Elizabeth: March 1588, 1-5

Pages 154-172

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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March 1588, 1–5

Mar. [1.] “Points of the Memorial delivered to Mr. Ortell by the States General.” (fn. 1)
Endd. March, 1588. 21/8 pp. [Ibid XXII. f. 1.]
“Ortel's memorials touching the diminishing her Majesty's contributions.”
As it seems that, whatever professions he may make, the Duke of Parma has never really intended to make a good and firm peace, so that—in regard of religion and of her own profit and honour, as also to divert the Spanish forces from the bowels of Italy, of which the king has already occupied the most part,—it is more than necessary that (giving up all further negotiations for peace) her Majesty should consider by what means the United Provinces may henceforward be defended with least expense, both to her and to themselves; they having for such long years sustained so heavy a burden of war for the service of God and religion and their own liberties and privileges:—And as it seems that her Majesty would never have begun this negotiation for peace but for her insupportable charges for the affairs of France, Ireland, Scotland, the Low Countries, at sea and elsewhere, so that she would desire to be somewhat relieved thereof, notwithstanding that the great necessities of the United Provinces require more:—Nevertheless (if matters were well managed), it is not to be doubted that the said Provinces would esteem that a smaller aid of money, being duly paid and well husbanded (besides the due satisfaction for the cautionary towns) would do them more good than all her succours in the past.
For the attainment whereof, and—to encourage the provinces to continue their ordinary contribution of 200,000 florins a month, namely in times of need, and when putting extraordinary forces in the field—to augment it:—
Her Majesty may be pleased to continue her accustomed favours, and to declare that she in no wise means that the United Provinces should, on any account whatsoever, disband or separate one from the other, but desires that they be maintained in their privileges, and each one in his right and authority, defending themselves bravely against the enemy. Provided that the said provinces (in consideration of the great benefits received from her Majesty) shall be bound to be always faithful and loyal to her, and not to enter into any treaty with the enemy without her knowledge and consent.
As also the provinces complain bitterly that heretofore they have been charged for the stranger forces more than their means could bear, and their stores consumed, which has been one great cause of these past misunderstandings, it would be well to remedy these past faults as much as possible, which might be the more readily done if her Majesty's moneys were joined to those of the said provinces, and together employed for the payment both of some English regiments with volunteers and others, whereby the country would be better served and her Majesty not troubled with any complaints, having always regard of her troops and subjects before any other. And that she may be more duly informed of what passes in the said provinces, the Council of State (in which will be two experienced counsellors of her Majesty) shall send to her every four months a statement (état) of all disbursements, general and particular, by which she will see the sincerity of their proceedings.
And to the end that the affairs of the said provinces (both as regards the war and matters maritime may be dispatched with the better expedition in England, her Majesty might be pleased to commit them to some persons of her Council, to take such order concerning them as may be fitting for the service of herself and the cause, together with reciprocal union and correspondence.
So that it is not to be doubted but that her Majesty, of her accustomed grace, showing herself, as hitherto, favourable to these provinces in these their needs; they on their part will acknowledge it by perpetual humility and obedience, and will endeavour to show towards his Excellency the Earl of Leicester such gratitude, and give him such contentment as they hope will afford her Majesty full satisfaction and his Excellency cause to continue more than ever his affection and favours.
The above serves only as avertissement, without prejudice to the treaty made with her Majesty; or that the States General have given express charge for it, but only to learn her Majesty's good pleasure herein, and what she shall think fitting for her service and the preservation of the provinces, to be afterwards communicated to them, that they may take such resolution as the case requires.
Endd. French. 3 pp. [Holland XXII. f. 5.]
Mar. 1/11. The States of Zeeland to her Majesty.
Ask her to hear their agent Ortel concerning the disturbances in their island, and especially how that they are determined to remain her faithful and affectionate servants having undertaken their just quarrel against the Spaniards. And if there has been anything which might displease her, they humbly beseech her to tell them frankly, and they will do all in their power to satisfy her; desiring only to carry out the terms of the treaty. Humbly praying her, before things fall into greater confusion, to send them some person of quality, duly authorized, by whose means she may be more fully informed of all things and by whom, and afterwards all such misunderstandings as may arise from day to day may be settled.—Middelbourch, 11 March, 1588. Signed, P. Rychert; Chr. Roels.
