Elizabeth: June 1587, 1-5

Pages 85-98

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 3, April-December 1587. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

June 1587, 1-5

Regretting that owing to his honour's sudden departure, he had not been able to pay his respects to him, and assuring him of his affection and desire to serve him.Utrecht, "ce premier de Juin," stilo veteri, 1587. [The above only a covering for the following, written in invisible ink.] The schemes of these good people are not yet at an end. I am assured to-day that Count Maurice has been to Utrecht ; to get himself sworn governor, but that those of the town refused him flatly, saying that they desired no other governor than his Excellency. But it is true that a certain gentleman of the said Count was at Culembourg, where he said to Count Hollock (Illecq) that those of Holland were resolved to have no other governor than Count Maurice. Add. Endd. June 21, (in error). Fr. pp. [Holland XV. f. 1.]
June 1/11. Answer of the States General to Lord Buckhurst's propositions made on the last day of May, stilo veteri. (fn. 1) The Hague, 11 June, 1587. Fr. 3 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 223.]
There has been of late such sending of victuals to the enemy from Holland and Zeeland, that the burghers came to crave my aid for the stay thereof. I wrote several letters to the Estates, and myself stayed divers who would have passed, whereby it is very well reformed. The enemy have long intended to besiege Ostend or Sluice, and as they wanted victuals, ensconced themselves at Blankenbergh with their artillery, but now, being otherwise provided, have made show before Ostend and set down their forces there. The Prince lies at Bridges, with nine or ten thousand horse and foot, well provisioned for this action. I have written often to the Estates to provide the two towns with necessaries, but find them cold and backward. I have procured a company of foot from Bergen for Ostend, and drawn as many from this place, sending also such munitions, pikes etc. as we could spare ; but the slackness of the Estates is such that I stand in fear of those places unless your lordship come over speedily with some forces. Flushing, 1st June, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [S.P. Holland XV. f. 3.]
"This day, being the last of May as we suppose, the Prince of Parma hath presented himself before our town," but, as we hear, with not above 7000 men ; of which force, we make no great reckoning. If we be honest men . . . and if God do not for our unthankfulness reward us according to our deserts, we need not force, . . . but truth is we live here like dogs ; we never go to prayers neither to the church . . . so that I fear . . . God will lay his heavy hand upon us. Whose the fault is, I leave to your honour.Ostend, 1 June, 1587. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 5.]
The vanguard of the Prince's forces on Tuesday came before Ostend, and the artillery is coming after. Whether they will sit down before the town I know not ; "sure I am, if he do attempt us, through God his help he will be well beaten. Though we have many wants to discourage us . . . yet have we men well contented, in good state of health, and resolutely disposed to fight ; withal willing of discipline and content to be commanded. . . I do assure myself the general number be here true to her Majesty . . . [and ready] to encounter any fury and with honour to die, if I fail not in that becomes me. I hope God will assist me. The quarrel is his, the commandment her Majesty's and the obedience mine. I humbly beseech you, deem the best of me and despair not of the place. The States of Zeeland have given it out it was besieged ten days since and lost in twelve hours. It might have so chanced for any care they had of the safety. They have promised much to my lord Buckhurst but performed little. "The best is, the prince cannot long endure. He must and will do if he can do at the first and in fury. The country is not able to relieve him a continuing camp twenty days. "We lack munition and weapons. You shall have time to correct this fault, but not to aid us." We are very slackly paid and I must relieve them with half pay, though I live in misery, or else suffer by the soldiers' discontentment. "I have written to my lord of Leicester more at large, and intended the same to you, but the enemy coming on strong . . . betake me from my pen to a pickaxe" and take my leave.Ostend 1 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 7.]
