Elizabeth: December 1587, 21-31

Pages 461-482

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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December 1587, 21-31

According to your letter, I have put this place in as good readiness as I may for the receipt of her Majesty's Commissioners of State. All the captains and inferior commanders of this garrison are conveniently lodged, time and place considered. It will not seem strange to us to want of our lodgings for a month ; "we shall hold the better guard, and their honours in the more safety." Your letter came to me by strange hands, and by the same I send this, and therefore write less than I would. "Howsoever they treat a peace, they increase their forces upon this place daily and by degrees come nearer and nearer, albeit all their purposes cannot prevail. We are now sufficient strong, and we are strengthened with many benefits of time. No force can surprise us, being true within ourselves ; and as for cannon, it is less to be feared."Ostend, 21 December, 1587, stilo anglie. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 189.]
Dec. 22./Jan. 1. Answer of the STATES GENERAL touching the equipping of ships.
Upon request of Mr. Herbert, the Queen of England's ambassador, to know whether the said States, will in accordance with their treaty with her Majesty, have ready and will send to sea the ships of war by them promised in that treaty, for the aid of her Majesty :the States General declare that they have always held themselves bound, and still so hold themselves, to carry out faithfully all and every point of the said treaty ; and namely that touching the furnishing of ships.Delft, 1 January, 1588. Signed by Egmont, president, and Aerssens, greffier. Endd. French. pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 193.]
"As I conceived in my last letter, it falls out. Berghes is now destitute of victuals and money, and Ostend hath the same wants, besides the dying of their people and of a strong enemy near them. We have here no hope of means but what may come from your lordship. If their accounts and reckonings may not be had, which my lord general signed and whereof no penny is yet paid, yet I beseech your lordship so much money may be sent over as may pay the poor wretches this winter season their weekly lendings and that with all expedition ; otherwise it were much better to call us all home than to suffer so many men of war to run into so great extremities as they are like." Bruin estimated ten or twelve days more victuals in the magazine than it now falls out, which makes our case more desperate, for there is no money to be got from the merchants, "and the States are half out of taste with us till we may recover our credit," which I hope we may do, as all parties protest to honour her Majesty. There is no news but that Skinke has taken a town called 'Bone,' appertaining to the Electorate. "The difficulty to win it was not so much as the pleasure this Elector with us receiveth by it."Dort, 23 December. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 195.]
Dec. 24. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
I am most anxious to learn whether her Majesty is satisfied with his Highness' answer, and that the deputies are embarked. Of one thing I am very sure, that wherever they come, they will be warmly welcomed, and that speedy order will be taken for their assembling at such time and place as her Majesty shall have appointed, although the best way would be to come here. Touching hostilities (both here and in Spain), the Duke will take means that all may go on happily, if the deputies come over without delay and the treaty is set on foot, her Majesty trusting the honesty of his assurances that the preparations both here and in Spain are to no other end than (if the peace fails) for such hostile use as war allows ; and not to let themselves be fed (as they say) with more words, when his Highness (who is still in Antwerp) would be forced in the first good opportunity to undertake some enterprise, in order to give occupation to these great forces (if the Commissioners are not hastened) who are awaited with good will before arms are seized again. I enclose the reply from Ostend, and pray for the good success of this pious affair.Bruges, 24 December, 1587, stilo antico. Add. Endd. by Burghley as "received Jan 4." Italian. 1 p. [Flanders I. f. 384.]
Dec. [24]. Lord Willoughby's [second] commission or patent "to be lieutenant and governor of her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries. Copy. Endd. with date 17 December (but see copy below). Latin. 4 sheets. [Holland XIX. f. 197.]
Dec. 24. Another copy of the above, dated at Greenwich, 24 December, anno 30. Endd. Latin. 5 pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 205.]
Dec. [24?]. "Articles of Instructions [from her Majesty] to be put in execution by the Lord Willoughby." Having chosen him to be Lieutenant of all her forces in the Low Countries, she has thought meet to accompany the commission which she now sends him with some instructions for his better direction and carriage in the said charge. First, considering in how dishonourable part the States have used her cousin of Leicester, one to whom, besides the authority conferred on him by virtue of the Treaty between her and them, they had of their own choice yielded the absolute government of those countries, she had thought goodalthough by virtue of the said treaty her Lieut.-General is authorized to deal as a principal in matters of government therethat he shall not intermeddle with their government without her direction, but only attend to the ruling of her forces there, "to be employed in the defence of those countries under such a person as they shall choose to be general of their forces." Yet, when called into the field with the forces under him or any part of themor required to give them aid by such as shall have the direction of their armies ; he shall then demand to be made privy to the service intended, in order to "foresee" that they do not employ her soldiers in desperate attempts, but only in service which may carry likelihood of success ; "as also that they shall adventure in all such enterprizes their own pay, as far forth as they mean to hazard hers. And as it has always been the custom with princes to appoint some persons of judgment and experience as Counsellors of war to assist the General, she has nominated for that purpose Sir William Russell and Sir William Reade knights and Nicholas Errington and Thomas Wilford esquires, whom, when required to lead her subjects into the field he shall call unto him (or as many of them as he conveniently may), "to make them privy to the services intended, and to use their counsel and advice in the execution of the same" ; as also at all other times, as the necessity of her service shall require. And whereas she has been informed of great abuses committed by captains towards the men of their bands, as namely by granting great numbers of passports to them (under colour of sickness) to return into this realm "witholding their wages to their own uses" ; he is to give order that no passport shall hereafter be given by any private captain, but only by himself, under his own hand, or the governors of the towns where her subjects are appointed to remain. And for all other things, as seeing the bands kept complete, the soldiers duly paid by their captains, and that they shall behave themselves orderly and civilly as well to each other as to the people of the towns where they are in garrison, she doubts not but that he will take such care as may be answerable to the trust reposed in him. Copy. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 209.]
