Elizabeth: February 1588, 21-25

Pages 118-130

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 4, January-June 1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.

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February 1588, 21–25

Feb. 21. The Queen to the Magistrates etc. of the Town of Utrecht.
Thanks them for their constancy to herself, undisturbed by accidents or evil practices, of which the Earl of Leicester has assured her, in return for which she will do them all the good offices which they deserve.—House of Greenwich, 21 February, 1587.
1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 211.]
Feb. 21. Copy of her Majesty's answer to the Deputies of the States, of which the English version follows.
Endd. by Laurence Tomson “Satisfieth the States in her purpose of treaty with the Prince of Parma. Recommendeth unto them the cause of certain in Utrecht.” French.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 213.]
Feb. 21. “The answer given unto Messrs. Loos, Casenbrot and Ortel, deputies from the States General.”
The Queen's Majesty having viewed a certain writing delivered to her by the Deputies of the States, lets them understand:—First, that considering their extraordinary delay in answering her request—asking them to make choice of some meet persons to join with her Commissioners in an intended treaty with the King of Spain, she cannot but feel herself aggrieved, especially considering that her request tended chiefly to their benefit by procuring that their distressed state might be relieved by some good conditions of peace.
And as touching the reasons to induce her to desist from the treaty; “as that it was not likely that the King of Spain, being entered into a strait league with the Pope, could have any sound or sincere meaning in propounding of the said treaty; that experience of former treaties hath taught them how dangerous it was to enter into any colloquy with the said King … and lastly that it was not to be hoped for that he could be drawn to yield to them any security in the point of religion: Her Majesty cannot but let them plainly know that she findeth the said reasons very weak … wherein there needed neither so long delays for consultation, nor yet that they should have sent any special deputies of purpose only with the same” but which might have been delivered either to the Earl or to Mr. Herbert.
As to their doubt that the King would not be induced to yield them full surety, her Majesty thinks that, considering how his most flourishing dominions and provinces, “that is his countries in base Germany” have been spoiled and depopulated by the long wars; what treasure has been consumed, and into what debts he has been thrown thereby; “how the weakness of his West Indies and of such places as are possessed by him in Brasilia are laid open to the world; whereby he may be infinitely annoyed by the intercepting of his treasure”; as also by the great spoils daily committed upon his subjects by the ships of her merchants and others who lie continually upon the coast of Spain; and adding thereto, “the consideration of his own age and the young years of his son”:—all these things ought to move him to desire an end of the wars, whereby his countries may be restored to their former flourishing estate, “and thereby the King may enjoy the ancient benefits of his countries, and his people their freedoms and former happiness.”
But whatever issue there may be to the treaty, her Majesty does not see how an overture of peace being made to a Christian prince “could with reason be rejected without giving just cause to the world to think that she desired the continuance of effusion of Christian blood, and that she wished not to her neighbours peace and tranquillity. And therefore she cannot but think that the States have been overmuch carried away with their particular passions in refusing to concur and join with her in so good and Christian a work, as first to treat of peace, and to omit no reasonable means to obtain it.” For her Majesty's meaning neither was nor is to have yielded to any conditions but such as might carry the likelihood of good surety to them,“ using themselves in the meantime by all good means in union and strength for their defence, if reasonable conditions shall be refused.”
And although their refusal to concur with her might justly move her to make peace for herself and leave them to themselves, she has given order to her Commissioners to make first of all some overture on their behalf; “as namely in procuring a general oblivion of things past; the removing of all foreign forces and re-establishing of such a government in those countries as may stand with their ancient liberties and privileges, and the freedom of their consciences and religion.”
And if upon this princely intention of her Majesty to deal so carefully with them who seem to neglect her, the States may be moved to send deputies, she would like very well thereof, “assuring them that her meaning and intention is not to make any peace, either for herself or for them but such as shall carry great appearance and likelihood of surety for them both.”
