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, 26–29
Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
“With my evil head and sickly stomach … we arrived here this morning; where we found Andrea de Loo, who meaneth to write or go to the Duke to acquaint him with our arrival; he was desirous to know where the place of meeting should be. I answered that after our commissions were received and allowed of us and of them, their commissioners should know. We hear that Mr. Controller is landed at Dunkerke. I pray acquaint my Lord Treasurer with this, and that his son is safely arrived. He came in the Martin, only himself with his servant …, I pray you let my wife have this enclosed….”—Ostend, 26 February.
Postscript. “It is great pity that this garrison is not remembered with pay and garments (?)
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 132.]
Lord Derby to Walsingham.
Yesternight we all—saving Mr. Controller, whom we hear is arrived at Dunkirk—shipped at the Downs, where I supped with my Lord Admiral and had very honourable entertainment. “About ten of the clock we made sail, and with a prosperous wind … arrived here at ten of the clock in this forenoon; where Sir John Conwaye received us with great courtesy and gladness. We hear the Duke is at Brussels …
“We find here a number of very poor soldiers, who cry out for pay, having had none (as I learn by Sir John Conwaye) this sixteen or seventeen months; and therefore may you do well to put her Majesty and my lords in mind of them; for it importeth much that they be speedily relieved.
Apologises for not writing to the Queen or to the Lord Steward and Lord Treasurer. Sends the copy of a letter from Mr. Controller to Sir John Conwaye. Sir Henry Palmer who wafted them… very carefully, hasteneth away.—Ostende, 26 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 134.]
Occurents out of the Low Countries.
Count Maurice has landed men to besiege Col. Sonoy in Meydenblick, and sets out ships from Home to block him in. There are thought to be some 3000, under Marshal Villiers and M. Famars. Those of the town stand very constantly for her Majesty, as likewise the towns of Utrecht, Naerden, Camphere and Armew.
“The mutinies in Gertrudenberge, Huesden and Worcum are yet unappeased. They require four months' pay, and have already received some money in hand.
“Yorck is of late dead of the smallpox. Some say he was poisoned. All that he had gathered together was taken violently by the soldiers from his nephew; to whom by his will he had bequeathed his goods. Bouster, his lieutenant, slain, and others hurt in spoiling his house.”
Divers of the States use practices to make our nation odious to the people, who, however, are greatly devoted to her Majesty.
The Duke of Parma hath sent the Prince of Chimay to besiege Bonn, lately taken by Skenk. He complains greatly of want of money and divers defects amongst his men.
Endd. with date. 1 p. [Newsletters XLV. f. 14.]
Robert Cecil to Lord Burghley.
This morning Mr. Comptroller came from Newport. On his arrival at Dunkirk, he was lodged in the Governor's own house and feasted, with manifest tokens of their desire to have a peace, saying that now the lords were arrived (whereof they had doubted) they would have a solemn procession made with prayers for the renewal and confirming of the mutual intelligence between the two crowns, in all the towns upon that coast. “So as it may appear that these persons of quality and understanding desire a Peace … contrary to the libellous letter written by Worthington to one Captain Bostock, which letter was intercepted … by Sir John Conway, wherein he slanderously writeth that Darby, Cobham and Crofts are coming over to beg a peace at the Duke's hand, though they cannot be so blind as ever to think that they should obtain it. Hereby may be gathered that our greatest enemies are our own unnatural countrymen, who will leave neither practice nor slander unsearched to interrupt any good or quiet.”
They [the Commissioners] being now together, will first send to the Duke, to certify their arrival and give him thanks for his care for their good usage if forced “to put in short of their determined course.” as by Mr. Comptroller's treatment has manifestly appeared. Other matter, the messenger is not to deliver but rather to draw from the Duke when he will send his deputies, and for the place of meeting, to admit no dispute, as holding it certain that it will be Ostend, but to see if he himself will mention or make scruple of it, “which I assure your lordship by Andreas de Loo's speeches I suspect, for when I said … that the Queen had done the Duke honour enough to send persons of such quality to a place subject to so many wants and incommodities, he answered that this honour was no more than had already been done for less occasions by sending to Bruges, and if it were any honour, it was to the King, her Majesty's equal, and not to the Duke. But this was his conclusion; that between Ostend and Bruges some neutral place convenient was fittest to be thought of. By the answer their lordships shall have now from the Duke some more certainty shall be gathered, for whom it shall be expedient to be informed by one they may trust rather than still Andreas de Loo, whom they may suspect; “yet they still use him, alleging that their stay of him and sending of another was in order to employ him on a more important occasion, wherewith he is much contented.
“The party used is my cousin Spencer, who being now here at my lord of Darby's pleasure, is not to refuse either pain or peril, both which he shall encounter, especially carrying a mind to do her Majesty service … which made him content to go, and hindered me from staying him, who was as loth to leave my company as I to forego his.” He starts tomorrow morning for Brussels, with only a man of his own and a drum of Sir John Conway's.
The territory for six miles about this town is full of pheasants and partridges, who daily both fly into the town and are brought in by the solders. “A gentleman in our company hath a setting dog and a net, so as I doubt not to eat partridge this Lent of mine own taking, though I ask no leave of the lord of the soil for conscience sake.
“If my lady of Oxford were here her beauty would quickly be marred, for when we sit in our poor lodging by the fire, we look all as pale and wan as ashes by the smoke of our turfs, which makes me envy your lordship's porter, that sits all day by a sweet fire of sea coal in your lodge. Sed ferre quam sortem patiuntur omnes nemo recuset.—Ostend, 27 February, 1587.
Holograph. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 242.]
|Feb. 27./Mar. 8.||
The States General to the Queen. (fn. 1)
Deplore her opinion that they have proceeded harshly against those of Utrecht, and the Sieurs Sonoy, Grunevelt and others, and also against the excesses committed at Leyden. Ask her to believe their regret that for the last two years she and her Council have given more faith to those who knew not the country than to those born there, and who have, all through the wars borne themselves faithfully.
As to Utrecht, certain strangers, as the minister, Herman Modet, Gerard van Deventer, Henry Agileus and Jacques de Pottere (now dead) have for twenty-three months used violent proceedings to gain the government for themselves, turning the best patriots, out of their offices and have since moved heaven and earth to keep the said government. Against which they have done nothing but make representations to his Excellency and herself, to inform her so as to avoid the ruin of the country.
As regards Colonel Sonoy, he has not only broken his promise, but has prevented the governor of Holland from entering Medenblicq and has increased the garrison more than necessary, yet nothing has been done against him for a whole year, save the sending of commissioners and letters to bring him to reason. But he so practised that the garrison mutinied for discounts and full pay.
To support the mutiny, the Colonel drew up, signed and sealed a plot with Captains Cristal and Wolfenwincle (then in Medenblicq) which he sent into divers places where the men of his regiment hold garrison, to incite them also to mutiny. Moreover, the burghers and inhabitants of Medenblicq have been disarmed and forced to give the soldiers their full pay; the plat pays has been threatened with ruin and devastation, unless they would furnish them with money; and the said Colonel and garrison could not be induced to desist from these practices. To frustrate their ill design, it was needful to take steps to subdue them and avoid the ruin of the country.