We hear from Capt. Grunevelt, governor of Sluis that the Duke of Parma in person is come to Bruges having gathered an army of 16,000 men and 40 cannons, and that in two days they are to be brought to Ostend or Sluis. That the most part have already environed Sluis, where Capt. Grunevelt has already skirmished with them and taken seven prisoners, by whom this much is discovered. He [Grunevelt] has already put forth the superfluous women and children, as he has not above eleven days victual. The States here have taken order to supply what is necessary and "do send a discreet captain called Monsieur Famois [Famars] master of the artillery, to lie at Middleborow or Flushing and see from thence to supply both men and munition and victual as shall be needful." Heretofore, they have only supplied those places with fair promises . . . now I hope they will perform it in deed. I pray God it be not too late. It is said that both towns will be besieged at once, and at Ostend also the superfluous women and children are put out. By my earnest dealing, (and staying of the money for Brill) it is well furnished with victual, but Sir John Conway desires more men, though he cannot have less than 1200, as besides his own companies, a hundred and twenty are gone to him from Bergen, under Captain Veare, and a hundred from Flushing by Sir W. Russell. As we have order from you to furnish Ostend with victual in case the States should be negligent, so if the like care is to be taken for Berges and Sluis you must give us warrant for it ; for the order sent from my lords is so uncertain that Mr. Treasurer is doubtful how to issue the money, whether upon the warrant of those to whom my lord of Leicester hath formerly deputed the same, namely Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Digges, and Mr. Hunt, or that of Sir John Norris, Mr. Dr. Clerk, Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Digges, Mr. Hunt and myself all jointly, for so the words seem to inforce. If my lord wishes me to be a joint commissioner, I must obey . . . but I beseech their lordships to spare me from this intolerable access of trouble. If they would commit the direction to some two of those that are here, it will bring great ease to the service, for to depute it to so many brings great trouble, and herein Mr. Treasurer is, not without cause, scrupulous, considering that without sufficient warrant, he dare not issue the treasure. We hear that the enemy has violently seized part of the provisions of sundry towns for his men of war, and is greatly helped by ships of victuals lately arrived at Calais and Dunkirk. Count Hollock is said to have slain 600 boors near 'Baldock' [Bois-le-Duc], part being of the land of Luke [? Lige] and part of Brabant. "The States are now presently addressing forth of a petty army of some 8000 foot and 1200 horse, whereby either to impeach the enemy, or, if it may be, to divert him. And they are now also in talk of conclusion with Count 'Mures' for the delivering of money unto him for the conduction of the 'rutters and launsknights.' But those things come never to effect till it be too late. If they had raised an army but one month ago into the field, they might have impeached and endommaged the enemy so much by this time as he should have little hurt them this year ; for they might have gone where they would and done what they had would ; yea the dearth and necessity of Zutfen, Nimegen and Deventer was then so great as the only fame of an army would have made them yield. But now I would our army, when we have him, could but defend us from hurt, so as we forbear to harm the enemy. "There is no manner of present preparation ready to resist the enemy ; for I doubt our petty army will not be ready this month and our rutters about three months hence. Our hope now must be si deus nobiscum quis contra nos.The Hague, 2 June, 1587. Postscript. "Utrecht was of late in tumult by the practice of Count Mures to have kept out our English garrisons upon colour of a private quarrel he hath against Herman Modet, a minister there, and yet with all humble words of duty to her Majesty." We believe it was a practice of those of Holland and Zeeland to surprize the town and keep out all further English garrison, "but by the great dexterity and wise handling of Sir John Noris, our party in the town prevailed and so our bands were re-accepted ; whereby now we are full masters and commanders there again." Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XV. f. 9.]
I now hear certainly that the enemy is gone from Ostend, hearing that I had sent both men and victualsand, as is thought, is gone to 'Slues,' where likewise I have persuaded our burghers to send 60 lasts of corn and some ammunition. I have also sent an express to Sir Roger Williamswhom I dispatched this morning with some of this garrison to Ostendto put himself with all speed into Slues with two or three companies ; for "the Estates are so backward and so careless of those two places as though they did not belong to the United Provinces" ; and as yet there is neither men nor victuals in either save that sent or procured by myself. "The enemy is persuaded that my lord of Leicester cometh not, the which maketh them the bolder . . . therefore the hearing of his coming would do much good. "I have received by Captain Huntley your honour's letter with the good news of Sir Francis Drake. You daily bind me more and more to love and honour you. . . ."Flushing, 2 June. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 11.]
This good bearer can very sufficiently inform you of the small hope of any good to ensue in this country. "We behold here the right image of confusion :a people divided in faction, irresolute, fearful and apt of conceit, standing in a kind of doubt of their best succours, remaining without a chief ; expecting her Majesty's pleasure and determination therein, are in the meantime disabled to make any other choice. "The enemy sleepeth not, nor wanteth good means for himself, neither is he ignorant of our case as it is. I see no good end possible to come of this distraction except your honour have some good present resolution there, whereof we know not." "This Mr. Allen is a very gallant and worthy gent, and deserveth all favour. He is all your honour's."At the Hague, 2 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 13.]