Dec. 24. "The Account of Sir Thomas Sherley knight, treasurer at wars in the Low well of all sums of money by him had out of her Highness' receipt of Exchequer" from Feb. 1 anno 29 (the date of his letters patents) or for other defalcations to her use, and for armour, munition and powder delivered from her store before 12 October last ; as also of all payments to officers, soldiers and ministers serving in the said Low Countries due for wages and entertainments upon the reckonings of 11 October, 1586, left unpaid by Richard Huddilston, late treasurer. And also for all payments and imprests made to captains, soldiers &c. serving there since 11 October, 1586. And for all payments for cost, conduct and transportation and defrayments of other charges, as well ordinary as extraordinary, "as hereafter may more particularly appear." Viz. in Holland, Zeeland, Brabant, Flanders, Utrecht, Guelderland. 11 sheets, written on both sides. [Holland XIX. f. 211.]
Dec. 24. Notes by Burghley of payments to Sir John Norreys, Rich. 'Hurleston,' Sir Thomas Sherley and the Earl of Leicester, 1585 to 1587 ; 294,900l. and 210,500l. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 222.]
Dec. 25. Notes by Burghley, endorsed "Observations upon Hunt's book of charges of the Low Countries." He reckons the charges from 11 Oct. 1586 to 12 Oct. 1587 at 1015l. a month. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 223.]
Thanking him, on "old Captain Erington's" behalf, for procuring him a place at Berwick, and renewing his prayers "that this poor garrison may receive some pay, whose debts are great and wants very many" ; "also that as the Prince still holdeth his determination to attempt somewhat against this place or island, having his forces lying in Flanders, over against Vere," he will further the sending of two or three of the Queen's ships to lie there, for safeguard of the town and security of passengers to and fro. Reminds his honour of his suit for the office of lieutenant of the Ordnance, and of his desire to get free of his place, or at any rate to have two month's leave.Vlishinge, 25 December, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 225.]
Dec. 25. Passport and safe conduct from her Majesty, for the deputies of the Catholic King, to go to Berghes or Ostend, in the provinces of Brabant or Flanders (fn. 1) or some other place for the proposed treaty ; viz : for Charles, Count d'Aremberg, prince of the Empire, knight of the Golden Fleece, &c., &c., Frederick de Granvelle Perrenot, Baron de Renaix, lord de Champagney, &c., governor of Antwerp ; Dr. Johannes Richardot of the Council of State and the Privy Council ; Dr. Johannes Maes, counsellor and Advocate fiscal in the Council of Brabant, and Flaminius Garnier, secretary to the Council of State and private secretary. In Andrea de Loo's handwriting. Endd. by Burghley as sent from him by Ed. [Morris]. Latin. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 386.]
Fearing that the delays of the States General in regard to her Majesty's proposition of peace may do harm to the affairs of the United Provinces, and consequently to their country, he wishes to let them understand that her Majesty having, by her Council, had careful examination made of the desolate state of the said provinces, and the troubles which may result therefrom, has resolved to enter into the said conference, as the only convenient remedy for those ills which menace the total ruin of their countries. But finding many so wedded to their opinions that they would not listen to the voice of reason, he has resolved to return into England to make report to her Majesty of what has passed, when he will not fail to inform her of the good and loyal affection which they [of Friesland] have shown to her service, and thereby to the advancement of God's glory and the preservation of their countries and liberties.Delf, 4 January, 1588. Draft by himself. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 227.]
Dec. 26./Jan. 5. The ESTATES OF ZEELAND to ORTELL.
Understanding "that all ships going from hence for Spain are by certain English ships of war detained at sea under colour of the restraint of the trade upon Spain, being so brought in, and the merchants against all reason endommaged : And forasmuch as her Majesty hath as yet declared no open wars against Spain (wherein no doubt the United Provinces would join) and that the said navigation is not forbidden unto others, as French and Esterlings, whereby the negotiation is and should be utterly diverted from these countries and yielded unto strangers"; they have charged their deputies to confer with the States General effectually about it, desiring him in the meantime to make earnest instance that all detained ships may be released, as also those hereafter brought in (as ignorant of this resolution) ; and likewise to bear in mind "all ways to reserve that this assistance and rigging of our ships" be in no ways employed otherwise than to the best service of these countries. Extract. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk. p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 229.]
Dec. 26. Notes by Burghley, and endorsed by him "26 December, 1587. The charges of the Low Countries in the charge of Richard Hurleston and Sir Thos. Shyrley." With the charges of the ships kept upon the narrow sea towards Flanders, from 10 Sept. 1586 to 12 Dec. 1587, amounting to 47695l. 18s., with 24761l. 13s. 4d. in addition to 26 Dec. 1587, paid to Hawkyns and Quarles. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 230.]
Renewing his earnest requests that money may be speedily sent over and two or three ships to guard the town and island. Also prays for four or five months' victuals to rest there for provision of the place, seeing most of these people's intentions to be dangerous. Once more beseeches his lordship to further his coming over. Vlisshing, 26 December, 1587. Signed. Endd. by Burghley's clerk with the three points of the letter. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 232.]
I find the people of this town so greatly altered of late as I fear Count Maurice and Hollock have no good meaning, who are both at Middelburg with three or four thousand soldiers, minding, as I hear, to attempt something against this place. "I rather believe it for that they will not let the princess remain here, herself being very desirous thereunto. And this afternoon, having received a letter to that effect from Mr. Herbert and Mr. Killigrew, doth in a manner make me assure myself there is such an intent." therefore I pray that two or three ships may lie here for some twenty days, and that the soldiers may have victuals for half a year ; for if they should fall from her Majesty they might hinder all victuals coming into Holland. The enemy lies in Flanders with 25000 men and daily goes forward with his shipping, which makes me the more wish for some, having not two men of war in the town. I have written to my lord of Leicester that the lack of pay will make the burghers weary of us, but could not get from him 40l. for a company. If her Majesty does not take better order, I fear some great alteration, "myself being fully determined to yield her no other account of the place than with the loss of my life ; being told by some that it was greatly desired by the Count Hollock and some of the States."Flushing, 26 December. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 234.]
Dec. 27. Paper, entirely in Burghley's hand, headed : "Arguments upon the matter of the offer to treat of a peace."
"Doubts for the part of the States."
1. That the King of Spain will never agree to let the people of Holland, Zeeland and the provinces United have free exercise of the Reformed Religion in their churches as they now have.