They know of no proceedings against Groenvelt, though they have demanded from him and his captains a justification for the surrender of l'Escluze.
For the matter of Leyden they will only write what the banished men themselves have published; whereby they confess that they have held gatherings in which they determined to master the said city, and to usurp the authority of the magistrates; offences which in these countries are held to be capital.
And thus they doubt not but that her Majesty being clearly informed of all things, will interpret their proceedings favourably, and will not believe the ill reports made of them the rather that they can assure her that they will not only faithfully carry out the treaty made with her, but will humbly acknowledge all the benefits and favours bestowed by her for the preservation of their countries.
They pray her to give order that the governor of the succours granted them may employ them in the service of the country, as ordained by the Council of State, according to the treaty. And as some of the money of the countries, intended for payment of the charges of the war has been used for the advances made to the garrisons in the town and forts of the Brill, by reason whereof and because the countries have been overcharged these last two years for the raising of soldiers without their knowledge or consent, their state has fallen into such confusion that they have not known how to procure payment for so great a number of troops, they humbly beseech her Majesty to be pleased to take order for the relief of their countries, and to give their deputies a favourable answer.—The Hague, 8 March, 1588. Signed, Kamminga, president.
Add. Endd. French. 7 very closely written pages. [Holland XXI. f. 238.]
Lord Cobham to Burghley.
“Upon Mr. Controller's coming from Newport hither, it is resolved that Mr. Spencer shall tomorrow take his journey to the Duke of Parma, with these instructions hereinclosed. We have had some conference with Andrea de Loo, taking occasion upon two of his letters written unto us; the one from Brydges, the other from ‘Osteyn.’ In both those letters he writeth that at our coming we shall know more. In the letter of 14 e nel resto mi riservando a supplier de boccha a detta Osteynda and in the 17: stando il Duca dispostissimo per fare un buon accordo: si come al loro arrivo gli diro piu a largo: but having had conference with him this morning … he informed us of nothing but of compliments; which seemed strange unto me, who had seen divers of his letters written unto your lordship: che vengono gli deputati, and all should be well; which I do wish from the bottom of my heart. As I conceive by Andrea de Loo, their commissioners will hardly be drawn to Ostend; and there in neither church nor houses between this town and Odeynburghe or Newport that remain covered, or fit for us to meet. I send you a copy of a letter written by one Thomas Wordyngtoon, a priest, to one that lieth in the country not far from this town; and an abstract of another letter written in Dutch to the magistrates of Yper. I do recommend to your lordship the state of this garrison, to be presently relieved with money and apparel. The prest of money that they had ends this week, and victuals are very scant. What lack of food and necessity may compel them [to], I leave it to your lordship's good consideration. For many respects it is very necessary that two of her Majesty's ships did remain here with us as long as we shall remain here.
“My friend Mr. Cicel is well, and doth agree with the air. I pray let my lady of Bourghley know so much; to whom I mean to write by the next.—Ostend, 27 February.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1¼ pp. [Flanders II. f. 136.]
“A letter intercepted by the garrison of Ostend, taken from a boy of Sir William Stanley.”
“I thought to have one journey to Ypers and to you, [but] I have already been at Ypres, and must ask you to spare me till another time, as I am to ride with Captain Bostock to 'Lyle' to see George the prisoner,—removed thither from Newport, and so must defer my coming to you. “Lent will serve our turn, even as well as Shrovetide.
“For my journey to France, Sir William Stanley giveth me so cold leave that I will not use it at this time. He is in health and meaneth to be at Bridges shortly. He is or hath been at court.
“They say the English beggars of Peaux [qy. peace] will come certainly and very shortly, accompanied with 400 attendants; besides Derby, Cobham and Crofts. Amias Powlett is also adjoined in commission, that hard gaolor to the Holy Queen and Martyress. “Man [qy. on] muses they are so mad and shameless to sue for that they are impossible to obtain; but if they now be come so near an end of their tyranny as we hope and themselves fear, they will be blind indeed, and play more foolish pranks yet … Our Lord keep you; so shall you keep your castle the better.—27 February, 1588.
Endd. as headline; written in Cobham's hand. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 142.]
Instructions for Mr. Spencer.
Is to be ready this next morning to take his journey to the Duke of Parma, wherever he may be.
To signify the arrival of the Commissioners at Ostend, and their stay on the coast by reason of contrary winds.
To thank him for his honourable signification to them, by Andreas de Lo, of his desire to hear of their arrival; and for the good order taken by him at Graveling, Dunkirk, Newport and Sluys, for their good usage.
To signify to him that they hope he has also given commandment that the Commissioners of the King be in readiness to meet them with all convenient speed; and to ‘feel’ what he can from him which of them are assembled, and where.
To learn at Bruges or elsewhere as he passes, where the King's Commissioners are, which of them are assembled; and what speeches go abroad concerning the coming of the English Commissioners; of the Duke's inclination for peace, or his preparations for war.
If the Duke attempts to “feel” what their mind is, as to time or place or anything else, he is to pretend utter ignorance thereof.
At their departure, to know his pleasure and what service he will command them, to the English Commissioners.
Article afterwards added.
To give great thanks to the Duke, in all their names, and particularly in that of Mr. Controller, for his good entertainment at Dunkirk and Newport, as he came to Ostend. And to desire him to signify his good liking thereof to the King's lieutenants and officers there.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 138.]
Another copy of the same, but without the last Article.
Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. f. 140.]
Henry Killigrew to Walsingham.
Your honour's and her Majesty's letters came to me last night, when Lord Wyllughby arrived from Utrecht, and he and I are to meet this morning and confer for the best executing of her Majesty's designs, howbeit the letters come at a time when of the States General, four provinces of the six are departed to their principals; leaving only those of Holland and Friesland here; “who I doubt be not authorized to answer so weighty matters. Another impediment there is also; that the Council of State is weak, for there is but one for Gelders, one for Zeeland and one for Overissel; the rest having retired themselves because their year was expired, and would not continue their service any longer because they see so dangerous sequels. But those of Holland; I mean the States of the country, be assembled, with whom we may deal for Sonoy's causes and such like; because it toucheth them only and not the rest.”
Thanks for favour shown to his brother William.—The Haghe, 28 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XXI. f. 244.]
Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
“I greatly thank your honour for your letter and advertisements and other copies. I was lately with them of Camphere, and found them to continue very well affected unto her Majesty. At my being there, Count Maurice came out of Holland into these parts and is now at Midelbergh; who (as some think) came only to win them of Camphere by persuasions and means to follow him and the States again. The captains desire that order may be taken for their pay, if the States shall hereafter refuse to give them entertainment.” If so, your honour would do well to aid them, that they might be entered into her Majesty's pay. If assured of this, they seem to have no fear of any practice the Estates should use against them. I beseech you to be mindful of my requests, but especially for procuring of 30l. weekly loan towards my housekeeping. This place is so chargeable that without it I cannot continue here.
