Elizabeth: May 1587, 21-31

Pages 71-85

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, 21-31

I have had to try my uttermost credit for the aid of Ostend, which the enemy is about to besiege, and have, though with difficulty sent them some powder and ammunition ; also some small number of men from this town and the Ramekins. The town, of itself, was utterly unprovided, and the States seem to have no regard for the relief either of it or of Sluys, so that the burden lay upon me. "The unwillingness and backward dealing of the States give great cause to mistrust that their late private factions were not so extinguished by my lord Buckhurst's coming but [that] they begin to be renewed, with more dangerous practice than before, wherefore I pray you to relieve them either by some order from her Majesty, or by my lord of Leicester's coming. . . ."Vlisching, 21 May, 1587. Signed. 1 p. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 252.]
Thanking him for his reply and stating that he has received a letter from his Excellency which he has answered rather in the form of a discourse than of a letter. It is long, but without any beating about the bush or dissembling ; moreover it is true. I foresee that they will try to ruin us, by delays and new methods. But I have confidence in your honour.Utrecht, 22 May, 1587, stylo veteri. Postscript. This instant comes news that the enemy is about to besiege Ostend ; having already fourteen pieces of cannon in the field. It is said that he has intelligences there. The loss of that place would be very bad for the reputation of her Majesty and the English nation. However, rumpantur mores, rumpentur et hostium conatus et nostrorum artes. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 254.]
May 23. Rough draft for the letter below, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 256.]
Is sending back to him certain soldiers who have borne office in the field, whose names are contained in the enclosed schedule, and who, being discharged, have prayed her to give some order for their relief. Is informed by the Earl of Leicester that they are all men of valour and sufficiency, and therefore desires Sir John to dispose them into such bands as serve under her pay, their entertainment to be furnished by the dead pays of the said bands. And for their further encouragement, she has promised them that if she should increase her forces there, they shall be preferred to such places and degrees as they have already borne. Copy. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 258.]
The lately sent treasure, though much less than was hoped for, came in marvellous good time, for the other was almost done. My lord ambassador and I practised with the merchants, but could get promise only of 1500l. "Here is neither living nor buying without ready money." Mr. Auditor and I will with all expedition perfect and send the account, according to your letter. I thank you heartily for remembering to me the cause of Norwich, where I pray you to be, as ever, my good lord. At my last being at the court, your lordship seemed so unwilling to deal in it, as made me even desperate of the success. My long absence wonderfully encourages the adverse party, "but I hope assuredly that my being in her Majesty's service in the most troublesome office that is, may be a cause the rather that your lordship will please to have consideration of me. . . . "I can tell you little from hence but that here is great poverty amongst all. We are out of credit with this country, who begin to esteem themselves in a doubtful regard of her Majesty, and wandering without a head and governor, do go on with a many headed government, wonderfully to the grief and mislike of the people. Utrecht at this time standeth very 'tickely,' which causes me to go presently from hence with the treasure." Unless there comes resolute direction from her Majesty, I doubt you will hear of some tragical confusion. In the mean time, the Counts of Nassau and Hollock possess themselves of all they may. Utrecht, 24 May, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIV. f. 260.]
Burgomaster Deventer asks me to convey the enclosed to you. [Concerning the treasure, and the "many headed government" as to Burghley, above.] These States "are sorry for the authority that they have given unto my lord of Leicester, which, if they could be freed from, I assure myself that they would never again agree that any man should have that power and interest with them. Your honour shall see, I doubt, that after they have enriched themselves, they will also sell the country to the enemy, when they are able no longer to retain their confused government. Hated of the people they are exceedingly ; and certainly the people do much desire and indeed do daily expect the return of my lord of Leicester. These countries are much alienated from us, and are offended in the want of their expectation of her Majesty's strong entrance into these wars. Ortelius doth daily advertise the secrets of the court, and her Majesty's backwardness in this action and her over-forwardness to peace, which doth much harm here. Utrecht at this time standeth very tickely ; I am therefore presently removing hence with the treasure.Utrecht, 24 May, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 262.]
May 26./June 5. The States General to his Excellency concerning his allegation against the minister Viliers. Encloses a copy of reply made by Viliers.5 June, 1587. (fn. 1) Fr. 1 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 218.]
May 26./June 5. HOTMAN to WALSINGHAM.