2. That he would let the native Catholics of the country have the churches free for the exercise of their Religion.
3. That he will have all the abbeys, friaries and nunneries restored for habitation of persons professed and the land that did belong to them bestowed again.
4. That if the States will not assent to the two latter points, the King will not assent to the first.
5. And if so, "what benefit shall they have that have adventured their lives for to enjoy their religion.
"Particular doubts on the States' part for the form of proceeding."
1. If they will not agree to any treaty, then there can be no cessation of arms.
2. If there be no cessation of arms on the States' side, the Duke of Parma will continue hostilities against them, wherein will be comprehended Flushing, Brill, Ostend and Berghes up Zoom, where her Majesty's garrisons are ; and then there will be small use of any cessation of arms between her Majesty and the Duke.
3. "If some of the particular provinces beside Holland and Zeeland should assent to treat of a peace and to cease arms ; by colour of them which will not assent, the enemy will use extremity upon the others, upon pretence of the 'comixtion' of the people."
"Doubts of accord betwixt her Majesty and the States."
1. "If the States will not agree to treat, and that the Queen will treat and conclude peace for herself, the States will protest that they are not bound to defray the Queen's charges according to the Covenant.
2. And will allege the same, "except the two cautionary towns may be restored to them, according to the contract."
3. And that they are not bound to pay, "but in certain years after the peace be made, viz : [blank].
"Doubts betwixt the Queen and the King of Spain."
1. "If cessation of arms shall be concluded betwixt the commissioners, how shall her Majesty be certainly assured that the King of Spain will cease hostilities out of Spain.
2. "During the time of cessation of arms whether the Queen shall continue her whole navy, both in the Narrow Seas under the Lord Admiral, and in the west under Sir Francis Drake...the Lord Admiral's charges being 8800l. a month, and Mr. Drake's 4398l.
3. "If part of those two navies should be diminished, what assurance may be that the enemy shall not take advantage thereof.
4. "By what good means may her Majesty be assured of her money, and within what time may it be paid, seeing the towns are not to be delivered before the money be paid ; considering it is hard to have sufficient hostages." Endd. by Burghley with date. 3 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 236.]
"Our condition here grows every day worse and worse, as your lordship may gather by the list I send, estimating that was left, the time which it would serve for and the place it was destined unto, namely Flushing, which garrison consists of ten companies, and at the first it would hardly serve for a fortnight. We have endured now above three weeks, wherein we have no reply nor news of any hope or comfort that we have been once thought on. The whole cavalry is in miserable state ; the 18d. a day will not feed scarcely the man, much less the horse. Hay is here thirtysix and forty shillings a small load, besides provender, the man's diet, the shoeing of his horse, the maintaining and repairing of his furniture, his losses and hazard, and lastly the extreme bad payment [that] is made ; for they have neither their counts nor reckonings, nor, since my lord general went, any weekly lendings. It were better cheap and more secure for her Majesty to turn and dismount them for foot-bands than to hold them. I have proposed in open Council to the States to succour them with hay and straw, as it hath been alleged some of their companies had. They deny such succour to any of theirs, much less to any of ours. "In this discontented time there is risen great suspicions that the Counts Hollock and Maurice would have attempted something on Flushing or the Briele. A ship of Enckhuisen with 200 men offering to come in from the sea (as it is given out, weather-beaten) for succours, the governor of Flushing suffered them not one whit to stay. The like accident happened at the Briele. The Count Maurice nevertheless protesteth his sincerity and serviceable affection to her Majesty ; offereth to disprove with hazard of his person whosoever would charge him with the contrary. "The States of Utrecht and Overyssel are in no less fear of mischief to light upon them than our cautionary towns, and have written wonderful earnestly unto me to give them assistance of defence to prevent it. But my authority is not discussed, they as yet not having agreed to resolve of that which was left me by his Excellency ; and truly unless some provision of better stay, both for my private credit and the general forces of English may be had, we shall deceive her Majesty and our friends and at length a heavy blow will light upon us ; which I wish some more qualified person than myself had the managing therof to divert it. "There is advertisements come hither, which the Count 'Neunars' came to impart with me, that Count Charles Mansfeldt should be risen with 6000 foot and 14 cornet of horse to besiege 'Bone,' lately taken in by Skinck....It bringeth fear to our frontier places thereabouts lest so great a strength should attempt them so slightly provided, which ours would fain 'renforce,' but they have no means. "While the sword hangs thus in a thread over our heads, it is a world to hear the diversity of affections, some with peace, some with war, some with their provinces particular, some with the States General, and each in their passion very violent." I am secretly informed that there is a purpose to cass the Council of State by them of the States General. "They are all looked for at this town presently. Count Maurice is already arrived in this village, and keeps his sentinels at his gates all day and his guards as though he lived in a garrison frontier, suspicious of an enemy. "To nourish this humorous people there is no want of bad rumours sown by wicked persons, to make the nations odious one to the other ; as that we would make our peace to the cutting of their throats ; that we would deliver them to the enemy ; that clean contrary to the nature of assistants, protestation of her Majesty and profession of our Religion, my late Lord General went about to surprise or win to his party Camphire and other places, so that all things are full of diffidence, wavering and uncertainty"; neither is there any hope unless some very honourable, respected and entire person may be sent over furnished with means, whose very presence and credit, upright, sweet and indifferent proceeding might give trust to these waverings and suspicions, assistance to the declining councils, and comfort to the miserable men of war ; which, in my simple reach, such a one might easily do, and yet not increase her Majesty's charge any jot ; for if the accounts were once cleared it were an easy matter for such a person, well countenanced from home, to content all her Majesty's soldiers with the treasure she makes over, and hold good correspondence with the States, who are most aptest only to wrangle for privileges and money. If my Lord Stuart (fn. 2) might be won into their opinion again, as I think he may easily, there were not a more choice man to be found ; and truly a more unfit than myself cannot be ; and therefore I wish to God it might seem good to you at home I might return..."The 'Hagh,' 29 December. Postscript, in Herbert's hand. "The States have kept these four days the commission my lord General left with me without giving me any answer." I am privately informed that they take exception to its validity and if so, and I have no further commandment from her Majesty, I know not what I should do here, and to be plain with your lordship, I always held (unless for duty to her Majesty) no authority from her [as] a flat revocation. Holograph (except the postscript). Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 238.]