[Asks his furtherance for an office upon which Lord Grey lately dealt with Lord Warwick.]
I pray you hasten the pay for this garrison, for they endure great misery and I fear lest the Estates or some others, knowing their wants, should practise to corrupt them.
Col. Sonoy is besieged by Mr. Famas and Villiers, and if order be not taken from England for relief of the town and withdrawal of Count Maurice's forces, it will wholly discourage them of Terveere and all other places that rely upon her Majesty, and the good opportunity to bridle the Estates and to be revenged of their unjust dealing will be lost. Those of Armewe will run the same course that Terveere doth. I pray you, remember my Lord of Leicester to write to encourage them; for on my coming from Terveere, they wrote that they expected my coming to them in like manner. I have written to them again “to comfort them to proceed as they have begun.” The money and gold chains appointed for them of Terveere are not yet sent. I pray you, hasten them over.—Vlisshing, 28 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 246].
The Earl of Derby to Walsingham.
We shipped at the Downs on Sunday evening last, and arrived here next day about nine in the forenoon. Mr. Controller came to us yesterday. We have heard nothing from the Duke or his commissioners, wherefore we have this morning despatched Mr. Spencer, “my lord Treasurer's man” [sic] to the Duke at Brussels, to give him knowledge of our arrival, and thanks for the courteous entertainment Mr. Controller had at Dunkirk and Newport, which proceeded upon his letters [to the port towns] commanding we should have been in like sort received, if we had arrived in those places; as we understand by Andrea de Looe, who is with us here.—Ostend, 28 February, 1587.
I send you “the copy of a lewd letter intercepted by the Governor of this town, and written by one Worthington, a Lancashire man whom we take to be a priest, brother to Worthington of Blaynscowe.”
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders II. f. 144.]
|Feb. 28./Mar. 9.||
F. Granville de Perrenot [Sieur de Champigny] to M. Augustin de Villanueva, Madrid.
“Selon les nouvelles qu 'on at icy d'Espagne, je tiens que M. de Maches serat allé vers l'armée; et pour cela ne luy escris-jé; n'y n'ay encor fait debvoir envers le seigneur Don Juan d'Idiacques pour ce que la goutte me persecute tousjours. Si que le Prince Conte d' Aremberghe partit lundy d' icy par commandement de Monseigneur le Duc de Parma, pour s'advancer, d' autant qu 'il y avoit nouvelles que les Deputez d'Angleterre estoient arrivez en noz costes; mais n'en voyant aultre confirmation, j'espere que j'arriveray encor a temps, ne l'ayant peu accompagner pour ma dite indisposition. Combien que si je doibs dire vray, je ne serois marry que les premiers coups se ruassent en mon absence; afin qu'ils demandent avec les Hollandois et le Roy de Dannemarck (que l'on veult dire y at aussi un deputé) la sortie des Espagnols de pardeça, on ne die comme on fit quand je fus en Angleterre que je le leur auroye mis en teste, autant faussement que cela estoit tres veritable, qu 'ayant tenu a Utrecht le pied qu'il convenoit pour conserver l'autorité du Roy partout, et donné fort bon advis au feu Grand Commandeur pour desbastir cette demande, quand Saint Aldegonde, prisonnier, allat trouver le Prince d'Oranges, sur hostages qu'il me fit avoir, le dit grand Commandeur (ayant failly au siege de Leyden, comme je le lui avois predit), sans m'en participer chose aucune, offrit la retraicte des Espagnols a Breda; de quoy je fus fort esbey lors qu'il me le dit, et que je vis confondu tout ce que j'avois preservé pour avoir S. Excellence fait mettre la faulx en ma moisson a aultres qui ne scavoient ny n'estoient informez comme ny a quelle fin je l'avois semé, tellement que je luy demanday, estant appellé au Conseil sur ce fait, qu'il nous fit veoir en quelle forme le Roy entendoit qu' on traictat. Ce que nous dit si confusément, sans nous en montrer chose aucune que la lettre fut conceue pour le Roy, hors de la pluralité des voix de cette assemblæ punctuellement, comme ledit Grand Commandeur l'avoit ordonné tres expressement. De laquelle je sçay fort bien le tort que l'on procurat a ceux qui de plus pres avoient noté les faultes qu' il avoit commis, a tres grand prejudice du Roy a l'abbouchement de Breda; ce qu' en particulier je luy avois fait toucher au doigt, quand il me le communicat; mais il les sçavoit fort bien excuser lors qu'il les avoit apperçeu, les rejectant sur aultruy, tesmoin Don Alonço de Vargas, qui le luy dit une fois en plein Conseil ou j'etais. Et comme il me commandat, allant en Angleterre de remectre les affaires de la paix, si je pouvois, au mesme train de Breda; je les advantageus si avant, qu' en premier lieu la Reine me donnat la parole, persuadée par les raisons que je luy meuz que concernoient son estat propre qu' elle n' entreviendroit jamais ou l'on requit le Roy d' admectre aultre exercise de Religion a ses vassaulx que tel que lui plairoit leur imposer; et astheure encores j'ay forgé sur ceste enclume. Et quoy qu' elle me dit que le Roy, a son intervention ne pouvait moings accorder a ceux d'Hollande et Zellande qu' on ne leur avoit offert de sa part de gayeté de coeur, si luy fis je moderer beaucoup le poinct des Espagnols et l'eut lon davantage, tellement trouvois je la matiere disposée, si on heut peu passer ceste negociation la oultre; du moins il ne s'y fut rien faict qu' avec beaucoup plus d'auctorité et liberté de nostre Roy, que le grand Commandeur n'avoit permis a Breda, De maniere que n'heussent esté ces umbres des calomnies dont l'on m'at voulu brouiller du passé, j'avois fort bien moyen sans rien adventurer de l' auctorite ny reputation, ny de sa Majesté ny de Monseigneur le Duc de Parme, de desgrosser et recongnoistre tout ce qu' on heut peu attendre et esperer asseurement a present du cousté de cette Royne. Car j'eu demandé passer plusieurs mois voire un an saulfeconduict pour aller a certains baings qu' ils ont en Angleterre, (fn. 2) fort propre pour la goutte, sans prendre aucune commission d'icy qui ce que son Altesse de bouche m' heut déclaré de son intention. Mais ce que j'ay dit, et pour dire la verité les mauvaises correspondences et superficielles de noz ministres m'ont retenu de proposer ce moyen, et les diffidences que je voy on at possible plus grandes des gens de bien et synceres que des plus mechans, par ou tous noz affaires sont tousjours allez et vont encor un tel chemin que si Dieu miraculeusement n'y l'eut pourveu, et le faict encores, je ne scay en fin quelle en heut esté et serat l'issue.