The Elector has asked him to forward the enclosed letters, including one to her Majesty. Begs his honour to let them be duly delivered. The people are being discouraged by his Excellency's long delay. Those of the opposite party turn it to their own profit and the enemy can have no greater advantage than to see this State without a governor, everyone wishing to command but none having sufficient authority. His coming is more necessary now than at any other season of the year ; but as this has been said and written into England a million times, and your wisdom can very well conceive the same, I will say no more about it.The Hague, 5 June, 1587, stylo novo. (fn. 2) Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 264.]
May 27./June 6. Letter from the States General to her Majesty asking for the return of H.E. or for something to be done for her service and the preservation of the country.The Hague, 6 June, 1587. (fn. 3) Fr. p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 220.]
I refer your lordship to Mr. Secretary's letters for news. And assuring myself of your good favour, "I cannot but complain of the unfortunate place wherein I serve ; in which it sufficeth not that I seek and bend myself wholly to the service of her Majesty, but I must also please the particular humours of private men, or else to rest subject to many sinister informations made and urged against me. I beseech your lordship, keep one ear for me and do not hastily condemn me . . . for if ever I did, may or shall do any acceptable service to her Majesty, it was in the stay and appeasing of these countries here, even ready at my coming to have cast off all good respect towards us, and to have entered even into some desperate course. In the mean while, I am hardly thought of by her Majesty, and in her opinion condemned before mine answer be understood or heard, which grieveth me not a little." I pray you to be a mean that I may return, and not waste my mind, body, wits and wealth in continual toils, cares and troubles.The Hague, 27 May, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 266.]
Finds his grant "very greatly impugned," none of the lords being "affected" to it save the Lord Chancellor and himself, and fears whether they will be able to qualify the dislike of the rest to it. Owing to the absence of the Lord Treasurer and other councillors, there has yet been no time to propound the matter. That he may understand what the commissioners have reported, sends him a copy of their certificate. (fn. 4) The Court at Nonsuch, 27 May, 1587. Postscript in his own hand. I will not fail to procure your revocation if the Earl of Leicester come over, whom I find hardly affected towards you . . . chiefly in respect of the goodwill you profess to bear to my cousin Norryce ; and that you have been held a practiser underhand with the States against the said Earl, though outwardly you have pretended the contrary, by charging the States with the wrongs done to the Earl. Ottoman doth what he can to cause the Earl to think well of you, but his mislike seemeth to be deeply grounded. I doubt not but that you will carry yourself so wisely and warily there as no advantage may be taken against you. Add. Endd. by Wilkes "Mr. Secretary Walsingham, my patent for salt. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XIV. f. 268.]
Urging him to hasten his coming as much as possible, for if he delays it much longer, great disturbances are to be feared and much advantage to the enemy ; who may easily seize the coming harvest. Prays him to have compassion on those desolate countries, and Christ's flock therein, and to have no regard to the small number of his illwishers and calumniators ; disturbers of the public peace, who will be vanquished by his mere presence, and against whom the writer and his fellows will gladly employ both their bodies and their goods.The Hague, 6 June, selon nouveau stil. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 270.]
Stating that her Majesty, for the better defence of Ostend, has appointed four companies to be sent thither from Bergen op Zoom, under the conduct of Sir Roger Williams ; their place to be taken by four bands from England, under Captains Barton, Sampson, Goring and Peu, for whom armour was to be provided at Middelburg. Also that if necessary victuals were to be sent to Ostend, and those of Zeeland called upon to furnish ships for the guard of such as were to go from Flushing thither. Draft, much corrected by Walsingham. Endd. May, 1587. "M[inute] from the Lords here to Sir William Russell." 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 272.]
Another copy [Ibid. XIV. f. 277.]
May [28]. THE SAME to COL. MORGAN. (fn. 6)
Stating that her Majesty has appointed the four companies of Captains Basquervile, Veere, Udall and Hart to be sent to aid the defence of Ostend, under conduct of Sir Roger Williams in lieu of which, 600 men were being levied about London under four captains [names as in previous letter]. Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. (mutatis mutandis) as the last. [Ibid. XIV. f. 274.]