"The departure of my lord of Leicester hath not yet occasioned any change of the courses in these parts ; but some give out that they mean to confer upon Count Maurice the general authority over all the provinces," although my lord has not surrendered his interest therein. The ambassador has himself told you how he is delayed. They have promised to despatch some presently to her Majesty whom they seem to expect will dissuade her from the peace. The most backward are they of Holland and Zeeland. The rest are more tractable. They have published a book with many arguments against the treaty... My charge, I thank God, remaineth quiet to me, and shall be in good safety during her Majesty's pleasure. The burghers are hitherto very honest, and we live in good terms...The garrison hath warrants but no money, and all things are grown to extreme dearness. I beseech your good lordship, favour us as you find reason ; at the 12th of January we shall be behind three months of a new account.Briell, 29 December. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XIX. f. 240.]
Because her Majesty's ambassador to these parts hath not received any direct answer," the States continue in consultation touching the same. Their reply to his proposition is to be delivered in England ; for which purpose they have deputed some to her Majesty, and as I hear, the ambassador will go with them. "We live quietly with them of this nation, but we will be sure they shall take no advantage thereby," with any purpose to wrest(?) the possession of the town from her Majesty. I hear of divers practices but can gather no good ground ; I will always be vigilant and able to warrant my trust.Briell, 29 December. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 241.]
Dec. 30. Note, by Burghley's clerk, of the pay per diem of Principal officers not contained in the contract.
Earl of Essex, colonel general of the cavalry ; Sir William Pelham, Lord Marshal ; Sir John Norris, colonel general of the infantry - 4l.
Sir Henry Norris, lieut. colonel of the infantry - 40s.
Sir Richard Bingham, Master of the Ordnance - 26s. 8d.
Thomas Wilford, sergeant-major ; Thomas Morgan, camp-master - - - 20s.
James Spencer, provost marshal ; Edmund Hunt, auditor ; Dr. William Clarke, judge marshal - 13s. 4d.
Thos. Digges, mustermaster, 12d. for every footband and 20d. for every horseband, amounting by estimate to - - - - 56s. 8d.
Arthur Champernon, quarter-master, 10s. ; his clerk, 2s. ; and three men, 3s. - - 15s.
Total 22l. 18s. 4d.
Six corporals of the field, and John Ricewick, trenchmaster, "rewarded in gross out of the cheques."
Endd. with date. p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 243.]
Dec. 30. "A note of all such sums of money as hath been delivered out of her Majesty's Receipt of Exchequer into the charge of Richard Huddilstone esquire, late treasurer at wars in the Low Countries, and Sir Thomas Shirley knight, now treasurer ; and of the necessary charges to the forces there." The total charges are greater than the treasurer received by 14143l. 18s. 10d. [In schedule form, with many items interlined by Burghley. Headed "Dec. 28," but endorsed by Burghley "Dec. 30."] Two large sheets. [Ibid. XIX. f. 245.]
Dec. 30. DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
Refers to letters of the 19th and 24th. Hoping to hear that the deputies have started. Orders for their reception. Reports interview with the Secretary Cosimo, who asked if there was any good news to give to the Duke. It would be well, he said, for commissioners to come, when they could write to put a stop to the Armata preparing in Spain (and which all affirm to be continually increasing) only because they have so little faith in any desire for an agreement, in consequence of the many delays. And yet, her Majesty may rest assured that even yet, when the deputies arrive, she will have full satisfaction. Urges that there be no more delay. Signor Cosimo says he knows very well that France is doing ill offices, both with the Duke and the Queen, to hinder the progress of the agreements ; but they did not believe them, and believe that her Majesty thinks the same ; this agreement being the most holy thing in the world, and a very acceptable sacrifice to God. The Duke is said to be now at Ghent, and means to stay there for some days, so if the commissioners do not come very shortly, the principal men here may all go away, because of the great dearth of all things except corn, butter and cheese.Bruges, 30 December, 1587, stilo antico. Add. Endd. by Burghley as received Jan. 4. Italian. 1 pp. [Flanders I. f. 388.]
I am forced to renew my old suits, beseeching your lordship to send away money to pay this poor garrison. It is said that the enemy "pretends to employ their great preparation either into France, or to this place or island ; whose forces lie very strongly on the other side of us in Flanders ; having their shipping and all other necessaries long since ready. [Urges sending of ships, as in previous letters.] "Withal I have had some cause to mistrust of a secret practice meant against us by the Count Hollock (who as yet stays at Midelborough with three or four thousand men with him). . .that under the colour of mariners, soldiers should in ships be conveyed into this town." I cannot write it for certainty, but have some presumption thereof, having already "sent out one boat, laden with such people, who came in after that manner. "I do daily perceive these people's affections to be withdrawn from us, and would upon any advantage be willing to thrust us out. And I do greatly fear that by the practice of the Estates and others, Holland and Zeeland will shortly fall away from us. [Asks for supply of victual, as before]. Vlisshinge, 31 December, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 247.]
Forasmuch as the "transportation of money out of this realm in the proper kind," for payment of her Majesty's forces there, is found very inconvenient, and the subjects of this realm are greatly discontented therewith, it has pleased her Highness "to contract with certain merchants to furnish her payments there by way of exchange, and by transporting of other commodities, the which the said merchants would not undertake unless it might be lawful for them to transport and issue the said commodities of this realm in part of payment thereof. Her Majesty therefore is pleased. . . that from the 3rd of this present December, the weekly lendings of every the footbands shall be augmented to the sum of 24l. 6s. to every band of 150 ; whereof 16l. shall be paid there in ready money. . .and the value of 8l. 6s. shall be delivered weekly in victuals by the said merchants or their deputies at such rates and prices as the soldier can be furnished there in the market with his money. . .And there is also further order taken. . . that the said footbands shall be furnished with competent and meet apparel half yearly from time to time by the said merchants. . . Affording them such good pennyworths as they can buy of any others. Doubt not but that he will, in a cause grounded upon so great reasons, take order that the same may be in all respects duly observed and performed.Court at Richmond, 31 December, 1587. Ten signatures. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 249.]