“Le Conte de Cantecroix est venu icy dois sambedy, avec resolution (me dit l'on) qui ne me contente nullement; s'il me croit, il ne ferat chose qui ne convienne a son honneur et a cette saison; puis que tout le monde s'appreste aux armes; ores que je tiens avec tous ceux ausquels je parle (qui ont quelque sens) de toutes nations, l'autre voye seroit le meilleure. Je suyvray celle qu' on me commanderat. Priant le Createur qu' on choisisse la plus convenante, et qu' il vous doint en santé heureuse et longue vie….”—D'Anvers, ce ix de Mars, 1588.
“Don Alonso d'Idiacques est comme confine en ce chasteau. Je ne l' ay encores veu, … Les piques que je voy entre nos Italiens et nos Espagnols me font encore craindre plus de mal que je n'ose dire. Si le temps le permest, je vous diray de main en main…”
Signed. Add.: “a Monsieur Augustin de Villanueva, en la maison [de] Mr. de Maches, a Madrid.”
Endd. 3¼ pp. [Flanders II. f. 146.]
The Earl of Derby to Burghley.
[On their voyage, arrival, and the coming of Sir James Croft.] We have heard nothing from the Duke of Parma or any of the Commissioners, and have to-day despatched Mr. Spencer, your lordship's servant, to the Duke at Brussels, to give him knowledge of our being here and to thank him for the courteous entertainment Mr. Controller had at Dunkirk and Newport; proceeding from the Duke's letters [to the seaports]; “commanding we should have been in like sort received, if it had happened that any of us should have arrived in those places, whereof we understood by Andrea de Loo, presently with us.—Ostend, 28 February, 1587.
Postscript. In one of your letters, “you think good our meeting here should be in a church on the south side of the town, which is altogether ruinous and without glass.
“Your son, Mr. Cecil doth still so orderly carry himself as is specially well liked both of me and the rest.” Sends copy of Worthington's brother's letter of Blanschowe', a Lancashire man whom we took to be a priest, and one great with Sir William Stanley. (fn. 3)
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 148.]
|Feb. 29./Mar. 10.||
Count Maurice to Walsingham.
Knowing his honour's affection to those countries, and how much it imports to preserve what God has planted there, he implores him to consider of the means for so doing, and to believe that what he has written to her Majesty and his Excellency is most true. Informs him once again thereof, in acquittance of his duty, for, but for these disturbances, he should have hoped to establish some fitting order there, which at present he is prevented from doing.
Nevertheless, he does not see that M. ‘Roussal’ can do other than guard his place, and believes he will do it well; but if the enemy were to land in this isle, Count Maurice cannot fight him, not being able to put a man into the country without augmenting the evil, which he does not wish to do. But it grieves him to the heart that this fine island, for which his father fought, may be thus miserably lost, and thereafter so many evils fall upon the country. Will do what he can by sea, but although he trusts his captains and soldiers, yet not being able to quarter them either on the sea or land in suitable places, he fears some ill consequence may ensue, which he hopes may not be imputed to himself, he having done all devoir possible to him. Trusts in his honour's wisdom and friendship to seek all means for the remedy hereof.—Middelborch, 10 March, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson “Touching the matter of difference between him and Sir William Russell. For lodging of his companies in some of the towns of the Isle in their retreat from their service on the seas.”
French. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXI. f. 251.]
Lord Wyllughby to the Lord Treasurer.
Acknowledges favour. On receipt of her Majesty's letters he presently repaired hither, to deal effectually with what he has in charge; but as the Council of State desist from meeting, and the General Estates (save very few) are absent, he cannot use the expedition he expected, yet will perform his best endeavours.
Has sent Colman to Count Hollock with her Majesty's letters, being informed “that he standeth staggering, and in some hard conceit against the States; and somewhat disallowing the courses practised against Snoy; which supposition, if it prove true, may be to good purpose for the present service … at this instant falling into extreme calamities.”
The weekly lendings, which (by his computation) would have satisfied nine weeks, have not served above six and he is forced to strain his credit to relieve the companies in Utrecht. Where the fault is, his lordship may examine, and how greatly the necessity requires speedy redress he prays him to judge. For himself (“whose daily occasions urgeth great expenses”) he doubts not that his lordship will be careful not to leave him to sustain continually the accustomed hard fortune incident to men professing arms.
Within few days will deliver largely what shall succeed betwixt himself and the States; and of all other occasions that may happen.—The Hague, last of February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 253.]
|Feb. 29./Mar. 10.||
Count Maurice to the Queen.
Some days ago there happened disturbances in this state, of which her Majesty will be informed by the Sieur Ortel, and which may lead to very unhappy confusions, only to be prevented if speedy remedy be provided, and this chiefly by authority of her Majesty. For the enemy is so near, with such strength and great preparations, that if all their forces were assembled together, it would be very difficult to make head against him. But as it is, such suspicions and distrust have been bred that if the enemy should meet with no hindrance in the plat pays, he would soon make an end of certain towns; which could only be prevented by a common agreement of the governor of Flushing and himself. Will not fail to urge him to a good correspondence, as he has already done, but humbly prays to know her good pleasure; for all the means which God has given him will be willingly employed in her service.—Middelborch, 10 March, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1½pp. [Holland XXI. f. 255.]
Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
Excuses brevity; will write more largely, after conference with the States. Prays that money may be sent to relieve the poor soldier, “whose misery will soon appear very great now the lendings are expired, if present remedy be not used.”—The Hague, the last of February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 257.]
Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Since writing my last, “those of Armewe have thrust forth the horsemen of the Estates, and have sent this morning the Captain of the town to show me how well they are affected to her Majesty.” He and his company desire to be entered into the Queen's pay, fearing the States will deny them the same. Those of Terveere have thrust forth two of the chiefest of that town, suspecting their good meaning towards her Majesty. I pray you procure her to write to them of Armewe. The whole island rests well affected to her, and they come to me from all parts to show their desire to be governed by her, “although the Estates and Count Maurice persuade them this treaty of peace will be their utter undoing. In mine opinion, there was never better opportunity for her Majesty to do good here than now, with like means to be revenged of them that have crossed this action. But I beseech your honour in any wise to procure means for the relieving of Colonel Sonoy and that place, otherwise it is to be doubted all will fall away again.” Also to further the sending over of pay, as our soldiers are greatly discontented by reason of their wants.—Flushing, 29 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 259.]
|Feb. 29./Mar. 10.||
Sir William Russell to the Captains of Camphere.
Although they daily find that mortal war is waged against good patriots and the most faithful servants of her Majesty and his Excellency, as is shown by the affair of Leyden and the present siege of Medenblicq, he prays them not to allow themselves to be persuaded by those who are against her Majesty and their country, but rather to aid and preserve it, for the public welfare and their holy religion etc. This doing, they will always find him, in case of need, their very good friend to aid them, and should they wish him to write in their favour to her Majesty and his Excellency, he will not fail to do so.—Flushing, 10 March [n.s.], 1588.
Copy. Endd. French. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 261.]
Thomas Lovell to [Walsingham.]