And whereas they finally desire to know, in case she persists in proceeding with the treaty, what overtures of peace the Prince of Parma has made to her that may any way concern their provinces; what conditions she advises them to propound for the conservation of their religion, liberties and privileges, and lastly what assurance will be given by the King or Duke for performance of the same:—She thinks their motions somewhat strange; for, touching the first point, “it is not a custom in the treaties that pass between princes to descend into any particularities of overtures until the meeting of their commissioners.” In the second point, she thinks that they themselves “ought to be best able to judge what is fit to be propounded and demanded,” and expected to have received by their deputies some particularities of what they thought meet to be so propounded; whereby they might have asked her advice for their better proceeding. And touching the point of assurance, “it is a thing meet also to be reciprocally debated between the Commissioners at the time of the said treaty, and not to be propounded beforehand,”
Lastly, her Majesty, “being given to understand of the great disunion that reigneth amongst them, tending to the utter ruin and overthrow of those countries by laying open unto the enemy so dangerous a gap to make his profit of,” earnestly desires the deputies on their return to deal effectually with the States, as they desire the continuance of her favour, to advise speedily upon some good mean to compound these differences; that they may be better able to make head against the enemy, “who, as by experience they have found hath more prevailed, and made greater conquests through their divisions than he hath by true valour and courage.
“And as her Majesty hath caused to be delivered unto them a memorial in favour of Col. Snoy, Grenevelt and the ‘burrough-master’ of Utrecht, Deventer, and other of those countries who do stand well affected unto her service, who are very hardly used without any just cause given by them (as her Majesty is informed) she prayeth them at their return to deal most effectually with the said States, according to that memorial, and to let them plainly understand that as they shall either yield or refuse to accomplish the contents thereof, her Majesty is fully resolved to continue her favour towards them or else absolutely to leave them to their own fortunes.”
Endd.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 217.]
[In the same handwriting as the copy of Lord Willughby's “Relation” of Feb. 19, above.]
Feb. 21. Morgan Colman to Walsingham.
Reports delivery of packet to the Governor and going on to Utrecht delivered the message concerning Camphire. Gave Mr. Burlacie his letter.
Informed that Colonel Snoy escaped the plot laid for to trap him, and is in Medenblick, pursued by Count Maurice …—Flushing, 21 February, 1587.
Postscript. I pray you “conceal my letters to yourself.”
Add. Endd. ½. p. [Holland XXI. f. 221.]
Feb. 21. Sir John Conway to the Privy Council.
At my arrival in Zeeland, I heard that Ostend was in great danger to be lost, and therefore hastened thither. Since my coming I have manifestly discovered nothing, yet the dealing of Jaques de Rancy since his arrival and mine have given me such suspicion, and all other captains and officers of the garrison, that I send him to your lordships. I am told that as soon as he arrived, “he reported the company of Captain Dominick to be discharged, a thing most dangerous considering the necessity wherein the town now presently standeth; adding more over that Capt. Suderman was the solicitor and occasion of the same, thereby to set those two captains at variance.” And defering the payment of his soldiers ten or twelve days longer than the said Suderman had done, they gathered in troop together and made complaint to me.
I commanded and prayed him sundry times to make payment, which (as he said) in the end being done, I found the soldiers both desolate and discontented, complaining that they were neither so well used or paid as Suderman's company, who moreover promised his men further pay hereafter; repeating to them his Excellency's promise that they should be in the Queen's pay, and reading them two letters obtained from your lordships, promising him to be paid every forty-eight days by the treasurer of Zeeland.
The said Ransy has also sundry nights come into Sudermann's Corps de garde, under colour of going the round, where he has given out false reports “tending both to the disquiet and discouraging of his soldiers,” as you shall more plainly understand by the annexed interrogations. Who being convicted thereof in the Council of Wars has yet been so impudent as to say openly “that the States had oftentime in like sort abused him, and that he therefore would let the soldiers know the truth. There are yet other matters wherein he hath greatly misused himself … which I for tediousness let pass, not doubting but that the foresaid is sufficient … considering the miserable state of this town and soldiers, whereof some are very slenderly paid and others not at all, and thereby easily to be misled.”
I humbly beseech you to fulfil your promises made at my departure from Holland to provide for the great necessity of this town and to send victuals and munition of war; assuring you it is no small pain to me with fair words to content the soldiers, who daily “in manner of mutiny do greatly misuse themselves, because that we have no means, seeing that the store is above eight days since clean and moreover having these three or four days distributed [to their] great grief, the provision of the town …”—Ostend, 21 February, 1587.