Dec. "Wants of victuals and money" in the garrison towns. Berghen op Zoom. Bruin the victualler by letters of Dec. 5, 1587 certified that the store and magazine of victuals was spent, and that there was not enough for above ten days ; which "fell out not to serve so long time." Ostend. Sir John Conway, governor there, by his letters of 17 and 21 Dec. 1587 certified that they have not victuals for above five days after the date of his said letters (saving only a little rye). And that the burghers for three months have been victualled out of the Queen's store (now all spent), "having not traded any way, both by the reason of the foul weather and dangerous passage by sea. Vlishing and Briel. At his Excellency's going over there was no treasure save 1325l. 17s. 2d., destined for the weekly lendings of these two garrisons (as appears by certificate of the Treasurer's deputy) and this already all spent. Also the States have confidently affirmed that although Berghen or Ostend were besieged, they would send in no provision, "because the English soldiers have consumed the store that was there, having been forced thereunto upon these extreme wants and necessities." Endd. Dec. 8 (sic) by Burghley's clerk. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 191.]
Dec. Notes by Walsingham, endorsed "A way to satisfy the garrisons of Camphire, Medenblicq and Armue. Dec. 1587."
The pay of a band of 1000 foot, per annum. 13953l. 6s. 8d.
Their pay for 10 months - - - 10733l. 6s. 8d.
Which sum deducted, there will remain - 3220l.
The whole year's pay of 500 horse - 13407l. 6s. 8d.
Which deducted from 13953l. 6s. 8d., there will remain - - - 546l.
Which, deducted from 3220l. there will remain - - - - 2674l.
"To be distributed to M. Sonoy ; M. Villiers ; Groningvild ; M. de Medekerke ; Colonel Shinke." Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 251.]
1. Whereas we had notice in winter now a year past that the Prince of Parma, was desirous to know whether we could be content to hear of a treaty for pacification of the troubles between the King of Spain and us, in which case he would gladly offer himself to be a dealer therein, knowing the King to be inclinable thereto. And after means used by sundry persons, wrote himself, declaring his earnest good will to make a perfect peace, and that he had authority from his lord to conclude the same ; and after answer made of our liking thereof, further offered that if we would depute meet persons for such a purpose, he would do the like, directing them to any place and at any time named by us in the Low Countries : And whereas this purpose, by divers accidents, "hath been drawn out to more length than the said Duke hath seemed to like of" reiterating his desire for the sending of our Commissioners, "with many words of hope that if we were as well inclined hereto as he did know both the King and himself to be. . . there should be a good and speedy success thereof." Whereupon, though we had as good desire to live in peace with that King and all other our neighbour Princes as they have, or perchance better ; yet until further advertised by the Duke "that his offer was made seriously and simply without dissimulation or cunning, we did not fully consent to send any persons for this service. But having many causes to hope of his sincerity, we at length gave him to understand that we were content to send certain noblemen and others of our Council to Berghen op Zoom "there to be ready to meet with persons of like quality, having authority from the King in some indifferent place near to the said town," to which the Duke did long time past assent, and about August last sent hither "being unrequired a safe-conduct in due form, under his own hand and the King's seal" naming such noblemen and counsellors as he had heard by report that we purposed to name, although in truth we had not signified to him the names of any ; and it is to be noted that we have somewhat varied from the same, naming some not before contained, "as you, Sir Amyas Paulet and [blank] ; for which purpose another safe-conduct was sent with the special names of the former, and a clause for us to name any two or three others whom we would.
2. We have thought good to impart briefly the occasions of the treaty, for your own knowledge of the circumstances and better entry into the matter, "how the same had the beginning and progress ; wherein you, Sir James Croft can more largely make declaration if need shall be. . .considering you were one of the first of our Council to whom this matter was notified by some of your acquaintance appertaining to the said Duke.
3. "And now. . .we have propounded to the Duke another place for you to repair unto, which is Ostend in Flanders, being in our possession, near to which there may be places convenient for you and the commissioners opposite to meet, or rather, if it may be so accorded. . .the town of Bruges, where ye may be better lodged, and where a commodious place may be for your conferences."
4. On your arrival, you shall first send to have a sight of their commission, requiring to have a true copy and shall offer the same on your part, and if you find any imperfection in theirs, shall procure the reformation thereof, and in the meantime may proceed to agree upon the place and times of your meeting ; requiring and offering all reasonable conditions and assurances.
5. You are to understand that the King of Denmark sent, a year ago, both to the King of Spain and to us to offer his mediation, and revived the same motion to the Duke of Parma this last winter, where, though the Duke accepted his motion in good part, yet his messengers were evil used near Berghes op Zoom for the which the said King was offended. Yet such is his honourable mind to be a mediator that he has lately send to know our mind, whereto we have answered that we accepted his offers very thankfully ; that the place of meeting should be Bergen op Zoom ; that we thought the time would be before Michaelmas, and that we would send a safe-conduct for his ambassadors to Embden to come through the Provinces United. And that we had signified our doing to the Duke of Parma, that he might also send a like safe-conduct to Embden.
