies newly come hither, or we shall have a new confusion of debts to the town and discontentment of the soldiers. My lord of Leicester's coming is daily looked for and greatly desired by all....Vlisching, 9 May, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 204.]
As Colonel Freminge is going to England, I leave it to him, my friend and companion in arms, to tell you "of the estate of our accidents" here ; and fall to entreat you to be a means that as "I was the first English captain that put foot aland in this country in this action, and remain this day the eldest colonel that bears name and continuance in the same, for the which service of late I have rather the style than benefit, the pay of a private captain I have, the which is allowed unto the services of the army, and if my services were to be presented to any Prince in Christendom, continuing the university [sic] of discipline that I have done for this seventeen years, I should continue the pay that hath been thought I deserved so many years agone, if not a better, the which I hope your wisdom will consider of in conference with his Excellency." [Asks that Mr. Morgan Woollphe and Col. Freminge may be remembered] "whom I take to be two as sufficient men of service as any we have in these parts." If his Excellency will not admit me that entertainment, your letter unto the Dutch church may accomplish the same ; for I would not be retained by my will by any estate of the world but by her Majesty, and yet a great many friends I have to pleasure that I may not do with so private a pay. "My friend Mr. Moortoune will solicit my cause unto your honour from time to time, and so I end from Flushing, where I have been dealing with the lord governor for John de Castylia who shall come there that further dealings may be used for Monsieur Tylleni ; and for the residue of the moneys I beseech you to take order for the sending over of it for the contentment of the soldiers."9 May, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 206.]
I take my pen to tell you of an accident happened to the cavalry of Bergen. "Upon the 4th of May, Seigneur Coriden (fn. 7) late [sic] commander of Wowe Castle, delivered by a drum in Col. Morgan's lodging a wish that sixty of his lancers might encounter with a hundred of the best horsemen in Bergen, carbines or lancers, to try which of the both parties should master the field ; who was answered by Mr. Parker, my lord Marshal's lieutenant that he should have a hundred gilders for making of the match. After the which, divers times six or seven horses of Coryden, when our horsemen had been abroad or when the ports were shut against dinner, would come before the town to give a bravado, for trial of whose courage, upon May day in the morning, we went to the number of 80 lances and 20 carbines to Sandvlyet a maying, which is a Dutch mile from Lillo ; but we found no disposition in the enemy to welcome us into the country. And in the evening upon the 3rd of May there went forth out of Bergen forty carbines and certain footmen to the village of Toornehowlte, where Captain Coryden and his cornet with 35 lancers came on the 4th of May for contribution, as they say ; but that I doubt it greatly, for that they were armed cape a pied, and that it was by advertisements of the villages that our carbines lay there all night, that they came there. Our footmen were departed before their coming out of the town, and our carbines discovering them to be upon them to ride away out into the field, when the Corydens pursued and charged them, and upon the first onset brake them through but left their cornet by the way, and three or four of their bravest gallants besides. Whereupon our troop closed together and gave them another volley, in the which divers of their horses and some of the men were hurt and slain. The skirmish lasted betwixt them three hours long, wherein they showed more courage than policy in renown of their captain's brave device, one of whose bannerols I have sent hereinclosed unto your honour.... This encounter made an end of Coryden's squadron by the bullet of surprise, all save five lancers that became couriers to bring the occurents to Antwerp." A proclamation has been made by his Highness' command in Brussels that it should be lawful for any of Holland, Zeeland or the other United Provinces to come to buy or sell to Antwerp or Brussels without impeachment. At Bergen I remain as one that missed my expectation, but I hope your honour will remember me to his Excellency for a place. I find here as well governed companies of soldiers as ever I saw, having small allowance and being absolute masters of the town, yet devoid of abuse towards the inhabitants, whom I never heard complain, "unless of a couple of soldiers who had committed a rape upon a boor's wife and were hanged." Colonel Morgan takes great pains to fortify the town and bring the water about it, which purchases him great love from the inhabitants. I would have sent you the plat of the town with my opinion of the fortification which would enable it to stand ten months' siege if well supplied ; but I hear you have the plat already, so only send a figure without scale. I think it will be shot at ere long, for it does more mischief to the enemy than all the other frontier towns.Bergen-op-Zoom, 9 May. Overleaf. Rough sketch of the town, with bulwarks already made or to be made. With calculations of the expence of the proposed defences, and a note that within five years the town had in it 1800 burgers' houses ; of which 450 have been spoiled by the soldiers ; "but now they fall a-building their broken houses again." Add. Endd. 2 pp. Very small writing. [Holland XIV. f. 208.]
To the same effect as that to her Majesty below ; but giving more details of the capture of the Sieur de Ranzou. Send him copies of their letter to the King of Denmark and also of one from the Council of State in his Excellency's name, and pray him to lend a helping hand, to persuade her Majesty to use her influence with the said King that the arrests may be annulled and the pledge money returned ; and also that, instead of going on with proposals to the Spanish King for the pacification of the present wars, (the fruits of such proposals having often been found worse than war) he will rather assist them with his troops and money to deliver the other provinces from subjection to the Spaniards, and unite them to these United Provinces.The Hague, 20 May, 1587. Signed, J. van Oldenbarnevelt, president, and C. Aerssens, greffier. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 212.]
When the merchants and mariners trading to the Eastland learned that all the ships and goods of the merchants of these provinces were stayed in the Kingdom of Denmark, we resolved to send deputies to that King, and asked the Baron of Buckhurst to aid us by his letters, and to pray your Majesty on our behalf to intercede with the King to make void those arrests. We have since heard that the stay was made at the instance of the Sieur Chaus Rantzou, who being sent by the said King to the Prince of Parma, fell into the hands of our soldier adventurers of the garrison of Bergen-op-Zoom, between Brussels and Namur, and now claims reparation for what the soldiers took from him. We also hear that the said ships and goods are released upon the security of 30,000 imperial dollars ; but we still think it is needful to send the said legation. And assuring ourselves that your Majesty's favour would be of great authority with that King in the matter, we humbly pray you to intercede for us, that he will not only absolutely annul the arrest and restore the moneys delivered [as security] but that navigation and traffic may remain free between his kingdom and these countries, according to the ancient treaties.The Hague, 20 May, 1587. Signed, Jan van Oldenbarnevelt, president. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 214.] Copy of above. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 216.]
May 11/21. Extract from the Register of the Resolutions of the States General, for the assignment of 100,000l. on Holland, Zeeland Utrecht and Friesland for the payment of debts incurred for the defence of frontier towns etc. (fn. 8) Dated incorrectly 30 May at the end. Fr. 1 pp. [S.P. For. Arch. XC., p. 215.]


  • 1. The cipher used by Walsingham with Wilkes. See note at p. 35 above.
  • 2. In the fair copy written 1000 or 1200, but correctly in the draft.
  • 3. Thus in the draft ; the text reads 400.
  • 4. There is a letter of Buckhurst to Leicester of the 29th April from the Hague, printed in Cabala, Pt. II., p. 19, but it will hardly bear the construction put upon it here.
  • 5. The full text in Acts of the Privy Council N.S. Vol. XV., p. 68, giving the date.
  • 6. This shows the letter, and no doubt the preceding one to Buckhurst to be dated new style, when Whit Sunday was on May 17 ; old style it was June 4, 1587.
  • 7. Col. Coradin. See Hist. M.C. Report on the Ancaster Papers, p. 43.
  • 8. The original Dutch text in Japikse, Resolutien, Vol. V., pp. 696-7.