"I have been required by my lord Buckhurst in your Majesty's name to signify my knowledge of a report lately delivered to my lord of Leicester by Mr. Aty, his secretary, concerning the Count Hohenlo, as charged that when Villiers the minister declared to Mr. Dr. Clarke a conceit of the Count touching my lord of Leicester, in that matter I should be demanded whether I had not formerly heard thereof, and thereupon, I should affirm the same. I do protest unto your sacred Majesty, on my allegiance that as I never heard of the matter before the same was reported by Villiers to Dr. Clarke, so was I not by Villiers demanded, nor ever heard thereof by any but by him at that time, neither did I give any faith or credit to the report of Villiers because of the unlikelihood of the thing, being so foul, and of the improbability that the Count Hohenlo should ever have uttered any such speeches, for if I might have learned by Villiers any particular appearance of truth, I would have challenged the Count for the same as I have done the States General and others for other matters concerning your Majesty and my lord ; but I could then gather no ground by the discourse of Villiers, whereupon to have framed my proceeding, as Mr. Clarke can best testify. Moreover your Majesty will consider how tender and delicate a thing the reputation of so great a person as my lord is, and how unfit it had been for me, upon so slender an information, to have brought the matter in question publicly, and to have filled the ears of such as do not well affect my lord in these countries with a matter so far from show of virtue to my seeming, either in the Count Hohenlo to have spoken or in my lord of Leicester to have purposed. Howbeit, sithence my lord by his own letters to the Council of State and States General, to Monsieur Sonoye in North Holland to Monsieur Deventer at Utrecht and to others hath published the matter, and signified that Villiers should have opened the same to my lord Buckhurst and me, as sent for that purpose from the Count Hohenlo (which, under correction, is not so) and that the same is the cause why his lordship doth not return hither, I have, as commanded, required and searched after the authors thereof, and have at the last found out that the Count Hohenlo hath indeed uttered some speeches to the effect of Villiers' reports, which I leave to my lord Buckhurst, to advertise your Majesty. And whereas I understand that my credit is by all indirect means impugned, and my services performed here most strangely construed at home to mine infinite grief and discomfort ; so as it might either withdraw me from serving with that faith and loyalty that becometh a good and true servant, or make me altogether wary of this kind of services, if reports against me in mine absence shall prevail before I be heard, and I am threatened by those whom I have not justly offended, I implore your Majesty's favour and defence against them ; and that, I may be rather cherished and encouraged than terrified and depressed by the endeavours of any that shall attempt to disgrace me.The Hague, 3 June, 1587. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 104.]
My heavy adversary perpetually travails with her Majesty to undo me, and I doubt may prevail against me, "considering the goodness of her Majesty's nature to be induced to believe whom she favoureth, and his subtlety to persuade," wherefore, in respect of the great unequality between us, I must either be held up by my friends, assisted with the wings of my own integrity, or fall to the ground with disgrace and infamy. I therefore humbly beseech the continuation of your favour to counterpoise the harm that shall be done by such as may possess the princely ear of her Majesty to my disadvantage. I cannot conceive the purpose of my lord of Leicester "in feeding the expectation of many here by his letters with a certainty of his return, and on the other side in showing to us that serve here the coldness of his disposition thereunto. The time of the year is now well worn away wherein his presence might have most advanced the good of these countries, whilst the enemy through his manifold wants hath not been well able either to assail or defend. The state of these countries for lack of government (the authority remaining with my lord in England and not exercised here) is grown into confused and dangerous terms, and like to fall into worse if her Majesty have not compassion of them, either by returning of him or appointing some other course, according to the contract for the governing and preserving of the State, and the re-uniting of that which by our errors is disjointed ; wherein, if her Majesty take not some speedy order, the States, for their own preservation, must be constrained to remove the authority from my lord and to lay it elsewhere, which will not only disgrace him, but displease her Majesty. . . Men of the best judgment here do strangely discourse of the delays used, doubting lest the same be done of purpose to overthrow this poor commonweal. Her Majesty is not free of men's concepts in this case though the fault be chiefly laid upon his 1p. You will do good service to move her to resolve speedily either to send him or direct some other course for the government until another may be sent in his place. If H.M. means to withdraw, it cannot be done on the sudden and mean time these countries, by neglect, fall into irreparable danger, of which the enemy is like to take advantage and frustrate her expectation to wind out of the defence of the countries with honour. I trust Lord Buckhurst (moved by the States) to write hereof earnestly to H.M. H.E. hath so stirred the coals here upon a report brought by Atye concerning Count Hohenlo, that all the world speaketh thereof, and now the Count must produce the informer or be charged of being the author himself. I fear this will breed implacable hatred in him towards my lord who is now followed extremely with the affection of the States and better sort of men (to whom before his departure he was as hateful) and be an occasion to breed some unlooked for alteration among us here. 3 June 1587. Copy. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 106.]