6. If the King of Denmark's ambassadors shall not be come when you arrive, you shall not stay for them, "but use that expedition which shall seem requisite." And shall advertise them of your change of place and use your best means for their safe passage. And being agreed of the place and times of meetings, and sufficiency of your commissioners, "ye shall motion the cessation of arms, whereof the Duke of Parma hath often made offer as soon as you should meet together, as you, Sir James, do well know ;" the contract to be made between our lieutenant, being Governor of the States, or in his absence by such as shall be General of our forces, and by the States also on the one part, and the Duke of Parma on the other ; for which purpose our cousin of Leicester had authority from us and he being now come from thence, the same is to be supplied by such as shall be General of our army. "And this being obtained, ye shall, at your entry to treat, declare the cause of our sending of you thither, agreeable to the form and manner above mentioned, so as it may manifestly appear how the same hath proceeded from the Duke and also from others the King's ministers, as namely from M. de 'Champigny' whereunto ye may add in our name how unwilling we have always been to be at any difference or controversy with the King of Spain, whereof our many ambassadors may make good profit from the first beginning of our reign until our messengers were of late years rejected ; requiring always observation of the former treaties...betwixt our fathers the Emperor Charles the Fifth and King Henry the Eighth" for amity and intercourse between our subjects. "And in that mind we have always continued, having never willingly attempted anything to the contrary, but that which we have done hath been only for the defence of our own countries and people. And ye may add hereto, that of this our purpose, and of all other our actions that have concurred herewith, namely for the relief of the people of those Low Countries, who were of long time sought by foreign forces to be extirped and conquered," you must refer to our protestation published when we sent our forces to aid those countries ; thinking (you may say) that it will be more meet to enter into a treaty to restore our crowns to their ancient amity "than to fall into alterations...for things past on both sides which cannot be revoked ; whereby, leaving those debates, ye shall say that ye may with more speed determine how all occasions both present and future of any breach or disorder may be utterly removed," and the miseries of these wars be ended.
7. But if they still enter into any expostulation against our aid to the people of those countries, or our actions in Spain and the Indies, "we doubt not but ye may and will show sufficient matter to answer the same for our honour."
8. For which purpose you shall have delivered to you sufficient arguments to show that all the troubles in these past years began from the King of Spain and his ministers and that all our actions have proceeded from injuries and indignities attempted and committed against us, our realms and subjects.
9. You may then declare "that the causes now to be treated upon concern on the one part personally the King of Spain and us" ; that the former leagues and intercourse may be revived and our dominions and people be again as they were before any arrests were made of their persons and goods on either side, which chiefly began in the time of the Duke of Alva. And on the other hand it is to be specially considered how to establish the Low Countries in peace and lawful government by natural born subjects as in former times, without oppression by Spaniards and strangers, by whose hostile actions has been overthrown all good intercourse of the subjects and liberty for merchants ; wherefore it is to be certainly provided that all the provinces be restored to their ancient liberty and privileges "wherein they lived before the persecutions and oppressions begun by the Duke of Alva."
10. And for the first, you may say that if we continue in our good intention to live in peace, the effects may be easily attained, for it will suffice to confirm and establish the treaties between our fathers, with such explanations of the clauses as shall have been found to be obscure. And upon their assent thereto, you may say that you think there will be no great difficulty herein, so as the other part concerning the restitution of these provinces to peace and to their former liberties, and deliverance from hostile governments and oppressions of war [be obtained] wherefore it is necessary to treat thereof speedily, as a thing without which being first well cleared, neither good amity between the King and us nor intercourse between our subjects can have any safety to continue. And to that end you may require that those authorized by the States of the Provinces United may be admitted, to show their griefs, make their requests and obtain from the King such favours as shall be meet, expedient and requisite ; offering to move them "to make their requests such as shall be convenient to be obtained of the King with his honour for the relief of their oppressions... with yielding also towards the King, as to their sovereign lord all duties and services which of right did heretofore to him belong.
11. And if you can and shall think meet, it will be well to deal with this great matter before any treaty for our own causes ; wherein we think the ambassadors of the King of Denmark (if they be come) will join with you. Whereby we think both parties may be moved "to resort to the former demands and treaties of accord that were propounded and assented to by the King and his commissioners at sundry times in the life of the Prince of Orange, and namely at 'Gaunt and at Collen,' whereof ye, our commissions may easily have good knowledge."
12. And if the evil executing of those accords have taught the States how with more security their effect may be enjoyed, you may advise their commissioners to impart to you their opinions, and as you and the King of Denmark's ambassador (if any be come) shall think them reasonable, you may further them, but so as not to seem to prescribe anything to the Spanish King's commissioners with any show of direction but with a friendly advice as being good both for King and people, whereby he may be assured of obedience and they of merciful government, that they may not need to abandon their countries for lack of needful liberties. Wherein your parts shall be to learn from those authorized by the States what is necessary to be sought for them from the King, and then employ all your powers to procure the same, that they may be restored to live in peace "and namely to enjoy their liberty of their profession and exercise of Christian religion, without which ye may truly affirm that all such as have hitherto enjoyed the same...being the greatest numbers inhabiting in sundry provinces shall never have any fruit of this peace, but shall account themselves in most horrible bondage and servitude, and shall rather be moved to hazard their lives in persisting therein than for any worldly pretence lose their souls, and so their bodies also perpetually damned. In which weighty cause, we doubt not but every of you will extend all your understandings to maintain the necessary reasons for attaining of this special grace above all others, in respect of the universal weal that shall thereof follow, and specially for that hereby the King shall enjoy his dominions to his great comfort and benefit ; both which he hath, by these civil wars, long time lacked. And though the Duke of Parma hath showed himself in some speeches very loth to hear of this matter of Religion, for any public exercise to be granted, but rather to yield to a toleration for certain years, yet being by some on our part pressed thereto, he (though he refused to answer affirmatively thereto) yet always required that the treaty hereof might be referred to the meeting of Commissioners. So as we have not been void of hope to obtain some good order for this principal point ; for otherwise we would not have proceeded thus far as we have done. And so ye may truly declare our minds to be, and to that end we most earnestly require you to persist herein, as a matter both for God's honour and the benefit of the country, so necessary as without it the people were better to sustain the war as they have done, to the hazard of their lives, for thereby they shall but spend their goods and venture their lives, with safety of their souls, and without it they shall percase spend both their goods and their lives, but surely they shall venture the perdition of their souls. In this part, concerning Religion, let it appear that we mean in no wise to require any favour to any Anabaptists, Libertins and other persons of such impious opinions.