Signed. Endd.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 223.]
Feb. 21. Lord Cobham to Burghley.
Upon receipt of our answer from my lady and your lordship, we have enbarked all our bags and baggages, and mean, God willing, to embark ourselves tonight, if the wind holds. I hope our provision will be at Ostend this afternoon, that we may find wood to warm us and meat to relieve us. Mr. Cecil goes with Lord Derby in the Charles. As soon as we arrive your lordship shall know how we have passed. I commend to you “all my own particular causes as occasion shall suit, and my children to your fatherly counsel ….”—Dover, 21 February.
Postscript. I heartily thank you for your favourable letters from Mr. Barry.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders II. f. 113.]
Feb. 21. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
I received your lordship's letter of the 18th yesterday afternoon, and find that you have dealt very honourably with me; “and from her Majesty I am very well satisfied, … and encouraged to serve to the uttermost of my power. And for the words expressed by my daughter Scudamore, I had been of very simple discretion if I should have used them otherwise than according to her Majesty's meaning … The matters concerning Scotland I omitted of purpose, for causes specified in other letters sent to her Majesty from hence upon Sunday last …” I wrote also to you, and if you have not seen them, I pray you desire to do so, as they contain much matter meet for the time and causes now in hand. I also made further declaration of Sir Francis Drake; in all which, if you find anything obscure or doubtful I will explain it. “If her Majesty like my opinion for the coming of the merchants … I beseech your lordship to hasten them away.—Dover, 21 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 115.]
Feb. 21./Mar. 2. The Count of Olivares, Spanish Ambassador at Rome, to King Philip.
[Given in the Spanish Calendar, from the original despatch at Simancas.]
The following variations are to be noticed:
p. 226 ll. 39–42 for “and nothing …. to them” read “and nothing that can be said to the contrary doth satisfy them. And by the small credit they give unto us may be gathered how much we may repose upon them.”
p. 226 l. 3 from end, for “to the Castle” read “to his coffers.”
p. 226, last 2 lines, for “that …. castle” read “as he sells rights and rents and all to make it.”
p. 227 l. 13 for “26 Aug.” read “24 June.”
p. 227 last line of despatch read “he shall forbear till then his title to Canterbury.”
p. 227, before last paragraph add: “and when your Majesty shall direct me to grow into particularity upon this point it may please you to peruse what I wrote thereupon on the 16th July and a memorial sent withal, touching the manner of propounding the matter to the pope. For if he understands that your Majesty is yet in doubt of whether you mean it to your son or daughter he will be induced the more easily to agree that the first investiture may be in your Majesty, you giving him assurance touching the sub-investiture and declaring withal the marriage. I am further to beseech your Majesty that for the better framing of the investiture you will send me a copy of yours for the kingdom of Navarre and such other directions as you shall think meet to be absorbed therein to the end there may be no error committed.”
p. 227 end. Add a postscript touching the loan and securities.
Endd. Translated of a letter of the Spanish ambassador at Rome to the King of Spain wherein it seems he thinks the King of Spain has no more to do but to accept of the investiture of this kingdom from the pope first for himself and then a sub-investiture either to his son or his daughter when he was resolved whom she should marry.
Copy. 4 pp. with many corrections. [Flanders II. f. 111.]
Feb. 22. The Queen to Colonel Schenck.
Seeing that his constancy and resolution in his affectionate devotion towards herself shows itself greater day by day by its results, notwithstanding the practices employed to divert it, she feels that she would be greatly wronging him if she did give him some testimony of her gratitude, of which she hopes to show him more manifest proof when occasion shall present itself.—Manor of Greenwich, 22 February, 1587.
Copy. Endd. French. ½ p. [Holland XXI. f. 225.]
Feb. 22./Mar. 3. Count Olivares to the King of Spain.
“By my former, your Majesty hath understood what motions have been made by the Duke of Ferrara unto [blank]; which, for that they seem to me worthy of consideration, I am careful to lay some watch that way. I have been [blank] advertised that the Duke of Ferrara hath despatched Don Cæsar d'Este to the Duke of Florence with direction to entertain their intelligence; seeming very desirous that they both and Mantua may join together in some league to strengthen and maintain themelves against your Majesty's monarchy. And withal by such means to be the better able to prevent any practice of the Pope's; who daily gathereth such great sums of money. And to this time it seemeth they all here do frame themselves, [space, noted “defect in the original.”]