Her Majesty's answer to the petition of the States for a loan of 50,000l. has given them small comfort. Their contributions are more than ever before, and even if with difficulty adhered to, will not serve without the other third part from her to put a sufficient army into the field to make head against the enemy, so that they must rest entirely on the defensive. Yet they still hope she will not let so good an opportunity be overslipped. Seeing the further delay in his Excellency's return, and that her Majesty gives no directions for the government, they begin to say that they must establish another in his lordship's place, and in truth they can hardly subsist a month longer without a governor, considering their confusions, and divisions and the disobedience of their men of war, together with the small regard had to the authority of the Council of State. Is sorry to see that on so slight an information as was given him by Atey, of speeches said to be uttered by Count Hollock affirming that Themistocles has appointed certain persons to murder him, his Excellency has written letters to the States, Council of State and divers towns, alleging it to be a practice to terrify him from returning. [Details as in other letters.] Believes it to be a device, either to set Hollock by the ears with Lord Buckhurst and himself, or else to work them some mischief with the people. But finds that Hollock has used such speeches as were delivered by Villiers, and persons are produced who offer to avouch the same. Lord Buckhurst has made stay of propounding the peace to the States-General, not only in respect of the difficulties like to ensue but also because of Sir Fras. Drake's exploit upon the Spanish navy which may cause that king to alter his humour of peace to a resolution of revenge. Believes however that the States and principal persons will never accept a peace, and that Holland and Zeeland would rather abandon their neighbours and make their defence apart ; who indeed have to bear the burden of the defence of all the provinces.The Hague, 3 June, 1587. (fn. 2) Copy. 3 pp. [Ibid. XCI., p. 108.]
Entreating his honour's favour and countenance for his brother-in-law, Mr. Lewys, "a young man of very good hope in his profession and now lately stepped to the bar."The Hague, 3 June, 1587. Add. Endd. p. [Holland XV. f. 15.]
My last was sent by Mr. Aty, and I should not have been silent so long had I not known that my lord ambassador and others write very largely. The affairs of this country continue much after one stay, all the people longing for the return of his Excellency "or some other of such note and so authorized as the better government of the declining state of this country requires ; without which, though they were never so able and provided of means and men, all the proceedings will grow to nothing and waste time and money." For the course entered into since the loss of Deventer by the governors and States of the particular provinces is such as without difficulty will not be altered, "every one of them ruling to his own liking." The enemy hath eased his men in garrisons a long while, and having now gotten victuals, will undoubtedly go into the field, and as this side cannot make head against him without some personage to command over all, "what will ensue may be easily judged." It is credibly supposed that no one will command over the other, but each in his own province, which is the more dangerous as the enemy, "overpassing them in strength of men, both in number and experience, will drive them to extremities. "Moreover, the divers questions that grow between or in the provinces, without the means of a chief or governor general . . . will grow more daily, not without apparent peril of a division." If this summer pass without anything done in field, the like opportunity will not soon return. The rutters and landsknechts, joined to the forces out of these garrisons may make a camp of 14,000 men, but will serve to small purpose without a general commander, and a purse so well filled that matters may be dealt in roundly, "which I doubt these countries are not able of themselves to furnish ; for the enemies' encroaching doth diminish their incomes, and the nearer the wars fall out to the passages of the rivers, the more is the danger for merchants, and so the traffic of force must decay ; which already is brought to that pass as causeth the chiefest merchants to draw their doings hence into other countries, and more will follow daily, especially if her Majesty embrace not the cause further, and return his Excellency or some other personage presently." The people long to know her resolution, for they "grow weary of the long wars, by reason of the heavy contributions and extreme prices all things are at ; the calamities they see and hear among the poor, both here and on the other side, their late friends and now their forced enemies, the evil payments of soldiers and lastly, the small likelihood of amendment ; besides the infinite number of miseries that follow civil war, whereof a short end might be made with a strong force in camp ; being certain that if the enemy were once put to the retreat and forced to abandon the field, [he] should not be able to keep long in the towns, but a revolt and surrender would follow presently." My lord Buckhurst endeavours by all means to do good offices for the cause, but I leave his proceedings to his own and others' letters. Sir John Norris is here, not able to continue in the field for want of money, munitions and victuals. Count Hohenlo is at Gertrudenbergh, and hath made a road in Brabant to force the villagers there to bring in their weekly contributions, which being performed, he will come hither. Counts Maurice and Murs are also here, the latter urging the States to dispatch him, "that the money may be ready to be sent for the Rutters. Schenck continueth in his government of the high quarter of Gelderland and 'Barck,' but cannot do any great matter, the enemy being so strong about Wesell and in those parts, and he and his in some sort discontented for want of payment. Count Willem remaineth in Friesland, where the enemy doth attempt nothing, so as they are quiet on both sides. The most wars are about Sluys and Ostend, whence I am sure your honour is certified of all things."The Hague, 3 June, 1587. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XV. f. 17.]