Regret to hear that owing to slanders her Majesty is inclined to hold back the Earl of Leicester. The people of the United Provinces should recognise with gratitude that, under God, they owe their preservation to H.M. Distress at the situation. Beg him to make the ambassador aware of the facts about the misunderstanding, so that it may be possible to recover the goodwill of H.M. and H.E., that she may be pleased to send back the earl. Arnheim, 28 May, 1587, stilo vet. Postscript. The enemy is withdrawing his garrisons out of the towns and sending them towards Wesel, and has defeated a convoy sent out by Wesel. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 276.]
"It hath been advertised me from the States of Holland and Zeeland, Sir William Russell, the governor of Sluys and others, that the Prince of Parma would have been some eight days past with his forces and artillery before Ostend." Sir William Russell, in his care for this place, sent us from Flushing 48 soldiers, and from Bergen a hundred ; also some needful weapons and 2000 weight of powder, "hardly drawn from the States ; their care is cold of this place, howsoever it worketh." The supposition of the Prince's coming grew from his drawing some forces down about Bridges [Bruges] and bringing thither twenty-two pieces of artillery, all to furnish and strengthen two new forts making at Blankenburg, which it is said, shall receive 800 soldiers. By such as know the country these forts will receive all the loring drawers which relie[ved] the enemy with victual, cause an unsafe passage between Zeeland and Ostend, and hold our companies here in shorter liberty. They intend withal to fill up the haven of Sluce. "All this, I suppose, worketh but to save their harvest from spoil, which is wonderful "fer" upon the ground. They fear her Majesty will presently send my lord of Leicester with forces to land here and at Sluce to spoil their harvest, which if her Majesty vouchsafe to do, all Flanders will easily and soon be hers." The Country desires it, and will wholly turn to her upon the first sight of her forces. "If her Majesty will but take a course to restrain the enemy's relief of victuals from England, Holland and Zeeland . . . and put from [sic] Sluce and Ostend but six thousand horse and foot in one month she will have all Flanders, at more ease, with less charge and bloodshed this year by three parts then she shall come by it hereafter, if she suffer them quietly to enjoy this year's harvest and profit. "Their men be weak and discontent ; daily they come away. If I durst retain them, I need not to trouble your honours for supply of men. . . . They be in misery and want. Within eight days past they have had some supply of corn come to Gravelines, Calles, Dunkyrck and Newporte which hath well relieved them, but little to able them to hold wars or to besiege Ostend, if our relief be held from them. Bridges stands still distressed yet well disposed towards her Majesty ; and as for Ostend, I do verily think he will not come before it so long as it is defended with Englishmen, unless he can corrupt any man in the place, from which untruth I hope all this garrison stand free from. . . . Some lewd spies I do assure myself he hath in this town. I hope I have them in hold under such guard as they shall sooner answer their treasons than the Prince's expectations." Our principal traitor, who should have practised the surprise of this town with M. La Motte was lately a burgher of Rotterdam. I apprehended him here and sent him to Sluce. On the way he escaped, but I took him again at Rotterdam, and his letters going to M. La Motte at sea. The townsmen of Rotterdam, against my earnest request to return him to me or keep him safe till my lord of Leicester's return, have cut off his head, to conceal others. The States proceed crossly many ways with her Majesty, but all would be well if she would vouchsafe his return. What they now deny would then be granted by the towns, and they would be put to silence. It is wonderful to hear how the towns cry out against them, protesting obedience to her Majesty, and desiring to be "as well defended against the civil oppression of the States as the tyranny of the Spaniards." The States have promised Lord Buckhurst much for the relief of this garrison, but as yet have performed little, and I doubt not but Sir William has told you of their small care of the place. "If her Majesty commit the care of her frontier towns to them, when the enemy shall be strong, they will deceive her. "I doubt not but that your lordships are well advertised of the late proceedings of the Counts Maurice and Hollock, as also of their forces assembled. The Count Maurice moved the States of Holland to give me warning that I should carefully look to the scouts which I did nightly put forth, for every other night, he told them, he was informed that our scouts ran away with intelligence to La Motte. There hath no scout run away since I came into this place ; the matter was but a feigned occasion to send his messenger with their letter" ; who required a note of our stores, and to know the strength of the town and what artillery we had ; and withal brought a special letter to the engineer to come to Count Maurice, who knew well that we could not spare him. "I said upon the first face of his messenger's arrival that we should hear of the enemy's approach presently, and so we did on the morrow. And so proceeded it before. Within two days after he sent to have two Dutch companies out of the town, and to send the like intelligence, La Motte presented himself before this town with 3000 foot and horse. "If these men who daily render themselves from the enemy may be believed, there is neither Count Maurice nor Count Hollock to be trusted. . . ." As to this town, it does well, and will so continue, I believe, so long as it is garrisoned with Englishmen. Some wants we have which I will not trouble you with, as I have been referred to Lord Buckhurst. I hope they will be speedily supplied. "In the mean, I hold no doubt of the place, nor dread of the enemy." We are much disappointed in the re-inforcing of our companies. One hundred of the men you sent us never came here, and those who did "were such loose persons, taken up by my Lord Mayor, that he did the City of London better service in delivering the place of them than he did her Majesty in strengthening this garrison with them. They are most of them gone to the enemy." We beseech you to allow us a hundred horsemen. "We have our cattle daily taken by horsemen of Newport, and we cannot remedy it. So do our companies repine in nothing but their hard watch. The circuit is so large that we watch half companies every night, . . . unless at spring tides or when the moon is light. Nevertheless, as we have endured, so will we, until it shall please you to give us better help.Ostend, 29 May, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. close writing. [Holland XIV. f. 278.]