“And it will be well to have a watchful eye over the Duke of Florence. I suppose that the Duke of Ferrara is also desirous for this cause, to assure the Dukes of Florence and Mantua unto Don Cæsar, his heir; by means of whose forces and his own he may be able to make his party good, in case he should find any resistance in the possession of the Duchy of Ferrara.
“It is reported that the Duke of Florence will not receive any Spaniards into his garrisons, and that such as be already there be old and sick.”
“The Pope, because [blank] and for that they have borne him in hand that it would yield a great increase to the customs of Ancona, doth of late show himself very willing to tolerate the trade of the heretics; and giveth them liberty to repair to Ancona by the [blank] as heretofore they have done; whereto it shall be very necessary to have an eye.
“Touching the contents of your Majesty's letters of the 6th of the last; whereby you signify your pleasure for the barques of Provence, if this humour do not prevail against the purpose [space] that they set their shipping on work [space].
And so I have written to Signor Doria, imparting to him a device which seemeth unto me fit for this purpose; and by this other means, will not fail to endeavour what I may to bring your Majesty's desire to pass; and will not forget to advertise of the success.—March 3, 1588.
Endd. “March 1588 from Rome. Count Olivares to the King of Spain. Deciphered and Englished.” ½ p., ⅓ p. [Flanders II. f. 117.]
Feb. 22. Dr. Valentine Dale to Burghley.
I thank you for your favourable good letter. I would gladly have the proclamation set forth by her Majesty, where it is fully declared in what manner the stay of the Germans' army was made, and how the arrest of the Duke of Alva was pretended untruly upon that stay. I remember at that time when I was in the Arches I had it and marked it as a thing very well penned … but as an advocate I did not keep it. I remember also there were certain letters for the restraint of her Majesty's subjects from the Indies, in the favour of the King of Spain, more than by law the Queen was bound unto; which were not amiss to be remembered. Mr. Cecyl and I have had talk of our institutes, but dare not adventure upon them … for doubt lest we should leave it in suspense. But in the mean time, I have acquainted him with some treaties very good to be known; and when we be over we threaten the insolents (?) very sore.—Dover, 22 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 119.]
Feb. 23. The Privy Council to Sir William Russell.
Sir John Conway having lately written for a supply of certain munitions to be sent to him at Ostend and the sconce in the old town there, it is thought meet that two lasts of powder and two demi-cannons (part of the great ordnance which the Earl of Leicester brought over) should be supplied out of Flushing. They therefore desire Sir William to send these things, with “a convenient number of shot” to Ostend, as speedily and safely as he can, for which this shall be his warrant.—The Court at Greenwich, 23 February, 1587.
Copy. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXI. f. 228.]
Feb. 23. The Queen to the States General.
Has received their letters, delivered by their deputies; and heard at length what the latter had to say. Refers them to her answer delivered to their deputies in writing and reiterates her demand in favour of Col. Sonoy, Deventer and others well affectioned to her service, for upon the good or evil treatment accorded to them will depend her resolution whether to continue her favours and benefits to those States, or to withdraw herself from them entirely.
Copy. Endd. with date. French.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 229.]
Feb. 23. The Privy Council to Henry Killigrew.
Her Majesty being particularly informed how hardly and with how little respect the Earl of Leicester was entreated by the States, especially since his last repair thither, through the practice of certain ambitious and factious persons, thought meet for him to resign his government, and caused him to make an instrument—which was sent to Mr. Harbert, then her agent in those parts, with her letters and instructions, bearing date 20 December, to deliver the said instrument to the General States. And as these letters only reached him on January 22, at Flushing—he being then on his return with the Commissioners sent to her Majesty—and he could not without prejudice to her service, return to Zeeland to deliver them; they now send Killigrew the said instrument of resignation to deliver to the General States. [The final clause, concerning the limiting of Lord Willoughby's authority, is cancelled, and noted in the margin as omitted.]
Copy. Endd with date. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 231.]
Feb. 23. “Questions meet to be considered of, touching the intended treaty of peace.