Add. Endd. French. 2 pp. [Holland XXII. f. 3.]
Mar. 1. The Queen to Lord Willoughby.
Whereas, by a view of the accounts of Mr. Hurleston and Sir Thos. Shirley, she finds that her charges for her army in the Low Countries have been far greater than she looked for, she has thought meet to set down an establishment containing the whole charges which she means to be at in those countries; which sum shall in no sort be exceeded; and has given order that it be sent to him forthwith, the like having been given “here,” to Sir Thos. Sherley; that they may both know, “the one what to pass warrant for, and the other what to pay.”
And understanding that the States find themselves over-burdened, for that, contrary to their order, the principal officers both of her foot and horse bands “are accounted no part of the numbers contained in the said band, but have an allowance apart” she desires him to have the bands presently viewed, who, as she is informed, are not so complete but that the said officers “may be made part of the number of the said bands, without the discharge of any one man.” Wherein the more speed is to be used, as she means their pay to be made accordingly after the 25 of March or sooner if he can. And so he is notify to the captains, both of horse and foot and then advertise her of his doings.
Draft, corrected by Barghley. Endd. “1 March … To accompany the Establishment.” 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 7.]
Mar. 1. “The new Establishment of the number of all manner of persons, as well of the Queens Majesty's Lieutenant General of her Highness’ army, as of the governors of the two cautionary towns, and of all manner of captains of bands of horsemen and of footmen, and of all soldiers being in the Low Countries in her Majesty's pay … with the several rates of their entertainments and wages … as the same are to be paid, both ordinary out of her Grace's treasure and otherwise also extraordinarily. The same Establishment to continue during her Majesty's pleasure, and likewise to take place beginning from 25 March next following, 1588.”
[The sum total for a year:—125,389l. 13s. 4d.]
Signed by Walsingham. The original said to be signed by her Majesty.
A note to the Treasurer [Sherley] to the same effect as to Lord Willoughby (above).
Endd. 1 very large sheet. [Ibid. f. 9.]
Another copy of the schedule, but without the introductory head or the note to Sherley.
Endd. 1 large sheet. [Holland XXII. f. 10.]
Mar. 1. Draft or copy of letter to Sherley as at the bottom of the schedule above. In Beale's hand. The two last lines added by Burghley.
Endd. with date. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 18.]
Another copy of “the New Establishment,” in the handwriting of Burghley's clerk, and endorsed by him with some notes of charges before this time.
pp. [Ibid. f. 15.]
Another copy of the same, endd. by Beale with the date “Feb. 26, 1587.”
[Ibid. f. 17.]
Extract from the “Establishment” endorsed by Burghley: “1587; the charge of Flushing and Brill per annum 23,256l. 11s. 8d.
½ p. [Ibid. f. 11.]
Memorandum “touching the New Establishment,” as to their entertainment and wages.
In duplicate. Endd. with date, Feb. 28. Corrected by Burghley. Equals 1 p. [Ibid. XXI. ff. 249, 250.]
Mar. 2. “Information from the Lord Willoughby.”
“Words of the 2nd article of my instructions, secluding me from dealing according to the contract, whereby is to be noted the inconveniences which might and have ensued.”
“The Stych of Utrecht being in great and certain danger to be surprised, sent to me to assist them. By those words I was prohibited, and so I should have lost her Majesty a place of such importance as was specially commended unto me by [her]…. They of Utrecht, for the safety of the place, put in an English company, after they had long solicited me for it; else the Scots had seized it. Prohibited by those Instructions.
“If I had not been prohibited … I dare confidently affirm, and by sufficient reasons prove, that Count Maurice had never taken into his authority, to be sworn unto him, Horne, Alkmaer and all the boors and villages of North Holland, nor taken so far upon him to have suppressed Snoy, by which means he is the better able to make his composition with the enemy; a matter undoubtedly he will compass.
“Likewise, Capt. Jacques de Rauncey, a faithful servant of her Majesty and my lord of Leicester, could not have been driven to those strait terms, to have been cashiered for obeying my Lord's hand, and the town of Narden put in danger as it is; whereby her Majesty is more interested than she thinks, in the loss of so many faithful hearts and strong places.