I have received a letter out of Friesland of which I send your honour a copy enclosed. It seems that this province is and will be at her Majesty's and his Excellency's command; for they have not received the communion this half year for the controversy that was amongst them for his Excellency's government; but as now they are concluded and resolved for the same, God be praised. And the news for this place is that the General States are separated the one from the other, and every one to his province, these of Holland and Friesland excepted. Those of Gelderland, Overisell, Utrecht and Styght departed about fourteen days past, and those of ‘Sealand’ as yesterday in the afternoon; and the ‘County Mowris’ came back from the besiege of Medenblyck upon Thursday last, and upon the Saturday following took his passage towards Sealand, for the controversy which was at Tervere troubleth him very much.
“He had left before Medenblyck the old Marshal Villiers and Femoye; and the said Villiers came hither upon Sunday last and left Femoye there with six companies of soldiers; and the horsemen which County Mowris had there be come back as yesterday hither, and hath left those six companies within two sconces which County Mowris with his Council caused to be made upon the two ditches, which one of the sconces is between the two saltkettles very near the town. And one of the borowmasters of Horne did tell me yesterday that they were minded to make ready six ships from Enckusen, well appointed with soldiers in them, to overcome the town of Medenblicq suddenly if they could find opportunity; which I hope God will prevent.”
Yesterday forenoon, one of County Hohenloe's gentlemen came to me by procurement of one of his Council, to have conference with me concerning his Excellency's government here, and amongst divers speeches, “there passed these words as concerning the ‘besiege’ of Medenblick: the said Count Philip Hohenloe did take bread and salt, and swore that he did never give any consent unto it, but counselled County Mowris with the States of Holland to the contrary; further committing himself unto her Majesty and his Excellency at all times to be at their command, craving pardon of all forepast offences by him offered unto his Excellency; and not he alone to be at her Majesty's and his Excellency's commandment but all his strength and power at all times; confessing that he was the man that would confess and bring to knowledge unto me or unto any other who they were of the States and other particular persons, of all such difficulty and controversy as was between his Excellency and him; he hoping to have his Excellency here in better authority of government, which he will maintain with life, blood and goods. And whiles I was writing of this letter, his counsellor, named Monsieur Harman Hackard sent for me unto the County of Hohenloe's house, being the house of Wassyner in the Hague, where I would not and did not go without the advice of Mr. ‘Killigray’ …
I going unto him, demanded his pleasure, who very friendly entertained me, and did avouch to me as much or more than the afore-named gentleman told me, saying that it was his lord's pleasure to have me write unto his Excellency's protesting before God that he would come to her Majesty at all times if it did please her to write unto him … or otherwise, if her pleasure were that he should withdraw himself out of this country he will willingly obey, … or to be under her service in what order it shall please her. And further, the counsellor did give me to understand that there were certain of the States who had these words one with another: that if they did not seek means to set debate between his Excellency and the County Hohenloe, they could not keep the secrets of the land unknown from his Excellency; so this secret policy of the States by his honour's means will come to knowledge in time, which I pray God bring to good effect; and if it please your honour to employ me in this case or any other, I am at all times ready to do you the best service I can.—The Hague, 29 February, 1588.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 262.]
C. Pebsevall to Thomas Lovell.
I marvel I have not heard from you since my departure. Write to me how all things stand in England, as well with his Excellency as otherwise. I am almost at a point with the States here to receive my money through the recommendations of the magistrates of our town; and great friendship is offered me, which, if I thought things would not go well in England I would not refuse.
I have no great news to write. “About the mids of March shall the Lands day be gathered here together … and if there were any hope of certain of his Excellency's good success and coming, I could stir the plot, where through, the Earl should be set off. There is a matter a-brewing if we had a certain back to lean unto, but they do see that his Excellency do leave men in the briars that they be half-afraid.” Nevertheless, I give them all the comfort that may be. If you would have me do anything in the matter which my lord ambassador willed me to do, write me your mind, for now is the time. “The Earl is amended of his sickness and his leg is healed up, the which I fear will cost him his life … The President do sit still in his house and I think shall do until the Landsday yet nevertheless here is a piece of work in hand which will be done this next week about him. I pray God give good success unto it…
I pray you tell Jost van Cleve that Abraham is dead. And if any letters come for me, send them. “There be always bodes [messengers] of Friesland with the General States.
Dated at the top. “Laus Deo, in Harlinghen, 17 February, stilo vetere, 88.
Memo. “The superscription was in Dutch in this manner verbatim:—Desen brief sal men geven den vroemen, wysen en zeer disckreeten Joncker, Tomas Lovell wonende in den Hage."
Copy. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 263.]
Extract of two letters from Thos. Lovell, at the Hague.
Feb. 18, 1587 [at page 103 above]; Feb. 29, 1587 [at page 141 above.]
Endd. 1½ pp. [Newsletters XLV. f. 13.]
The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
Stating that they have written to Lord Willoughby, asking for his opinion, “upon conference with other the particular governors, touching the cessation of arms, according to her Majesty's instructions”; but have not yet received answer.
They have also dispatched Mr. Spenser to the Duke to give notice of their arrival, with thanks for the honourable order taken by him for their good using “on this coast” and “instructions to learn whether any of the Commissioners for the King be assembled, as also to feel how the Duke is inclined touching the meeting at this town. They have also conferred with Andreas de Loo, reminding him of his letters promising “to declare more matter by mouth” at their coming.
“He referreth himself to his letters written into England and specifieth no other particular matter … saving that the Duke said unto him that there had been some mistrust conceived of his good meaning in this treaty of peace; wherein he would not any farther affirm anything by speech, but required only to be judged by his deeds, as he should hereafter proceed in his actions.
“We have also required Andrew de Loo to show us his particular memorials which he hath kept from time to time; as we hear by outward demonstration of very great liking of our coming. Yet notwithstanding, we gather both by Andreas de Loo and otherwise by great conjectures that the King's commissioners will not be induced to come to any meeting at this town; upon which point if they should precisely stand—forasmuch as, motion being made by Andrea de Loo for a cessation of arms before her Majesty's Commissioners come hither; the Duke made answer (as it appeareth by letters of Andreas de Loo) let the Queen's Commissioners come, and then speak of cessation of arms.
“And forasmuch as M. Champagney and President Richardot have given out speeches of cessation of arms to be granted at the arrival of her Majesty's commissioners; it may please your lordships that her Majesty's good pleasure may be known, whether it may be convenient (if the King's Commissioners do precisely refuse to come to Ostend) that it be moved by some person whether the Duke will be contented to grant a cessation of arms before there be any meeting; with signification that … then her Majesty's commissioners will be contented to come to Bourbouroughe, or other convenient place; whereby this difficulty … may be avoided and the duke's mind thoroughly sounded, and if he do condescend to a cessation of arms, whether … we may agree upon Bourbouroughe or any other place for our meeting.” And if the duke stick upon both points, it will be a great argument to discover his meaning in the whole matter. We pray your lordship to learn her Majesty's pleasure, and to certify us thereof with all expedition.