"After I had written my other letters, we had intelligence that you are indeed besieged ; which myself imparting to her Majesty, it pleased her forthwith to give orders for the dispatch unto you of Sir Roger Williams, with such comfort to you as he bringeth. And six or seven days hence, 1000 men shall follow. Her Majesty's ships in the mean time shall lie before Ostend, to hinder an enterprize which we understand the enemy hath to stop the passage to you by water. I have written also to Colonel Morgan to send you three or four companies of his best and most trusty soldiers in Bergen. I will not omit to procure you all other things necessary as soon as may be."30 May, 1587. Copy, one of the Conway Papers, with the original covering sheet. p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 282.] [A pencil memorandum states that the original letter is in the Marquis of Hertford's collection ; but there is no mention of it in the (very scanty) notice of this collection in Vol. IV. of the Reports of the Hist. MSS. Commission.]
Announcing his arrival at Bergen-op-Zoom. The conditions of his liberty are somewhat hard, but unless he had yielded to them, he must have returned to prison. Col. Morgan advises him to see Lord Buckhurst before returning home, to whom on the morrow he means to repair with speed. Prays his honour, if he wishes to command him in anything, to write to Sir William Russel, as he will go to Flushing to embark. Finds great favour and assistance at Col. Morgan's hands.Bergues-up-Zoom, 30 May, 1587, stilo Anglo. Postscript. Sir William Stanley and York have received three months' pay, and are departed for Deventer again. Add. Endd. p. [Flanders I. f. 278.]
[May 31.] Propositions exhibited by Lord Buckhurst to the States General.
(1) In view of the extremity of the enemy to reduce the army to 10,000 foot, 4000 horse and 1000 pioneers
(2) To withdraw 4000 men from the garrisons for service in the field.
(3) That they shall maintain this force without further charge on her Majesty ; it need not keep the field for more than three months.
(4) They shall guarantee the payment of 135,000l. sterling as 5/6 of the extraordinary contribution for the army this year.
(5) They shall show how they mean to do this.
(6) They shall pay the sum to Netherlanders nominated by H.E.
(7) They shall guarantee prompt payment. (fn. 7)
Fr. 1 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 221.]
The continual solicitations to her Majesty to determine upon the defence and maintenance of the United Provinces have been so effectual that notwithstanding all hindrances she has resolved to send me back thither. And as I have always loved those countries so much as to set their welfare and prosperity before my own convenience, so now nothing shall prevent my continuing this good will, forgetting the past, in order not to prejudice the common cause. Her Majesty will send with me some ready money of what she is to grant, but as the fruit of this will be useless if those of the country are not ready, at any rate in part, I have advertised the States General, that they may give the required order ; desiring you to lend a helping hand, that we may not, through delays, lose the season, which is already too far advanced. Ostend and l'Ecluse must be furnished without delay with the necessary provisions ; for her Majesty is advertised, of many designs of the enemy and amongst others of what he has projected and concluded in order to possess these places this summer. Nonsuch, 31 May, 1587, stilo veteri. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 283.]
Another copy of the same. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 235.]