“Also they could not have cashiered all those companies by name that follow the English; disabling despitefully commissions; and shifted the garrisons purposely, either to seize them to themselves, or make them more easy to the enemy.
“All this might plausibly, in the first beginning [have] been treated on, according to the contract, and without any forces or trouble stopped; for it is apparent to all the world how lame and weakly they went forward, so that a small straw would have been a great block, and the affairs needed neither cost or companies; but a good, moderate assurance, well backed and countenanced in the beginning with diligence to have met with those principles. But all this is expressly forbidden.
“Lastly, though by this head it is made much more desperate, yet there is some hope that without any blow striking, it might be reduced; viz:—if her Majesty (yet before Medenblick be gone) would write letters unto them to divert their violent course, or, at the least, that they would give reason whereof unto her, or to such as she shall ordain by virtue of the contract, to hear and determine those misunderstandings; which, if they shall refuse to do, she must not suffer unheard any under her protection to be trod on under foot, and that accordingly she will proceed by those that serve her there, and all other ordinary means fit for such a cause.
“If she do only this, meddling no further with their State, but to assure them that she seeketh nothing for her own profit, but to maintain them in that upon which they entitle themselves with, it will certainly fall out she shall have more assured servants on this side than ever she had, be more beloved of the people and respected by the States than ever was looked for; by which means she should, with double advantage, either make her war or peace.
“Last of all, I am commanded to follow their General, which is the Count Maurice, in a manner an open enemy to her Majesty, as by his proceedings may at large be gathered, and a certain enemy to them [sic].
Endd. with date.pp. [Holland XXII. f. 20.]
Mar. 2. “The names of such as are cashiered and the sums of money due unto them before the 12th of October last past.”
Officers. Sir John Norris, colonel general; Sir Henry Norris, Lieutenant Colonel; Robert Beale esq. and Doctor Bartholemew Clerck, assistants in Council; James Spencer, provost-marshal; Giles Raineford, serjeant-major of Brill; Henry Astell, serjeant-major of Flushing; Barnabe Palmer, marshal of Brill; John Winter, water-bailiff of Brill; William Fosse, clerk of the munition of Brill.
[With the sum due to each]. Total, 1012l. 13s. 4d.
Sir John Norris; Captain Dormer; Sir Philip Butler; Sir William Knollis.
[The largest sum, 1077l. 10s. 2d. is due to Knollis; the next, 760l. 18s. 9d. to Sir John Norris.] Total 2916l. 17s. 3d.
Sir Thomas Cecil; Sir John Norris; Sir Roger Williams; Captains Wilson, Pryce, Kersey, Cromwell, Helme and Isley.
[Ranging from upwards of 800l. (to Cecil) to 126l. to Capt. Cromwell.] Total 4933l. 8s.d.
Sum Total
8862l. 19s.d.
Note by Sir Thomas Shirley that he finds the said sums due, “provided that consideration be had of the debts and defalcations to be made out of the same, and of the checks not yet agreed upon for Sir John Norris; Captain Pryce and Capt. Wilson.
Examined, 2 March, 1587, by Edmund Hunte.
Endd. with total amount by Burghley, as “due before the 11 October, 1587.” 1 p. [Holland XXII. f. 26.]
Mar. 2/12. Copy of Mr. Killigrew's proposition to the States in Latin, preceded by a copy of his letter to the States of Gueldre, Friesland and Overyssel (also in Latin) stating that as by letters of Feb. 1, her Majesty directed him to ask the States whether they were of a mind to take part in the treaty of peace, which letters, waiting for a favourable wind, only reached him on Feb. 28; and whereas there are now only left in that Council the deputies of Holland and Friesland, the others having returned home, he sends them a copy of the declaration made by him, and asks them for a speedy reply to her Majesty.—The Hague, 2 March, 88, stilo veteri.
Endd. “Mr. Killigrew's proposition in Latin to the States, delivered 2 March, 1587. Touching the treaty of peace.”
pp. [Ibid. f. 28.]
Another copy of the two papers.
Latin.pp. [Ibid. f. 32.]