Draft. Endd. with date. 6 pp. [Flanders II. f. 150.]
Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
I wrote by Sir Henry Palmer, on the 26th, of our arrival, and on the 28th more at length by John Legeynt who came with me. Within sight of this town, he was chased; what is become of him I know not.
Today we hear from Mr. Spencer that he was at Bruges, ready to take horse to ‘Gaynt,’ and so to Brussels. Of the comissioners we hear nothing.
“I pray you move her Majesty for money and apparel for the garrison of this town. It is most lamentable to see their poor estate … a great number naked, no victuals to be had, for that they have no money. We do relieve them that we can … Osteyn, 29 February.
Postscript. Of nine captains having charge in this town, five have been absent many months. “The three soldiers that remain prisoners at Dover are very bad persons. Meryk ran away at Berk; Peacock and Beasley ran away at ‘Disboroy’ This Peacock hath run three sundry times away to the enemy.”
Signed. Add. Endd. [Flanders II. f. 154.]
Robert Cecil to his Father.
A drum of the enemy's brought a letter this morning from my cousin Spencer, certifying his arrival at Bruges, by the help of M. Bergirot, governor of Odenborch, of whom he had some few soldiers for his safety, learning that many scattered freebooters kept in the passage between Bruges and that town. M. La Motte is at Bruges, who caused him courteously to be provided of post horse towards Ghent; where he learned the Duke was arrived.” The drum was well-treated according to his quality; he was nevertheless sufficient of understanding,” as his answers showed.
“I have by this bearer written to divers of my friends, but neither have nor mean to touch the cause in hand otherwise than as an ordinary advertisement of things known to everybody, and not subject to mistaking…
Mr. Controller is in his health but crazy, though not sick, this having proved a cold journey for his old years. Mr. Dale hath sent me some of his books of Treaties, which help me to spend my time not altogether idly. I have written to the Earl of Oxford and pray that my lady his wife may send it to him.—Ostend, 29 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. “For my lord my father.” Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 156.]
Compendium of the Peace Negotiations between England and Spain to the last of February.
1. In December. 1585, I first broached this matter to the Lord Treasurer.
2. In May following Mr. Controller spoke to me about it and I went to Venlo where I found that the duke had already written to her Majesty.
3. On the reply coming from England I went to the camp before Berck where the duke would not give me audience because of the affair of Bodnam and Graffigna.
4. After three months the duke relented and agreed to renew the business, with which I went to England in November.
5. Returning to Brussels I wrote a letter on the 26th Dec. upon which the duke answered the queen's letter and she replied, saying, among other things, that she would prefer the duke to be minister for any peace because of her confidence in him.
6. I showed him the articles claimed by her Majesty and got him to write to the queen, leaving to her the choice of the place of meeting.
7. The queen in reply referred to religion, to which the duke objected and said he would not write any more to the queen.
8. At my solicitation he relented, but when the letter was ready he heard from the king of the damage done by Drake in Spain, entirely upsetting the business, and the duke went to Sluys very ill pleased with me.
9. Yet I stayed on at Antwerp and wrote to the queen, and I was asked if the duke was still well disposed and ready to treat with deputies. I wrote to the duke who said he wished to speak with me.
10. At the camp near Sluys he gave me confirmation of his good will, which I sent to the Treasurer.
11. The Treasurer and Controller wrote for a passport and said the deputies would come at once, assembling at Berghes op Zoom.
12. After the safe conduct was sent, Sluys surrendered and I asked the duke to cease hostilities; as he did upon the hope of the deputies coming.
13. Some time after the Treasurer wrote for another safe conduct, with assurances that the negotiations would begin before Michaelmas.
14. The safe conduct was sent, but Michaelmas passed without any news of the deputies. So I took leave of the duke who was very ill pleased at the time lost.
15. At Calais a post reached me from the duke saying that the duke wished to speak with me before I crossed.
16. When I returned the duke spoke to me of his great desire for peace, and at my instance he wrote to the queen.
17. When I reached Ghent I met Mores with letters for the duke about her Majesty's decision to send deputies; so I returned to the duke, who said it was high time. He could not wait any longer. There was no real desire for an accord. But if they wished it they must act quickly as he could not keep his great army idle. He went off, in a rage, to Ghent.
18. I went after him to Bruges, where letters arrived from the Treasurer announcing that the deputies would go to Ostend and asking for another safe conduct.
19. The duke objected to this manner of treating and went off to Antwerp.
20. I wrote urging a reply to the queen's demands, with a declaration from the Council upon the three points proposed by her Majesty.
21. Mr. Pyne came later from the commissioners, who informed the duke that Ostend did not suit them, but some place where he commanded, which he should approve. This was granted.
22. Then came word that the deputies were ordered by the queen to go to Ostend. This alteration seemed strange to the duke and the president, but I excused it.
23. The next morning when I went to take leave of the duke he asked me to go and welcome them in his name and say he would be glad to see them where they could treat, and if they were as well disposed as they would find him, he had no doubt they would speedily reach an accord. I desire peace more than any one, said he, with other kindly words.
24. As regards the place of meeting I said the English at times had wished it near Ostend. To which he replied, When you know their mind, what is necessary will be done. Meanwhile he ordered his deputies to go to Bruges, himself staying at Ghent.
25. When the duke saw that the queen wished him to be the minister for this business, he wrote about it to the king and induced him to grant so much, so the duke will take part as a neutral prince and mediator, to show the queen his desire to serve her.
In de Loo's hand, with some notes by Burghley. 2¾ pp. Italian. [Flanders II. f. 166.]
Memorandum endorsed “The present state of the garrison within Ostend.”
The soldiers are behind from Oct. 12, 1586, until this dav, Feb. 27, 1587.
They have received lendings from 12 April, 1587, unto this present February.
Slip of paper. [Ibid. f. 143.]
Note of the entertainment of the officers at Flushing and the Brill; viz. the Governor, Marshal, Provost Marshal, clerk of the munition, water bailiff, master gunners, ranging from 3l. per diem for the governor down to 2s. for the gunners, and forty attendants etc., at 8d. per diem. Total cost per diem, 5l. 16s.; per annum 2117l.
Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXI. f. 100.]
Note of moneys due to Lord Willughby.
Due to him as Colonel of the Infantry at 4l. per diem, from June 15 to Dec. 7, 1587, “the day my Lord Steward [Leicester] embarked.” More if he be allowed 6l. per diem from Dec. 8, to 11 Feb., 1587 … 1072l.
But he never received more than 800l.
Also due to him for his horse and foot companies on 11 October last … 683l. 5s. 4d.
“And these said companies, since that time, have had only the ordinary lendings.”
Added by Burghley: “Mr Treasurer saith that he hath paid him 300l. out of the last prest of 10,000l. since January.” Signed, Thomas Sherley.
Endd. “Mr. Coleman for the Lord Treasurer.” 1 p. [Ibid. f. 117.]