Four or five hundred of our burghers came to me of late, desiring me to make stay of all victuals, "being as it were ready to take arms ; whereupon, as well in respect of their contentment as also being thereunto desired by the governors of Sluys and Ostend, I presently wrote to the Estates of Zeeland . . . that I thought it not good to let pass any manner of victuals, the enemy being ready to besiege two of our principal towns . . . since which time the enemy hath not had means to victual his soldiers, so as yet he hath not attempted either of those places. "I assure you, Sir, I find the people very well affected to her Majesty, and myself in so good opinion with them as I am afraid the Estates will grow jealous of me. There is no doubt but that my lord of Leicester's coming is very necessary, and a thing greatly desired of the better sort." The wants of the enemy are very great ; if some corn had not come out of the East country, they could not have kept the field.Flushing, the last of May. Postscript. "The first of this present [June], arrived here Sir Roger Williams and Captain Huntley. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holland XIV. f. 285.]
May 31./June 10. ARNOLT DE GRUNEVELT, Governor of Sluys, to WALSINGHAM.
Since my last, of the 4th inst., I have had many advertisements of the preparations of the enemy. To know surely what they were, I sent a captain of my regiment, with some officers and 150 soldiers to catch some of their men. Last night, near Ecloo, they found themselves amongst 40 Spanish companies, however they managed so adroitly that after dispatching some of the foremost, they brought seven of the troop back with them. And in their return, they met, on the Lieve [river] going from Gand towards Damme several boats laden with 22 siege pieces and a quantity of munitions needed for a siege or blockade, escorted by some Burgundians who also were scattered and put to flight ; many casks of powder and great quantity of shot thrown into the water and two or three boats sunk. It was impossible to burn them, as five or six companies immediately came up, but our men returned without loss. The prisoners, being examined, said that the Prince of Parma arrived the evening of the day before yesterday at Bruges with fifteen companies of horse, and there were following him three German regiments which were to be at Bruges yesterday with the 40 companies mentioned above and other troops from the countries of Limburg, Valckenbourg, Lige, Namur, Brabant, Hainault, Artois and Flanders. M. de La Motte had returned to the Prince, having been to assemble the Walloon troops whom he had disbanded round about Dixmuyden, to the number of three thousand, all ready to come to Oudenbourg ; towards which place the Prince of Parma set out yesterday evening, with fifty-one ensigns and the above-mentioned fifteen companies of horse ; making his approach towards Ostend, which on one side he hopes to carry by a fierce battery, and on the other, to blockade us and close the haven ; having, besides the battering pieces from Gand, brought thither the cannon from St. Omer, Gravelings and Dunkirk, which have arrived at Newport to the number of 22 pieces. So far we have received no comfort, either of money or victuals and ammunitions, all very necessary for a town besieged, notwithstanding the constant warnings given. For all reply, the Council of State exhorts us to be assured that they will not fail to take order that we may be well supported and succoured in case the enemy should attack us, which, however, they did not think he would do, or even remain there, in his state of famine. This however, is much greater in the town than in the enemy's quarters, for we are now destitute of everything. We yesterday made a general search for victuals, and found, both in the magazines and amongst the burghers no more than would serve for ten or twelve days at most, even if we turned some useless persons out of the place. The captains and burghers are so very poor that they cannot make provision even to the value of a groat. Consider our state. We are reduced to the lowest straits and are forsaken by all the world. It is a grievous thing to any man of honour, loving the true religion and the service of her Majesty, to see her good and loyal servants perish before one's eyes. If her Majesty do not send us without any further delay both succours and money, it will be impossible to avoid the troubles which must follow ; wherefore we pray you to urge her not to leave us without aid, and to send over his Excellency, whose return is daily more desired by these poor people.The Castle of the Sluys, 10 June, 1587, stilo novo. Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XIV. f. 287.]
The queen has decided to continue her succour and to send him over. Expects to reach Dordrecht in a few days. Hopes nothing will cause him to lose the goodwill he has always had. Asks them to have enough money ready for use at his arrival to be employed with that of her Majesty. Informed of enemy's designs on Ostend and Sluys, to which they should send all necessary provisions. Nonsuch, 31 May, 1587, stil. vet. Received [5-] 15 June. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 234.]