Mar. 2/22. “Mr. Killigrew's propositions to the States.” ‘Extracted from the Register of the Resolutions of the States General. (fn. 2)
Her Majesty has charged him to say to them on her behalf that having long expected their reply touching the proposed treaty with the King of Spain, and being informed that the Duke of Parma has, from the long delay, formed an ill opinion of her sincerity; she has been constrained to send her commissioners to Ostend for the said treaty.
And seeing that she has heard that strange reports have been spread; as that she had already made a secret agreement with the Duke, and agreed that the places now held by her troops should be put into his hands; of which reports they have never tried to find and punish the authors. Yet, notwithstanding the ingratitude shown her, she still wishes to omit nothing which might tend to their good.
If during the time of the treaty they shall, on better consideration decide to send commissioners to join in the same in regard to matters affecting themselves, her Majesty has given special order to her own commissioners to promote all that might tend to the restitution of their countries to a happy peace such as they formerly enjoyed; and has charged her commissioners to procure their welfare, even if they send no-one.
This will serve to justify her; although she is very sorry to see those for whose welfare and safety she has had such extraordinary care so obstinate in refusing what tends to their own good, and without which the end must be the ruin of themselves and their country.
There remains one other point; viz: their proceedings against Col. Sonoy and others, and as this still continues, he is to say in her name that if they do not desist from such practices, she will entirely withdraw her favours and support. He [Killigrew] advises them as a friend, to resolve promptly to give such reasonable satisfaction to her Majesty, as the importance of their affairs demands.
Asks an acknowledgment of their receipt of this declaration, to which he will await a speedy reply, that she may have no further occasion to complain of their delay.
Annexed. Extract from her Majesty's letter of Feb. [4–]14, concerning those of Camphere, and the refusal to receive Sir Wm. Russell's troops into Walcheren.
Certified as agreeing with the Register, by Aerssens.
“ Mr. Killigrew's proposition in French.” 6¼ pp. [Holland XXII. f. 34.]
Mar. 3/13. Count Maurice to Lord Willoughby.
Acknowledging letters from his lordship and her Majesty, given him on the 10th by the bearer. Thanks him for his favour, and assures him that he will ever be ready to acknowledge it by all means in his power. Will say nothing concerning the matter mentioned in her Majesty's letter, as he hopes shortly to see him, when they will be able to consult together at large. Prays him to do all he can to have affairs there managed with good union and concord, as he is working to do here.—Middelburch, 13 March, 1588.
Copy. Endd as received 5 March. French. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 38.]
Mar. 3/13. The Captains of Camphere to the Queen.
Offering her their grateful thanks for her zeal and affection to the country and themselves. Armuyden has now joined their side, and this has stirred up Middelburg, as they hope to the like happy issue. If only his Excellency were here, they doubt not but that all would be brought to a good end, seeing that so many honest men are grieved that arms should be taken up and turned—as shown by the siege of Medenblick—against those who wish to keep faithfully the oath made to her Majesty and his Excellency, instead of being employed against the common foe.
They think it very needful that her Majesty should give them a Chef Colonel to command them, and namely the Sieur de Russell, governor of Flushing; a gentleman diligent in her service, and very pleasing to themselves and to all good, faithful patriots in their land.—Camphere, 13 March, 1588. Signed by Carsillis Pallant, Ambroise le Ducq, Vanden Ende, and Pieter de Coster.
Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXII. f. 40.]
Mar. 3. Lord Cobham to Burghley.
Since Mr. Spencer was sent, we have heard nothing of the commissioners, which seemeth strange. We have got Andrea de Loo to tell us what he knows, and he has set down articles (enclosed) propounded to the duke on behalf of her Majesty, alleging that your lp. is acquainted with them. For my own part I never heard your lp. speak of them, nor has any of us seen them except Mr. Controller. My friend Mr. Cicill is well. The necessity of the soldiers is such for lack of money, apparel and victual that I fear some mutiny for they speak shrewdly. I do therefore recommend it to your lp. or else that it would please her Majesty to revoke us hence.—Ostend, the 3rd March.
Signed. Endd. by Burghley. Add. 1 pp. [Flanders II. f. 191.]