13. And this there resteth to be remembered for us in your treaty : how we shall be answered such sums of money as are and will be due by the force of the contract made with us here in England by the Commissioners of the States General ... for the payment whereof, by the said contract, we have the possession of the two towns, Flushing and Briel, and have just title to keep them for the due answering to us of all our charges from the beginning of the contract until the conclusion of a peace. And we doubt not but that the King's Commissioners will think it just and reasonable that (according to the contract) we shall and may keep those two towns until we have full satisfaction. And for maintenance therof, ye are so to persist as without such satisfaction, we cannot accept of any other accord. And we doubt not also but the people of the countries whom we have, upon their lamentable requests, aided both with our men and money, by which it is well known how many years we preserved the whole countries from the subjection thereof to the crown of Franceas we are sure that some of them which shall be in commission for the King of Spain doth well know itshall think it both reasonable and profitable for them to assent that with the King's liking there may be such collections made in the Provinces as we may be answered our charges, and so also the towns in our possession may be restored to their ancient liberty, for the King's benefit and the weal of the countries. And we doubt not but that ye, the Commissioners will herein employ your labours both stoutly and wisely to obtain this our just demand, without which we can neither allow any conditions of peace nor yet to have the possession of those towns. "And though the sums of money expended out of our own treasure may seem to be very great to be demanded, you shall in no wise desist from the demand, nor assent to any accord without surety how to have the same paid, considering both by accord with the States and Provinces, the same is justly due." And ye may truly avow that besides those sums expended for maintenance of the succours sent thither, and for the guard of the two towns, there has been as much, or rather double so much more, spent by our subjects within our realm for preparation of those forces, and privately by the great multitude of noblemen and gentlemen that have served there ; whereto may be added further great sums for our ships kept upon the seas betwixt our realm and those Low Countries. Thus you may truly allege that when repaid the sums answerable by the contract, we and our people shall be found to have sustained greater loss "than for the like space hath been in times of the greatest wars that have been either with France or Scotland" and therefore, having enough matter to maintain your demand, you shall in no wise yield to any full accord without it. (fn. 3) "And because it is likely that you shall be moved to accord by some special article that we shall not give aid to Don Antonio... upon pretence for the kingdom of Portingale, ye may at the first answer : That by general words in former treaties, such cases of giving aid to the King's enemies are provided for, as in truth they are. And so...we could be content to have no express article made against the said Don Antonio. But yet if by reason of our former aids, which they will allege have been manifestly given unto him, they will not be otherwise satisfied...then ye may agree that we shall covenant not to give the said Don Antonio any aid of men, money or shipping ; to make any war against the King of Spain. Only we would not be bound but that in case of his lack for the sustentation of his own person and his family here with him, whilst he should abide in our realm, we might without offence, if he shall have need, relieve him with some gratuity of money for that purpose. And therewith we hope the King of Spain would be respect of the blood of the said Don Antonio by his father, being a son of the Kings of Portingale, and so consequently diversely of kindred in the blood royal, both to the King of Spain and us, and to both our two crowns, of England and Castile. And if the Commissioners shall make any scruple of this exception, we are so well assured of the princely good nature of the Duke of Parma, being also near of blood to the said Don Antonio, as we dare remit the consideration hereof to him, and so we require you to do.
15. It is likely also that some special article will be required to forbid all traffic of our people into the Indies, both of the West, belonging to the crown of Castile, and to the East also, now in the King of Spain's possession by reason of Portugal. To this it may be also said that we shall be content to observe such orders as were in any force in the time of the Emperor Charles, being possessed of the West Indies. And as for the East Indies, we are content to covenant to observe also all such orders as were at any time accorded and used in the time of the King Sebastian. And if these general answers shall not content them, then ye shall require of them what other special article they would reasonably desire, for that you are not warranted otherwise to yield to them. But yet our meaning is ye shall, as of yourselves, reason with them, as it may appear that there is no reason to bar our subjects to use trade of merchandise in the Indies, where the French are daily suffered so to do, so as the same be with the good will of the inhabitants of the countries, and only for lawful trade of merchandise. "And likewise, it is no reason, by a large naming of the Indies, to bar our merchants to trade in any places discovered, or to be discovered by our own people ; being places where neither in the time of the Emperor Charles nor of the King that now is, any Spaniard, Portingale or any other Christian people have had any habitation, residence or resort. And to those provisions mentioned (as of yourself) to be annexed to the general prohibitions, if they will condescend, ye may say, ye will send to know our opinion, what we like thereof, and what other conditions we will require to be excepted out of the general prohibition for our subjects, to sail into the Indies.
16. In the argument hereof, ye may allege that the chief reasons why the Emperor Charles and the King of Portingale, in their times, did seek to prohibit all others than their own subjects to trade into those Indies discovered by their people, was...that the profit of the riches discovered might recompense the first discoverers and their heirs. A matter agreeable to reason, but not so to be extended as by the large titles and nomination of the Indies...all parts of the world, in the west or in the east, that were not or should not be discovered by the subjects of the said Emperor, or by the Kings of Portingale, should still so remain undiscovered, and not to be by any other Christians in their labours sought out and discovered and brought to the knowledge of God and of Christ, the Saviour of the world ; for that were against all Christian charity and against all human reason, and directly against that general proposition in the Holy Scripture, Clum cli Domino Terram dedit filiis hominum.
17. "And as they shall press you to yield to these two points aforesaid, so shall ye show unto them the great inhumanity offered to our people trading only merchandise in Spain, and now in Portugal," in that every person indisposed to them or seeking to make profit of their goods, doth use to give information to the house of the Inquisition and, without just cause, procure the seizure of themselves, and their ships and goods, and so "our subjects are taken, imprisoned, tortured and in the end put to death by imprisonment and famine, and no just cause at all alleged nor proved," while many others, though not taken by reason of their absence, have lost their ships and goods, because accused persons have been found in their ships, though not belonging to the same. "Of these miserable cruelties, our subjects have of long time grievously complained, and we have sought by many messages to the King to have had redress thereof, which hath been in some sort promised, but never performed. And if this cruel usage... should continue it were to no purpose to have any accord for any intercourse betwixt Spain and us, as you may with many good reasons make it apparent to them ; for if we should, by colour of a like Inquisition, suffer the merchants of Spain or of any other the King of Spain's countries to be so molested, we are sure few or none of these the King's countries would resort to our countries, and so all intercourse should stay, and then the benefit of our mutual amity should be utterly made frustrate. For this purpose...we would also have you inform yourselves by our merchants trading Spain, of some special examples of these cruelties.