By your last letter, it appears it has been reported to my lord of Leicester that I seek to make him odious to the soldiers by imputing to his device the payment by the poll. I pray you be assured "that I have used all possible means to induce the captains not to oppose themselves to that manner of payment, having myself been content that my companies should be the first paid after that sort ; though it were a strange course that being trusted with the commanding of her Majesty's forces, I should not be trusted with the paying of my own companies. But those reports are so grateful to his lordship that it is no wonder if many such be carried him. The best is, such tales can no more irritate my lord's anger against me than it is already, for since his lordship affirmeth that I am a fool, a coward and a hinderer of all the services, I know not what worse he can be provoked to ; of all which, at my return, I hope to give your honour good satisfaction. "For the estate of the wars, the Prince assembleth two armies the one in Flanders, the other by Wesell. With that in Flanders it is thought he will first block the Sluys and then besiege Ostend. The other threateneth Arnhem and those other towns of Guelderland. Ostend is furnished both with men, munition and victuals, so that it is like to abide his fury a good time, and may be succoured by water, which is the way we must trust to, for I fear by land there will nobody be hasty to levy the siege. His Flemish army is thought to be already 6000 footmen and ten cornets of horse, attending the bands of 'ordinance' of Artoys and Henault, which may be ten cornets more. They bruit themselves far stronger, but about this number we esteem them. "About Wesell they are 18 cornets of horse, but those very weak, and 46 ensigns of footmen, which do not amount to 4000 men. It is high time that my lord do give order for provision to refit these forces lest some disgrace do happen before it be looked for. "Our Council do attend the coming of the Count Holloc to make an estate of their forces and to advise where to assemble them. . . ." Recommends Captain Allen, the bearer.The Hague, 3 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XV. f. 19.]
"The enemy is departed from 'Hostend' the second of June, leaving behind him all his gabions. He made a show that he would set down his camp before the town three days together, but now he is come before the 'Sluase' meaning to besiege it, for this morning he is entered into the Isle of Cassand with most of his forces and doth mean presently to block up the haven ; and that done it is not possible to succour the town any way, but only to put a 'harmy' into the islands. He is shut up in such sort that if we had any power to put into the field, he is never able to come out of that place where he is. He hath thirty battering pieces and doth mean to do all that he will do with great speed. We have sent in victuals and munition good store to defend the place ; also this night there goeth in four companies that come from Bergen, which are Vere, Udall, Hart and Baskerville (Basskefealld). They shall have much ado to get in, for that the enemy lyeth so upon the haven. I assure your honour he was never at such a place to break his neck at as he is now, if there may be any aid in time, and that his Excellency were come. . . . If he come not, all will be worse than ever it was. It is wonder to see how forward the people of this town be in sending aid to the Sluese. I pray God it may be succoured in time."Flushing, 3 June, 1587. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Very eccentric spelling. [Ibid. XV. f. 21.]