Mar. 4. Robert Cecil to Burghley.
From Dunkirk yesterday morning news was brought that one of the barks that hither attended the Lord Cobham, returning to England with letters to your lp., had been brought in by a man of war, but the truth being known it was allowed to pass. The governor of Dunkirk expressed his regret how truly I know not. You will probably think it nothing to their lps. advantage, during this colloquy, to be busy with them, seeing upon every occasion of any message from here it shall be in their power to do displeasures by interceptions as well of letters as passengers. On Sunday morning the L. Admiral passed by to Flushing and the Charles, one of H.M.'s pinnaces coming behind the other fleet, quarrelled with a Dunkirker that offered no offence, and ran her almost aground, which may be evil taken, considering their pretence of courteous usage of ours and will be to H.M.'s navy a small conquest.
On Sunday my cousin Spencer arrived here, leaving Mr. Grenier who was sent to congratulate the commissioners, to arrange for his reception and advertise what his message would prove. [Particulars of Grenier's reception.] At supper he was very well disposed to discourse wherein he showed both wit, experience and good education. His personage but small and not above 36 years old at the most, very well favoured and appareled, neither like a soldier wholly nor yet as of the long robe particularly. His cloak to the knee furred, a ‘cashock’ of black velvet with plain gold buttons and a gold chain about his neck.
After supper Dr. Rogers accompanied him to his lodging with some other gentlemen, with myself, whom he was content to devise withal, as knowing belike that I wanted not an honourable father, wishing I would take occasion to come and see the towns hereabouts, but especially the miserable ruins of this poor country and people whereby it might appear that much they had to answer for that by their rebellion had caused such desolation. To this I answered that I could not but concur in lamenting the miseries of these provinces, but the question whence this fountain of calamity was fed and derived was too high for my capacity. I could only pray that at this colloquy all differences might be compounded, wherein I know that their lps. made great account of his forward disposition, which he protested, affirming he was no Spaniard but a Burguynion.
In the morning Dr. Dale gave him the answer of this message. I myself set down his answer by desire of their lps. though I have only postilled superficially for my own particular remembrance. He was entertained to dinner at my ld. Cobham's and afterwards was expected to depart, but tarried all night, Mr. Controller entertaining him to supper.
The governor of this town, surely, is very painful, provident and wise, and is sorry that by the meeting here that place will be more freely accessed unto than the weakening of the place would permit, considering how great a gall it is to all Flanders, which once lost, the province is freely at the duke's devotion, whereof her Majesty, I think, must have greatest respect, for the states of Holland and Zeeland would make no more account of the loss of it than they did of Scluse which by their negligence being rendered they only used these words, Why then we have lost a foster child; we shall save from henceforth the charges of his nursing. I hear it credibly that the Prince makes full account to prefer it in his first enterprise. It is incredible to think that the garrison soldiers fetch in prisoners some 50 or 60 miles off. Here is one ancient gentleman, well languaged, with whom I have often spoken who confessed merrily to me that when they fetched him out of his own mansion house, sitting in his study (though somewhat ‘elonged’ from any walled town) he did as little fear the garrison of Ostend, as he did any harm from the Turk or the devil. The land about is all so wasted as where the platt country was wont to be covered with kine and sheep, it is now fuller of wild swine and wolves, which come close up to the town.
[Mentions letters sent by him of the 26th, 27th and 29th Feb. because he understood that one of the messengers, being pursued by a Dunkirker cast his letters into the sea.] We are here as glad of the poorer sort to hear of a ship from England as the Spanish merchant of a caraval from the Indies. Dr. Dale is to go to the Duke. With their lps’ good leave I shall go in his company. Capt de la Haye who came with Mr. Grenier is the same that 4 years ago had taken the old town here, but was put from it with loss of 700 men. The bruit of most that speak by hearsay is that they would fain have peace, but how their desire and our security shall concur your lp. can best judge.
Holograph. Endd. by Burghley. Add. 5 pp. [Flanders II. f. 193.]
[Mar. 4.] The effect of Garnier's Oration. (fn. 3)
He excuseth his intermission of studies whereby he is disabled in the Latin tongue.
He giveth thanks for their good opinion of him.