18. We require you to inform the Commissioners hereof, and to move them for remedy in time coming, and "if they will not admit anything to inhibit the authority of the House of Inquisition "as an authority which they will allege is above the King's authority, yet ye may well allege that by treaty betwixt the King and us, being monarchs absolute, it ought to be provided that all persons coming into our countries for trade of merchandize ought to be, for their lives and goods, in the several protections of us respectively." Therefore it should be covenanted "that no such person" should by any other authority be impeached of their lives or for their goods but by the ordinary justice of our countries. But in case the King will permit to the House of the Inquisition in his countries such a particular authority as they claim, then nevertheless it were reason that the King will covenant that none of our subjects shall be arrested, imprisoned, nor deprived of their lives by colour of the jurisdiction of the said House of Inquisition, but that the King's civil magistrate of the place where our subjects shall be so arrested, may be first acquainted with the cause, and according to the truth of the crimes 'imposed,' may, according to his conscience, use means of reformation of such extremity, as shall to him appear.
19. "And furthermore, if it so shall happen that any of our subjects shall for lack of discretion, by any open action, or by any speeches advisedly uttered, or by writing give just cause to be arrested and adjudged by the said House of Inquisition, we desire that it may be covenanted that the offence of any one so offending be not punished in the person or the goods of any other not offending, which, accordeth with the law of nature, that will not have any bear the burden of the offence of another ; according to that unusquisque portabit onus suum.
20. "And though we do not admit any such foreign authority in our realm above our own, yet we can be content to yield to a reciproque covenant, that for any offence in Religion, no man being any wise a subject to the King of Spain shall be molested but such as shall by open action, speech or writing expressly give offence to our laws, nor that any others than the offenders themselves shall receive punishment or detriment in their persons or goods.
21. "At the time of making of these Instructions, we have not any certain knowledge what answer John Herbert, one of the Masters of our Requests, hath had of the States of the Low Countries, whom we did send purposely to make us resolute answer to our former motions delivered to them. . .to induce them to assent to accept of reasonable conditions of peace ; so as. . .we cannot in these writings inform you how to proceed therein. But yet we think it meet that ye should not stay from your journey, considering that the Duke of Parma hath entered into a conceit, or rather a doubt, that we have not a mind to come to any treaty. And as soon as we shall hear from Herbert, we will thereupon consider what course shall be meet to be taken, for the which we will send you new instructions for your direction. Endd. by Burghley. "Dec. 1587. For the Commissioners sent to Ostend." 12 pp. very close writing. [Flanders I. f. 412.]
Dec. Draft for the above Instructions.
Corrected by Burghley, and endorsed by him : "Instructions for the Commissioners sent to Ostend ; the first copy, 1587. 12 pp. [Flanders. I. f. 404.]
[Dec. ?] Certain points to be considered of concerning the treaty of peace. That the state of the country ought not to be esteemed desperate, in regard to the ability and goodwill in bringing up the contributions needful for the common defence. Seeing that in the two years of his Excellency's government, the said countries have furnished "only to the running charges of war" more than 80,000,000 gilders. And being well-governed will be able not only to continue the like but to bring greater, so that it is to be doubted if any heretofore taking arms for the defence of the true religion and their liberties had better means ; "besides that after judgment of men is not to be doubted of a good issue of their cause." For strengths, they have yet more than sixty, "as well towns as forts," so that in this respect their state cannot be esteemed desperate. And the less as their dissensions may be extinguished "by cessation of the Treaty of peace, and open declaration of her Majesty's intention to the maintenance of these countries, with sending a person of quality. . .to conduct all matters. . .maintaining each one in his right office and authority, which hitherto hath not been done." The treaty of peace "shall bring with it a desperation of the maintenance of Religion and the common cause, and abandoning of the countries, yea of the most truest, and consequently of all good Christians ; and amongst them that are not well-instructed, it shall breed a misdoubt and affection from Religion and the common cause." Those of the popish religion shall thereby be strengthened from day to day. Many of the true Religion and good protestants will straight make difficulty to contribute any further, with intending to avoid the countries with their most readiest. And those of the popish religion will resist and hinder the contributions, for by these means to drive the peace the better forward. Whereby all governors, officers and men serving by land or water shall be worse paid, and shall mistrust that by the peace, smaller regard will be had for them ; and therefore incline to seditions and treasons, and in time to insinuate themselves in the good favour of the enemy, "to the manifest loss of several frontier towns and forts." The provincial towns which of old have been in strife with one another, will by instigation of the enemy endeavour so to deal as "to prevent one the other, notwithstanding all promises to the contrary." The disorders caused among the soldiers by the above points will bring the common people into disobedience ; "and the matters of the countries in points that her Majesty, wishing the foresaid treaty to cease, shall not be able to bring it to pass. . . insomuch that the enemy will make his conditions at pleasure." And though the peace were concluded on the fairest conditions, half of those best resolved in Religion will leave the countries. The other half would openly or secretly forsake the Religion. "The King of Spain, being once acknowledged for sovereign, will be in the three first months being the most part of the officers and towns to his devotion, yea, make them to do and execute all things to his own pleasure. "The chiefest of the Estates of Holland shall be the Count of Egmont, the Count of Arenberch as lord of Naelwycke [Naaldwyk], the Count of Ligny as lord of Wassinaer and many such others, holding with the enemy. These and other like with them will draw the other nobility on their side and make the magistrates of the towns depend of them as of old. . . "In the first three months, hundred occasions will be given to revenge them of matters past, as well upon the inhabitants of these countries as upon her Majesty and her subjects ; to the manifest disturbance of the Religion" both here and in England. Whereas the wars continuing, France may be assured in the point of religion ; the King of Spain may die, and after his death, a surer peace be made. "So that in the maintenance of this just cause, men ought above all things to consider God's help and mercy, as a matter touching his honour, glory and godly word. The rather because God's help and grace hath during these wars so oftentimes been felt amongst us most effectually." No signature, date or endorsement. 3 p. [Holland XIX. f. 119].


  • 1. The place names are inserted by Burghley in blank spaces left for the purpose.
  • 2. Lord Steward, i.e. Leicester.
  • 3. The draft, which follows, does not go beyond this point.