“If the treaty shall not go forward, the breach may grow two ways.
1. By the King of Spain not yielding exercise of Religion to the United Provinces, but only freedom of conscience; or else by denying both.
2. By the States refusing to enter into treaty or not yielding to a peace without exercise of religion.
“The consideration of the causes of the breaches either in the one or in the other doth minister these questions following:—
1. If the King refuses exercise of religion but allows toleration, should the Queen proceed in the treaty or not?
2. If the King denies both, whether she shall still proceed therein?
3. If the States refuse to join in any treaty: or if they allow of no treaty without free exercise of religion, shall she proceed to treat for them or no.
“Lastly, if the said treaty shall not go forward …. what way is to be taken for the enabling of her Majesty to continue the wars; and with what conditions may the contract with the States to diminish her charges in those Low Countries; and yet to understand how by possibility they shall be able to withstand the enemy.”
Some other doubts also to be moved.
If the King of Spain offers her reasonable conditions for herself, “and require her to leave the protection of his subjects and the two towns, upon payment of her demands: And will offer for his subjects all the conditions comprised in the Pacification of Gant, what shall be meet to counsel the Queen herein?
“If also the King of Spain shall yield to all the former conditions saving only that he will not pay to the Queen her money for redemption of the towns: but will permit the Queen to hold them until either he or the Estates shall make payment, What shall be meet to counsel?”
Endd. by Burghley. 2 pp. [Flanders II. f. 121.]
Another copy of the above.
[Ibid. f. 123.]
Feb. 23./Mar. 4. Commission from the Duke of Parma to Charles Comte d' Aremberg, chevalier Chef des Finances to his Majesty; Frederick Perrenot de Granville, chevalier, Sieur de Champagny and Baron de Renaix, also Chef des Finances; Messire Jean Richardot, docteur es droits, Sieur de Barly, counsellor of his Majesty and president of Artois; Messire Jean Baptiste Maes, also doctor, counsellor and advocate fiscal of the Council in Brabant, and Flaminio Garnier, Sieur de Niele, secretary to His Majesty in his Council of State to be his ambassadors, deputies and proxies in the treaty with her Majesty etc.—Brussels, 4 March, 1588.
Signed, Alexander. Countersigned, Le Vasseur. Letters Patents, sealed with his Highness' seal.
Certified as a true copy by F. Garnier, the Duke's secretary.
Endd. French. 2 pp. [Flanders II. f. 125.]
Feb. 24. Thomas Brune to Walsingham.
Learns that he is in danger of losing his Honour's favour and the good opinion of the rest of the Council, but prays them to suspend their judgment until he comes to answer, which, God willing, shall be shortly.
Knows not the ground of his honour's displeasure, but guesses at two causes, viz: the one “for not paying of such credit as he has taken for her Majesty's service since his first employment on this side”; the other “for not discharging duty in both, and chiefly in victualling causes.
“Concerning the non-payment of my credit, that is much against my will (who have been also without pay above twenty months, yet all who dealt with me know that my pay and consequently theirs, must proceed from her Majesty's pay to her forces here. But for my own, when full pay was made in October was a year, I had never a penny thereof, and the thousand marks which I had of the Queen was taken from me and the debt owing me by her captains not paid; yet most of that 1000 marks were already employed for victuals delivered to English companies in Bergen, Ostend and other places; where the captains, being [at] first paid by her Majesty, were suddenly turned over to the States pay “a long while not known to them nor me,” and yet I commanded still to victual them; for which I still seek my pay and cannot get it.
The other may grow upon wrong informations made against me for not victualling the garrisons of Bergen and Ostend. I had 4000l. delivered me in June last for this purpose and began to make provision proportionately, which was not fully accomplished when my Lord of Leicester came last into these parts. When I repaired to him to know his pleasure, he asked if I had laid all up, and finding I had not, because of the difficulty of finding good cheese, he desired me to return the 2000l. not yet spent to the Treasurer, which I did, and received my acquittance. Thus the proportion of cheese did not answer to the bread corn and brewing corn, and when given out was finished a month before the other, and some of the corn remains at Ostend to this day. That the full value of 2000l. was laid up is shown “by the issue thereof, by the remainder and by the captains' bills … and yet no manner of waste, freight or other charges whatsoever yet reckoned; [so] as when the same shall be examined, I doubt not but my dutiful service will be better considered of.