He assureth that the opinion they have of the Duke's zeal in this matter is not without cause.
For the place he saith he would not wish that it should be much disputed of, for in that the D. would not be scrupulous, mary this they saw how inconvenient this … (fn. 4) these spoiled quarters.
For the time he affirmeth that the D. desireth expedition.
And therefore saith that for such scruples Modo nec de fide nec authoritate regia detrahatur omnia futura facillima.
For their meaning to send on, he said he should be welcome.
Then upon their demand penes quos commissio erat he answered that they had it amongst them or that the duke had it himself, who although he had given them amplam potestatem tractandi yet without him nothing was to be concluded.
For the order of the horsemen of Newport he said he durst not promise anything himself, but he was sure the Duke would straight provide for it.
pp. Endd. [Flanders II. f. 358.]
Mar. 5/15. Maurice de Nassau to the Privy Council. (fn. 5)
Enlarging upon his answer to the queen's letter concerning Col. Sonoy, so that they may take up his defence against those who wrongfully blame his actions.
Admits his displeasure with Sonoy for having, without his knowledge, obtained letters from the governor of Holland, a country of his government, and taken a particular oath without communicating with him contrary to the custom of the country.
Being unable to persuade Colonel Sonoy by any gentle means to behave as he ought, he complained to Lord Buckhurst who promised to have right done. But nothing has been done.
Disclaims any wish to use violence but at Medenblick, the smallest town of the country, Sonoy has assembled a force of soldiers, enough to guard four such places. As such expense seemed useless, the Council of State ordered him, in his Excellency's name, to content himself with a hundred and fifty, declaring that they did not intend to pay more, and that the rest should be sent into other frontier places, but this he refused to do, and [so] declared himself a rebel to the said Council, keeping in his garrison more than 600 men. To several persons of quality going to pray him to obey, he used high and arrogant words, saying that if they would not give him money, he would drown all the country, and that he would make a branschat of 100,000 crowns, and that if Holland were a glass he would break it with his foot.
While he was sheltering himself under the sacred name of her Majesty, there fell into our hands his orders, whereby he desired openly to kindle a fire in all the towns where any part of his regiment was; contrary to his oath and commission.
Seeing then that matters had gone so far, the States were constrained to deprive him of the means to ruin all the poor people, but first offered to give him enough money to content the heart of the most avaricious soldier. He refused to be satisfied without the entire pay for 28 months, which was impossible. Yet although he deserved to be attacked in another fashion, they contented themselves with preventing him from drowning the country, and ruining the poor people and many gentlemen of good and ancient houses.
This, in simple truth, is what has passed, and he feels sure that they would not support a man so greatly bound to the memory of his late father, and yet acknowledges it so ill as to dare to speak of him as if he were a scoundrel; or to favour him as against a country from which he has drawn more than a 100,000 crowns, and to which he brought nothing but his cap and sword;—and that they will not permit a simple captain to put the country into such danger; but will aid in chastising disorders so prejudicial to the whole state, and which might perchance embrace others also.
If her Majesty will be pleased to appoint fitting people, he hopes to render so good an account of his actions that there will be found nothing to reprehend, and that he is better able to do her humble service than those who only do lip-service and seek only to fill their own purse.—From my ship, 15 March, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 5 closely written pp. [Holland XXII. f. 45.]
Mar. 5. Lord Willoughby to Burghley.
Since my last, I have proposed to the States such things as her Majesty enjoined, whom I find nothing hasty to make answer; partly because most of them are away, appeasing their discontented garrisons; “besides, her Majesty's good caring for such as have remained well affected … maketh them doubtful what to resolve; the report of which her Majesty's gracious regards worketh no small effect in assuring many which before (fearing such rigorous proceedings) began to shrink.
“I have sent her Majesty's letters to Count Maurice, who is in Zeeland, where (in most places) they seem effectually to leave themselves to her Majesty. This doth much impeach and hinder the course of their malice, and the Count, not willing to trust the island of ‘Walcherne,’ maketh his most abode at Willemstadt.”