Divers complaints being made by the French of spoils committed by certain ships set out by those of Holland and Zeeland upon ships of theirs lately come with grain from the East parts, we have, at the earnest request of the French ambassador here, written to the States "for redress not only of the spoils already committed, but of such as may be committed hereafter ; as also to have a care for the good usage of the French merchants ; in requital whereof, the said ambassador doth promise to procure that the merchants of the United Provinces shall receive in all parts of France the like courteous usage" ; also that the carriage of all victuals whether grown in France or imported, and of munitions of war to any place in the Low Countries possessed by the King of Spain shall be inhibited. And we have put them in mind that if they do not yield to our request, they will incur the enmity of the French, who, in revenge, may join with the King of Spain against them which would fall out (to man's judgment) to their utter ruin. Wherefore, both for their own good and the gratifying of the French King, "with whom we are of late entered into some course for the removing of former unkindnesses between us," our pleasure is that you urge these reasons and any other that might avail to the States, to draw them to yield to our request ; letting them understand that if upon their well using of the French merchants, the promise shall not be kept for the like usage of their merchants in France, and for restraint of the carriage of goods to the enemy ; they may with better reason "proceed to the staying of such victuals as the said merchants shall lade in foreign parts." Draft, undated, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. "May, 1587. M[inute]. To the Lord of Buckhurst." 1 pp. [Holland XIV. f. 292.]
May. "A note of such forces as may be drawn into the field"
In her Majesty's pay. Footmen.Out of Bergen-op-Zoom, Ostend, Utrecht, Arnheim, Doesburgh and Amersford, 2850
In the States' pay. The Lord Audley and two other companies, 1000
Sum total 3850
In her Majesty's pay. Horsemen.The Cornet-General ; General of the horse ; Sir Wm. Russell ; Sir Robert Sidney ; Lord North ; the Colonel general ; Sir Philip Butler ; Sir Thomas Cecil ; Sir Thos. Shurley ; the Lord Marshal ; Sir Roger Williams Total 800
In the States' pay. Footmen.Lanz Knechts, 3000 ; out of garrison towns, 2000 Total 5000
Horsemen.To be drawn out of garrisons 1200 ; Reiters 2000 Total 3200
Sum of footmen, 8850. And of horse, 4100 Total 13,050
Memo. That there will be lacking of the English footmen at least 1500, and of the horsemen 400. Endd. May, 1587. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 294.]
May. Paper endorsed "Estimate of the charges of an army to be employed in the Low Countries, May, 1587."
Viz :for 1000 pioneers for four months 4000l. ; 3000 lansquenets 14,000l. ; 4000 Walloons 17,600l. ; 2000 reiters 28,800l. ; the levy of the reiters and the lansquenets 3000l. Total 67,400l.
The artillery, 10,000l. ; the charge of transporting of victuals 1600l. and of 400 waggons, 14,400l. ; other extraordinaries, 800l. Total 26,800l.
Sum Total 94,200l.
In Walsingham's hand. p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 296.]
May. "A note for the distribution of the 126,000l. to the contentment of the soldiers, the payment of the principal officers, and the defraying of the extraordinary charges." Endd. "May, 1587." 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 297.]
May. LORD BUCKHURST to the [Towns of the United Provinces] (fn. 8).
I understand from letters of her Majesty that the king of Denmark for a year and more has been urging peace on the queen of England and the king of Spain, and the affair has now reached a point when her Majesty may begin to treat with good hope of securing an honourable peace. But as in the past treaties between the king and these countries have always been turned to his advantage and their detriment, her Majesty has been greatly perplexed, seeing the injury that would be done if the hope of peace proved vain, as the Provinces might become slack in their contributions and allow the enemy to take sudden advantage of them ; she also considers the miseries of war, the slaughter, devastation and heavy taxation. But seeing that the Duke of Parma has full authority to treat and conclude and seems to be sincerely inclined to negotiate a durable peace, a peremptory refusal to treat would be unworthy of a Christian prince. After mature consideration her Majesty has therefore judged it expedient to treat with the Duke. Before entering upon negotiations she has commanded me to notify the United Provinces of her decision, with the hope of obtaining honourable terms, including the restoration of their ancient liberties, release from armed force and from foreign governance, with oblivion for all that has passed. You may rest assured that she will conclude nothing before the articles have been communicated to all the Provinces for ratification. At the same time she urges you not to relax in any of the preparations for war, but to continue as if there were no thought of peace, keeping a good army in the field to avoid the danger of a feigned peace and to secure better terms, for which her Majesty will show herself as careful of the good of the Provinces as of her own estate. I hope that by the success of this negotiation this poor country, so long afflicted, may enjoy the benefit of peace. Endd. May, 1587. Translation of a letter sent by the ambassador. Fr. 3 pp. Draft. Much corrected. [Holland XIV. f. 299.]