Another copy of the same, but without the note by Lord Burghley.
Below, written by Sherley: “There hath been paid to his lordship 300l. of the last 10,000 upon his own entertainment, more than the 800l. aforesaid. Also his lordship had an imprest of 200l. by the favour of his Excellency embarked for England.”
Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 118.]
“Specification of that which sundry burgesses and townsmen or inhabitants of Flushing have by oath affirmed, on the latter end of the month of February, 1587, to be due unto them by Mr. Richard Wingefelde or those of his company and which he hath promised to pay, or whereupon men hath begun to pay by his consent.”
[The first item runs as follows.]
“Catherine Jans, widow of Peter Jacobson, late porter of this town, and slain by a soldier of the company … by reason whereof Sir Philip Sidney of worthy memory had ordained unto the said widow a pay in the said company, for rest of seven pays, whereof the last was due the 12 November, 1586, at 10 gildrens per month, and six pounds Flemish for the surgeon, resteth 14l. 6s. 8d.
[There are two lists of moneys due, with no details given.]
First list. 23 names. Total, 378l. 18s. 2d.
Second list. Due to divers burgesses, names not given. 127l. 8s. 1d.
Endd. 2¾ pp. [Ibid. f. 266.]
Specification, as above, due by Captain Averie Randolph and his company. Total, 564l. 17s. 9d.
Due to other burgesses, … 111l. 5s. 9d.
Endd. 2¾ pp. [Ibid. f. 268.]
“A true copy of the account of Garthrud Hendricks of Flushing, delivered to Sir Thomas Sherley by Peter Paillie.”
For victuals etc. delivered to the companies of Capt. Wingefeild and Capt. Randolph, 686l. 15s. 9d.
Due to divers other citizens, 84l. 3s. Total, 770l. 18s. 9d. sterling.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 270.]
“A note delivered unto Secretary Walsingham to confer with Sir Thomas Sherley upon the same.”
1. Concerning money for clothing, to be imprested on a new reckoning, and moneys to be sent, or already sent for reckonings. Also, moneys to be now paid to creditors; the best way to provide present relief “for those that have most need and ought soonest to be respected, viz. the soldier, the creditor, and such as are cashiered,” and an additional 1000l. to be added to the 1000l. already passed by privy seal for “a staple of victual for Flushing.”
2. “The names of such as are cashiered, with the sums of money due unto them,” viz. :—Sir John Norris; Giles Raynesford, serjeant-major of Brill; Provost Spencer; Sir Thomas Cecil, Captains Carsey, Wilson, Price and Sir Roger Williams. Total, 5083l. 18s. 4d.
Endd. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXI. f. 272.]
Reasons why her Majesty of England (under correction) ought not to go further in the treaty of peace with the King of Spain.
It is manifest that the King of Spain is endeavouring to aggrandise himself more and more and make himself monarch of all Christendom, under the title of Defender of the Catholic Roman Religion.
For this cause he has waged the long war with his subjects of the Low Countries, spending millions of gold without being willing to yield the least point in regard to the Religion.
And having solemnly avowed the Peace made in 1576 at Gand, which was also approved by the theologians of the University of Louvain, he has since revoked it by the late Baron de Selles, at the conference held at Mechlin in 1578.
And now, he will not grant the least point in favour of the Religion; at least in regard to the free exercise thereof; without which those professing it can have no safety. [Further discourse on this subject.]
The papists being everywhere put into the Governments, Estates and offices, and having ordered matters according to their will, he will attempt some new war against England, Germany and other parts either under the said pretext of the Religion or some other,
The King of Spain being in quiet possession of Belgium, and able to command Holland and Zeeland no prince in Christendom will be able to resist him; since for the absolute mastery at sea, he lacks nothing save the use of the harbours, ships and seamen of Holland and Zeeland.
And her Majesty should bear in mind the treacherous practices of the said King many times against her person and the estate of her kingdom, when he had not such opportunities as now. Against which, the nearness of Holland and Zeeland is of great service to her, and without this bulwark she could have no assurance of safety for the future.
Capitulations afford no security against such might as that of the King of Spain, joined with his determination to execute his said designs, to which he would be daily pressed by the Pope, who is ready at any time to absolve him from his promises and oaths.
And as to the Princes who would be willing to bind themselves for the safety of this country, the said King would trouble himself very little about them, when he had established himself firmly in the Low Countries; knowing that none of these princes would be ready to take up arms against him, however they might be bound to do so; or at least they could not carry on a war for long, and also that several princes joined together against one very powerful one, have seldom been able to execute any great matter, by reason of the discord which easily arises amongst confederates who have to do with one powerful prince who has the means of corrupting first one and then another, either by money or by arms. It is true that the said King cannot, in the course of nature live long; but if he does so for three or four years, his son, who is now fourteen or thereabouts will be ready to take up the government, who, being trained in the same school, will not fail to follow in the track of his father's footsteps….
Wherefore it would be the best and surest way, both for the people of these Low Countries and for her Majesty to continue in arms, in order to see what change God may bring about, it may be by the death of the King of Spain during his son's minority; or according to the issue in France or otherwise. Yet it is desirable that she may decide (seeing that the Estates of these provinces no way like this proposal of peace) to continue not only the succour which she has promised by her treaty with the said provinces, but rather to increase the same the better to make head against the forces of the said King in those countries.
Or at least, if her Majesty did not wish to increase the succours already promised, she might decide to supply Don Antonio, King of Portugal with the means to enable him to re-enter his kingdom and make war against the King of Spain, both by land and sea, supposing her Majesty wished to do so—openly or underhand—through Sir Francis Drake and other individuals who would undertake it. In which case it is assuredly understood that the States of these provinces, notwithstanding all their charges, would provide such aid of ships, mariners and other necessary things as they possibly could; besides private persons who will arm ships at their own risk to injure the said King of Spain, if they see that the business is taken up in good earnest.
Whereby the queen will win great honour, and it is likely that the true religion will take root in Spain, where many view the abuses of the clergy and the tyranny of the Inquisition with horror, and the pope would thus lose the support of the King of Spain and the world be delivered from papal tyranny, which is unlikely while the House of Spain remains so powerful, and no means seems so likely to effect this as the enterprise of Portugal.
Endd. Feb., 1587. 3¼ pp. Fr. [Flanders II. f. 158.]
“Docquet of the parcels of the Commissioners' dispatch.”
Their commission, passport and Instructions.
Heads to show that the troubles between the King of Spain and her Majesty proceeded from that King. Marked A.
Points objected by the King against her Majesty. Marked B.
Answer to his calumnies. Marked C.
Collection of divers things to prove the King of Spain hath been acquainted with the practices for the invasion of England. Marked D.
Copies of the treaty between her Majesty and Don Sebastian King of Portugal, 1576; of the declaration sent into Spain by Mr. Waad; and the treaty between her Majesty and the States of the United Provinces.”
Endd. Feb., 1587. ½ p. [Flanders II. f. 160.]