“But I fear the malice of Sir Thomas Shirley … for he threatened me to my face that he would cross me as much as he might which he did whiles he was here, and it may be hath there fully kept his promise with me, but God forgive him …”
Two causes stirred him up against me; the one that I would not take upon me to victual the garrisons of Bergen and Ostend upon mine own means, by credit or otherwise; the other that I would not deliver to him the captains' bills that I had in my hands. He procured my Lord of Leicester to send for me, by whom I was further urged to be doing of it, saying that there was now no money, but I should be assured of good pay. I agreed to undertake it for two months, if I might have his warrant to the Treasurer for 3000l. to be paid out of the next treasure to come over, but to this offer, I received no answer at all; and some of the Council of State coming in, I withdrew. Sir Thomas followed me; and said his honour would give out no more warrants, as he intended to go into England. I asked what hope, in that case, I should have of pay; to which he angrily answered that I much forgot myself in refusing to do that service … which I should repent; with other sharp words interlaced with sweet persuasions; but I still refused, saying that if I undertook but could not perform it, I might endanger the towns, lose my credit, and hardly escape with my life. Upon this, he said I was not worthy to be her Majesty's victualler and the same day told Mr. Killigrew that I was but a bankrupt … with other disgraceful speeches, whereof Mr. Killigrew gave me warning, asking why Sir Thomas was so stirred against me, to whom I made a full rehearsal of the whole.”
As to Sir Thomas's other demand, he would have had all the captains' bills out of my hands, charged them upon their account, and made show as though he had paid all the rest of their entertainments, “and so stopped a great gap in his account, and not have paid me one penny for my bills, with which sinister dealing I have been pinched by Mr. Huddilston's deputies and yet feel the smart thereof” as I shall make appear on coming into England, which would have been before now, but that I bought some cheese by order of the Lord Willoughby promised to be paid out of the next money coming from England; but my lord told me he could not dispose of any part, “and so the credit by me taken unpaid, to my reproach.”
Herewith I send a catalogue of debts to me by captains, the sum whereof, 9000l. and odd, would answer my debt to the Queen and all that I owe, praying your favour that I may have allowance thereof, and so answer all my debts.
The chiefest point of this my tedious writing has been to satisfy your honour that I know not why I have fallen into your displeasure, and to pray you not to condemn me before I be heard, “or withdraw your favourable means to help me to mine, and my creditors unto theirs.”—Middelbourg, 24 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 3½ pp. very close writing. [Holland XXI. f. 235.]
Feb. 24. Sir James Crofte to Sir John Conway.
Has this night arrived at Dunkirk, from whence he means to go to Ostend so soon as he may learn by his honour's means that the provision which he has sent thither is arrived. The lords and the rest of the Commissioners were to embark this afternoon at the Downs, and will, he hopes, be with his honour before the receipt of this letter.—Dunkirk, 24 February, 1587, being Saturday.
Copy. Not one of the Conway papers. [Flanders II. f. 127.]
Feb. 24. Dr. Valentine Dale to Burghley.
“Having well considered the Pacification of Gaunt, the Union of Brussels following, with the King's edict thereupon, I find that the States at Brussels did all profess and solemnly promise to keep the Catholic Roman religion, against which Union and Edict the Prince of Orange and they of Holland and Zeeland did make a solemn protestation in writing; wherein they did object that the liberties of the country were not sufficiently provided for … neither the County Buren restored, nor sufficient provision for the avoiding of the Spaniards … yet not one word of protestation concerning the point of religion; whereby it cannot appear that the Prince of Orange or they of Holland and Zeeland did anyway mislike of the profession of the rest of the States at Brussels for the observation of the Catholic Roman religion; which always hath been taken commonly that they did. Furthermore, I find it objected against them of Holland and Zeeland by the King and the malcontents that they of Holland and Zeeland were present at the General Assembly of the States at Brussels, and thoroughly heard and yet concluded by plurality of voices touching that point of religion. Now if your lordship shall think good to make her Majesty privy to these two points, methinks it were not amiss; as well for her Majesty's satisfaction as for the better direction of her Commissioners….—Sandwich, 24 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley.pp. [Flanders II. f. 128.]