June 3. THE PRIVY COUNCIL to SIR JOHN CONWAY, Governor of Ostend. (fn. 3)
Assuring him of her Majesty's "good acceptation" of the constant resolution, courage, good judgment and discretion which he shows in acquitting himself of his charge, wherein she doubts not but that he will persevere, so that by his means the garrison being the better encouraged and directed, the town may be preserved against the attempts of the enemy. Albeit his wants ought to be supplied by the States, yet in respect of his deserts and her care for his safety, her Majesty is contented to be at the charge herself, wherein order is taken accordingly, and he may also hope for such a thankful regard of his services as may be to his satisfaction.Greenwich, 3 June, 1587. Seven signatures. Copy, among the Conway papers. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 24.]
Stating that of the 2000l. lately remaining of the warrant for the Low Countries, there is paid to the four captains appointed by Sir Roger Williams the sum of 900l. [details of expenditure], and so there remaineth 1100l. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 25.]
Having perused your letters, dilating what you have done touching the matter of peace, as also touching your intent for your further proceedings, "we find it very strange, considering the difficulties that you yourself have set down likely to arise in the further proceeding therein, especially in diverting the people's hearts from yielding necessary contributions for the maintenance of the wars and setting an army into the field, the only mean and way to work such a peace as might be accompanied with good and advantageous conditions, that you should resolve of any further proceeding therein before you had first acquainted us with the said difficulties, especially considering that our direction was chiefly given unto you to have sought to frame the minds of the people there to content themselves with the toleration in our letters mentioned, and deal for such purpose with men of judgment and best affected to the state of those countries, how they have been inclined to a peace." And although we had given you ample direction to proceed to a public dealing, yet your own discretion (seeing the difficulties) should have led you to wait until you had acquainted us with these difficulties and received our directions. Therefore our express commandment is (if you have not already propounded this matter to the general assembly of the States, as it appears you were determined to do) that you forbear your further dealing therein, either with the general assembly or the towns, until you know our further pleasure. Postscript, said to be written (in the letter as sent) by the Queen with her own hand :"Oh weigh deeplier this matter than with so shallow a judgment to imperil (fn. 4) the cause, impair my honour, and shame yourself. Use your wit, that once was supposed better than to lose a bargain for the handling." (fn. 5) Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endorsed with date. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 26.]
My duty emboldens me to signify to you the state of this afflicted country. The Prince of Parma himself in person before 'Slose' has ten thousand horse and foot as my lord governor is advertised, part being on one side of the river or haven and part on the other. My lord seeks by all means possible to understand certainly how his camp is quartered, but if my lord of Leicester's coming is hastened, with convenient force, "it is greatly to be presumed, with good directions and leaders, there may a noble service be done upon the enemy." His lordship has also taken great care "to give all supplement of men, victuals and munition, so far as his credit can reach unto, wanting the government of the island." The place is of great importance to be kept, both for England and for this town and country and as your honour hath had a chief care of this service, "so now to hasten my lord's coming with forces as the cause and time requireth, and God blessing the action, there is great hope of most honourable and good success.Flushing, 4 June, 1587. Postscript. On Saturday, the 3rd the boats and two men of war which my lord governor sent to 'Sluose' with victuals, took 18 of the enemy's boats or scuts brought to stop up the haven, "but these men of war with their artillery beat the musketeers from their scuts and drove them back to Blankenburg from whence they were sent." Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XV. f. 28.]
June 4. "The Lord Wyllowbye's requests concerning his Colonelship." That his commission may be as large and ample as that to Sir John Norreys. Margin. "Sir John Norrice's commission to be sought out." That all pays and entertainments which Sir John had or ought to have had may be allowed to himself, whose expences will be greater, "for that they will expect more from one of my coat." Margin. "Thought reasonable." That he may have a regiment of English foot, a private band of foot and a company of 200 lances, all in her Majesty's pay and of like number as Sir John had, for any abridgement thereof will abridge his reputation, "the world measuring and regarding much those outward favours . . . and lightly taking occasion to condemn where they find any small declining of such testimonies." That he may have allowance for a chaplain, chief secretary, physician and surgeon. That he may continue his government of Berghen-op-zoom, as the Count of Hohenlohe does that of Gertrudenberghen, and Sir William Russell (being Lieut. General of the cavalry) his of Flushing. That he may have letters of credit to the States for full pay and contentment, as well for the entertainment of his government as of his company of horse. Also an order for restitution of all such rights and duties as appertain to his government and have been or shall be "received by any which used or usurped the government there ; the rather because it will be a good precedent of obedience." Unsigned. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 30.]