[May.] Letter from the COUNCIL OF STATE to LORD BUCKHURST.
When his Excellency left they undertook the government, in spite of their insufficiency, in the hope that he would not be absent long. Their powers expired, but have been renewed by the States. They have several times informed H.E. of the state of affairs, requesting his speedy return or that he would state his pleasure but have received no reply. As the affairs of the country are falling into ever greater confusion ask his leave to draw attention to certain points : Constitution of Council defective through action of Utrecht and lack of public authority, as nothing can be done to reform its government with respect to the changes that have taken place during H.E.'s absence. The gathering of troops ordered by H.E. cannot be effected ; her Majesty's auxiliaries are very attenuated and cannot be filled up by the English in the pay of the States. Many officers and even towns and districts recognise no orders that do not come from H.E. Many other disorders occur daily through the absence of H.E. Ask him to advise the best and most prompt means to remedy the deplorable confusion. Signed : Leoninus. Countersigned : Huygens. Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 213.]
[May?] "Remembrances for the captains."
1. Whereas order has come from the lords of the Council that there should be eight less in a company than has been accustomed, of which the captains had no orderly knowledge before the last musters, the said captains humbly desire that the pay of those eight men may not be defalcked before the time of their said knowledge.
2. Seeing that there is an intent to make payment by the poll, we pray her Majesty to have consideration of the times past wherein at great charge we have contented our companies without having received the money, "whereby they are now paid to a further time than she has made disbursement of ; so as this kind of payment shall be the utter undoing of the captains, who in honest care of their duties towards her Majesty and love of the poor men under their commandment, have laid out all their own and extended their credit to the uttermost. Besides, there be many of our companies slain in service, dead by sickness and run away from us, being far in our debts, whose pays if we have not allowed unto us, at the least till the time of their deaths or departures . . . we shall be wonderfully damnified thereby.
3. We also beseech her that"there being but two months' pay made this year in ready money, it was diverted from the captain to the merchant to make provision of clothes withal, which being delivered at a higher rate than we could ourselves provide it, the hazard thereof is laid upon us, we giving our bills of debt to the merchant for the whole," and then delivering it to the soldiers ; and if they die before by their service they have satisfied us, we bear the loss, which is but to assure the merchants of their profit by our certain loss.
4. If this manner of payment is laid upon us, we humbly pray to know when it shall begin, and that order may be given that the merchant in every garrison may have a store of shoes, stockings and arms ; and also a treasurer to disburse money for ransoms of such as are taken prisoners and for relief of the hurt and sick, all which have been heretofore the care of the captains ; "wherein if some few have been found more careless than the rest, we humbly entreat that the just may not bear the burden of the unjust, but that there may be an equal censure had of every man, according to their deserts. "Which suit we present, fearing, without these cares, lest our bands do sooner decay than can be thought on by them who are not acquainted with these inconveniences. Endd. "Ostend." 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 202.]
? May. Justification of the edicts issued by the States General forbidding traffic in arms and such things with the enemy, even as affecting the people of neighbouring states, and applied to goods destined for the enemy sent to such places as Calais, Emden, Bremen etc. Such edicts are the only way to prevent fraud by merchants and the cunning of the enemy. The king of Denmark will no doubt suffer the continuation of such edicts from his good will to these afflicted provinces and to check the ferocity of a most cruel enemy who seeks universal dominion. Latin. 3 pp. without date, cover or endd. [Holland XIV. f. 238.]


  • 1. Printed by Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., p. 549.
  • 2. The full text printed Brieven ... van Jean Hotman apud Bijdragen en Mededeelingen van het Hist. Genootschap, Deele 34, pp. 229-30.
  • 3. See Japikse : Resolutien der Staten Generaal Vol. V., p. 548 and note.
  • 4. Cf. Cal. S.P Dom. 1581-1590, p. 413 ; and for a later stage of the business, see Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., p. 216.75
  • 5. The contents given in full in Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., p. 91.
  • 6. Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., p. 90.
  • 7. Printed by Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., p. 636.
  • 8. It seems probable that this is the copy of a letter drawn up to be sent to each particular town, referred to by Buckhurst in his letter to the Queen of the 27th May. Cabala, pt. II., p. 39.