“A device how her Majesty may yearly save twenty thousand pounds during her wars in the Low Country.”
1. By “altering the rates [of payment] into Flemish money.
2. “Enhancing of her Majesty's ‘quoins’” there; i.e. that “whereas the English shilling is now current for 10 stivers Flemish, the same to be called up to 12 stivers, as it was from 9 to 10 at the first coming of the Lord General into those countries by proclamation in Holland; and was afterwards increased to 11 stivers … until by order from the General Council, the same was established at ten.”
Besides the benefit to her Majesty, this enhancing “will be a special good means to draw back all manner of gold out of the enemy's countries (being proportionably rated to the silver), and being equal with the silver (and at no higher rate) it will be a good means to draw home our English gold.”
Endd. by Burghley's clerk. 1 p. [Holland XXII. f. 13]
Document endorsed “Memorials to answer the Instructions of the Lord Willoughby.
“Touching the 2nd article of the Instructions, for not meddling with the States General, according to the contract, these inconveniences are like to ensue.”
First, it will nourish their ill disposition to find her Majesty alienated from them, “especially now they have in hand to make new Counts of Holland and Zeeland, and to invest themselves with the province of Utrecht, having already placed a governor at Narden and a company of Scots at the Fare' [Veere].
Also many good men and some provinces having long depended on her Majesty “and rested some small comfort upon the weak help of myself, by reason of the hope they had (according to the contract), I might somewhat have prevailed with the States. Now … their case will grow more desperate, even to the hazard of their lives, if so be there be not providence therein without delay.
“There is also to be added the infringing of my oath, or else the discovering of my Instructions, which no doubt but they will solicit me, because they attend a resolution.” If they see them, whereas they now hold formally to the contract, they will then fall into such extremities as I pray God her Majesty find not hurtful to her State but if so, I hope my Instructions would save me.
“Now her Majesty hath disjoined me from them, I am able to do nothing of myself, neither for relieving of her garrisons (when treasure comes not) or magazines in time of a siege, nourishing men of war in the field, carriages, transportations and all other necessaries which must come from them.
“Also no direction is given what I shall do for the provinces of Gelders, Utrecht and Overysell, which with wonderful devotion have followed her Majesty, and are now in miserable distress; pursued by them; and some private persons also, as Colonel Sney and others.
“It is but to deceive her Majesty and consume her treasure, to have a General that is not able neither to defend her friends nor offend her enemies, neither to keep town nor field.
“Although I could live and content myself with ease, yet I think it both a duty and conscience not to take her gages where I can do her no service. For if she think I have forces to command, they be all in such necessary places of garrisons, from whence I cannot draw a man. And if I could, I have no command of the treasure to furnish them, nor yet authority with the States to procure supply of wants for them.
“If any deserve well, I can hardly advance him. I may punish, to get hate, but no means to win virtuous minds, without which it is impossible to do her Majesty good service.
“Also her Majesty needs not bring in question her honour, that her Lieutenant should be under a Captain General of the States, nor her purse in such charge, where there is no use of such a person. For the private governors have the same in charge that the supposed General is nominated to, and have absolute authority committed to them without the General, which the General hath not without them.
“And therefore, well considered, the office is fruitless, chargeable to her Majesty and only dangerous to embark him that shall sincerely serve therein.
“I had proponed (and it was liked of by the Counts Maurice and Hollock, Captains General of the States) the difference of commanding into these indifferent terms :—That no action of war, neither of the one side nor of the other (whilst we were in the field together) should be attempted without a general Council and consent of all parties.
“And for the honour of place respective to her Majesty's person, they were so far from moving dispute thereof, as they did most willingly offer it. Neither was there any doubt made thereof, until these [blank], which I answer not in respect of myself but of her honour. For whomsoever she shall nominate her Lieutenant the world will look should have precedence before the States' Lieutenant unless she ordain one man to both places (which in my simple opinion were not the worse).”
“Touching the 4th article.
“Sir William Pelham was afore in commission upon special consideration of his great worthiness and love to my house, who might always have conversed with me; whereas most of those that are now named cannot be drawn from their charges.
“In his place, there was named by her Majesty's letters a worthy gentleman, Sir Richard Bingham; (either of them both deserving to have commanded as good as myself) whose company and counsel I heartily desire.
“Praying that because such counsellors are joined with me as are resident in their several charges, I may not esteem myself tied unto them upon all necessities and extremities; but that with such counsel as conveniently can be had, I may use mine own care and discretion.”
Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXII. f. 22.]
Another version of the same paper, somewhat differently worded, and put into the third person.
Endd.: “Memorials collected out of my lord's letters.” 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 24.]
Lord Cobham to Lord [Burghley?].
I know of nothing to write to your lordship but conjecturally; “for where the Duke of Parma saith we shall be welcome, he doth no more than the fowler to his ‘brides’; notwithstanding, considering that they have many things to require from her Majesty, and she little or nothing from them, I think it not strange if the Duke will easily be contented to make some end with her Majesty to come by that which he would have from her and to ‘deport’ with nothing. For first he looketh that the Queen should restore all the towns in her possession. Item, to avoid all her forces out of the country: item, to leave the full subjection of the country wholly unto him, having so much thereof subdued already. Now of his part, religion he will not hear of, and so he saith it out plainly. Removing of the strange forces out of the country cannot be thought reasonable unto him as long as they of Holland and Zeeland be in war with him; against whom he will say of necessity he must keep his forces.
Item, there can be no provision made for the restitution of the liberties unto them which will neither join in treaty nor accept of any conditions. It may be the end will proffer some pelting piece of money, and yet pay us a great part of it in our ear upon Sir Francis Drake's reckonings; and what assurance will be given of her Majesty's quietness, God knoweth.
These things I though [fit] to write unto you after my art, though untimely; because I might write from hence more assuredly from intercepting. As I can decipher their meaning from time to time I will cypher unto your lordship.”
Rough draft, unsigned, but in Cobham's hand-writing. 1¾ pp. [Flanders II. f. 1.]
[The Queen] to the Council of State. (fn. 4)
Regrets to hear of the differences that have arisen between the States of Holland and those of Utrecht, the Hollanders claiming several rights which seem to affect the liberties of Utrecht, a matter which may easily lead to the overthrow of the whole country. It behoves them to interpose to pacify the quarrel and to cause the Hollanders to desist from persecuting those of Utrecht. If they cannot succeed in doing this the decision must be referred to her in accordance with Article 27 of the treaty between her and them. Therefore if the Hollanders do not desist promptly from this persecution they are to send her full particulars of the differences and to cause the Hollanders to cease from persecuting those who have always shown themselves well affected to her and to her principal ministers. If they do not she will be discouraged from continuing her support and will leave them to themselves.
Endd. To the Council of State. Negotiation. Draft. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 275.]
The Council of State to Her Majesty.
[Abstracted from the letter of March 1 new style, calendared at page 115 above].
Endd. Extract. The Council of State in the Low Countries. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 41.]