Feb. 25. G. de Prounincq (dit de Deventer) to Burgrave.
Has written often to him, and still more often to his Excellency, but without any reply. What the Estates and chiefs have lately been doing, his letters to his Excellency and Mr. Walsingham will show. Those of Medenblicq have made a sortie and killed several. Fama holds the West quarter, Villers the East; who could not bear arms against the King of Spain, yet now bears them for him against our confederates.
Bardesen is there also, and glories in visiting the fine trenches made to bring to reason those who have part in the wicked treason of Senoy, Cristal and Wolfinkel. [Margin. “Substancia verborum.”]
M. de Brakel's house has had the misfortune to be taken; mine will risk that of being burnt. For the Emperor says that de Brakel is the sworn enemy of his cousin the Count of Nassau. They hold the frontiers of Brabant so straitly that I cannot, in my poverty extract a single penny therefrom. And yet I linger, expecting on the one hand the worst from these threats of being killed, if God does not protect me, and on the other, that poverty will deprive me of the means to do service.—Utrecht, 25 February, 1588.
Postscript. Sending all the good lords and friends, especially the Sieur de Meetkerk and his wife, his affectionate greetings.
Holograph. Add.: “A Monsieur de Borchgrave, Conseilleur and Maitre de Requestes a sa Majesté. Endd. 26 February (in error). French. ¾ p. [Holland XXI. f. 237.]
Feb. 25. Sir Jamys Croft to Burghley.
Having been detained at Dover by an accident and then by the weather, he put to sea for Calais on the 24th, but in consequence of the wind, set ship course for Dunkirk, where he arrived in a great storm. A small boat out of Graveline followed their ship, supposing them to be victuallers, and thinking to make spoil of them, as some of Dunkirk did on the 23rd taking a quantity of beer and a boat laden with oysters; and within these few days, those of Dunkirk have also taken three hundred tuns of beer; wherewith he now fares the better. The bearer, his servant, will tell your lordship “how the pilferers be permitted to walk at liberty.”
He had, on the 20th, sent Morris to Calais, but his boat durst not go thither, therefore he has come hither. This commission was to pass by Calais, to seek help of the Governor there, that he [Croft] might pass to Gravelines and so to Dunkirk; and from thence Morris to go to Ostend, with Andreas de Loo's safe-conduct.
Thinking that thus the Governor would have had knowledge of his coming, and so having neither waftage or safe-conduct (this being with the Lords), the Governor, on learning who he was, very courteously gave order for his train to be well lodged; and himseft and his son with the best of his people, in his own house. He being very sick, went presently to bed, and after some rest, going to see the Governor's lady, found most of his servants at his honour's table, “with cap on head as if they had been gentlemen”; which his countrymen “will soon take upon them, dwelling near Wales.”
In the mean time, the Governor had made enquiry whether they had entered the haven by force of weather or otherwise; when he was told that a servant had been sent before, to give knowledge of their coming. And in truth (as before declared) he departed from Dover. Knows not what has become of him, but the loss of him (or of himself) “would content many an idle brain.
In the end, the Governor seemed to be very glad of his coming; “declaring that the Duke had four several times sent him express commandment to hearken for the Commissioners, and use all good compliments; and said that with all diligence he would advertise his Highness and the King's Commissioners of his arrival, and the coming of the rest to Ostend with the first prosperous wind. Affirming further that until now, there was no hope of the coming of her Majesty's commissioners; “whereat he, the townsmen, yea and all the men of war of any judgment, find the conveniency of peace to be preferred before war.”
Doubts whether he will find himself so welcome where he thinks himself best beloved, whereof the honour must be to her Majesty, and great comfort to himself that his opinion is like to take effect.
Presently after his arrival, he sent to Ostend, to know what was become of Morris and whether their stuff be yet come thither; and if so, will, God willing, on the morrow take his journey thither, whether their lordships be come or not.—Dunkirk, 25 February, 1587.
Postscript. Has now heard that the stuff is come to Ostend, therefore goes tomorrow to Newport, and so thither.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. extremely small, close writing. [Flanders II. f. 130.]