June 5/15. Act of the States General upon the state and number of the troops.15 June, 1587. (fn. 6) Fr. 1 p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 229.]
June 5/15. Act of the States General for setting up a camp and appointing the superior officers.15 June, 1587. (fn. 7)
In the margin. As the proposition is not addressed to the ambassador he is not called upon to make any reply. If asked his opinion he will say he has no authority from her Majesty to treat of the matter and leave it to their discretion to do what they think best for the country, provided they do nothing in contravention of the treaty or to the prejudice of his Excellency's authority. Fr. p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 230.]
The same without the marginal note. Dutch. 1 pp. [Holland XV. f. 43.]
"Monsieur, sen retournant monsieur lembassadeur vers su majeste, je nay voullu faillir mon debvoir de vous supplier tres humblement par ceste, me continuer en lhonneur de vos bonnes graces, et me vouloir tenir, comme il vous a pleu le me promestre pour vostre bien humble fille et filleule, qui desire bien destre ung jour si heureuse de vous pouvoir rendre bien humble et agrable service. Toutes mes seurs et moy nous essayrons dapprendre toutes choses qui nous pourrons faire parvenir a ce bon heur, et que par vostre moyen il plaise a sa majeste nous honorer de sa bien veuillance. Nous prions dieu tous les jours de conserver sa majeste en toute prosperite, et de nous tenir toutes du nombre de ses tres humbles et tres obeisantes servantes. . ." Flexigne, 15 June. Holograph. Add. p. [Ibid. XV. f. 31.]
The enclosed from Sir Roger Williams, shows the present state of the town of Sluise, which being of such importance for this country and also "of greater danger for all passages out of England than either Dunkirk or any other town, ought with all speed to be succoured and preserved. Captain Pallende hath done good service in conducting the soldiers and placing one of her Majesty's pinnaces within the haven, where the enemy, before their coming, took certain of our small boats, and the same day took a little sconce near the town, where they have placed three hundred soldiers and some artillery. Mr. Blount, so soon as he arrived and heard of the danger of Sluise, went presently thither, where he shall find very valiant gentlemen of our nation. The States will not yet be persuaded to do anything for their succour, so that except her Majesty do send present supply, the town can hardly endure." I pray you either hasten my lord of Leicester's coming, or procure some present supply of soldiers, to enable us so to annoy the enemy as would draw him from Sluis to defend his own ; or at least keep the town against them. Vlisching, 5 June, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 33.]
Since writing my last, the enemy has removed his forces from Ostend to Sluise, where he is with ten thousand horse and foot, and great store of artillery. The town was in great distress for men, munition and victuals, and asked the States for them a good space before these troubles fell out. Since the enemy's coming I have used all earnest entreaty "and was at the first repulsed with plain denial, and could hardly obtain promise to aid them, which was not performed." I have given the best aid I could, upon my own credit, and have sent 500 men thither from Bergen opt Zoom. Certain men of war of this town, which lay in the haven of Sluise, on Saturday last took eighteen small scutes and bridge boats, sent (to the number of thirty) to stop the haven, and "defended by musketeers in trenches, which were beaten by artillery out of the ships." If my lord of Leicester were here, there were great hope to annoy the enemy with very good success. Or if I might have a supply of a thousand men, I am promised by men of good judgment and loyalty to effectuate the service, to the amazement of the enemy and relief of our friends.Vlischinge, 5 June, 1587. Postscript, in his own hand. Praying him to continue his favour to the bearer. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 35.]
June 5. Payments made, by virtue of a Privy Seal, for 4000l., to twentytwo captains, named. Most of them receive 180l. ; but three of them, having 200 men, are given 230l. sheet. [Ibid. XV. f. 37.]


  • 1. Printed by Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., pp. 636-8.
  • 2. Printed at length in Cabala II., p. 41.
  • 3. Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. XV., p. 103. The original is said to be in the collection of the Marquis of Hertford but is not mentioned in the report of those papers Hist. MSS. Comm. Report IV.
  • 4. Written 'spill' or 'sperill.'
  • 5. A considerable portion printed by Motley, United Netherlands ii., p. 237, with some inaccuracies.
  • 6. Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., p. 640. Dutch text.
  • 7. Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V., p. 639. Dutch text.