Colman (sent with her Majesty's letters to Count Hollock) is now returned, whose message was well accepted, the Count protesting he would do his best; not only writ to Count Maurice but sent me word that in a few days he would come hither; “where, if he offer means to be reconciled, I will not leave to follow with what good pursuit I can.” He seems much perplexed that the garrisons of Gertruidenberge, Huisden and other places (before at his devotion) are now ready to forsake him; which will make him the sooner yield to reason, “if the matter be accordingly handled.”
[Prays his lordship to aid the soldiers in their extremity by sending money for them; also that he himself may have some convenient imprest, and his warrants already due, in Mr. Stubbs’ hands may be discharged.]—The Hague, 5 March, 1587.
Postscript in his own hand. Again urging the sending of money; as their lendings are out, the States will do nothing for them; the magazines are empty; “and assuredly, soldiers will mutiny, and Berghes up Zom will specially be lost, if present supply be not sent.”
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Holland XXII. f. 48.]
Mar. 5. Lord Wlllughby to the Privy Council.
“Your letters dated the 30 of February, which by the circumstances seemeth should have been about the first or last of January,” came into my hands only this morning, brought (amongst other letters of old date from Ostend) by a burgher of Delph, entreated yesternight (by one passing through the town) to deliver them here. They direct me to confer with the governors of the cautionary towns about the cessation of arms, it being needful for our opinions to be delivered to the commissioners when they should arrive at Ostend, as their first conference would concern it. Even had your lordships’ order come in season, it could hardly have been done, considering the distance between the places, and the need for me to remain near this place. “And how impossible it were to draw them from their several charges in a time of such danger … And what time would be consumed to have conferred thereon by letters, your lordships can well consider.
“Likewise, what alteration is chanced since you writ is yet unknown, and I hear the Commissioners are (already) arrived there, and it may be, in treaty. Besides, as the words of my commission “limit me nothing warrantable unless under her Majesty's hand or six of your lordships,” I know not what I may do without sufficient authority, and beseech your lordships, in future directions, that I may be warranted. On receipt of your letters, I sent copies to Flushing and Bergen-op-Zoom, with my opinion “that I cannot hold it honourable for us that be soldiers and that profess arms to allow to [sic] the cessation of our defence, unless the same be required first by the enemy; and in my opinion it will be a matter dangerous for ‘Lillowe’ and other places of importance (not in our hands) which I have good intelligence the enemy (by main means) practiseth to get …
“Thus beseeching your lordships some present order may be set down how the poor soldiers may be relieved with money, whose necessities are very great; and remaining ready to perform my best endeavours in the service of her Majesty, I humbly end …”—The Hague, 5 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 50.]
Mar. 5. Lord Willughby to Burghley.
I have not written to your lordship so oft as I would, either for lack of fit messengers or of health. You know the state of this country. “God and not man hath reduced it to more better conclusions for Medenblick and other places than could have been hoped for, so that our union … is like to take effect.
“Her Majesty in her letters commands me still to confirm and assure unity amongst them. I have seen other ‘sembriefs’ persuading another course. It is a shrewd people to be over-reached, apparent by their dealings with the world. We must go here either plainly forward or stand still; for if we go like crabs, they have practised the march so long as we can hardly overtake them.
“I have received notice from the Queen of Sir John Norreys coming over to assist me. I could rather have wished, and must require when it happens [that] it may be to quit me of the whole; for it neither agrees with her Majesty's profits or our credits to have two engaged in that service one may easily do. I perceive it is deferred, but I could have wished it to him whensoever I shall with my honour be revoked. I once more humbly thank your lordship for the accounts between him and me…. How the treasure is expended that came over last your lordship shall best know when you confer his account thereof with what I sent you … There is already great complaints for not payments of lendings, which, as much as I can, I hearken not unto, referring all to the closing of his account for this treasure. And for my own self, whether I stay or return, I require I may at convenient times be called to render an account of my doing, persuading myself that my entireness shall deserve well, howsoever ignorance may obscure me.” I have no news but that all things promise to go well forward for the reunion.—The Hague, 5 March.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXII. f. 52.]
Mar. 5. The Queen to Lord Willoughbv.
Finding that Count Maurice and his adherents have proceeded so far in the persecuting of Col. Sonoy as to make their approach to Medenblick with intent to block it, and have armed ships at Horne and ‘Anchisen’ to cut it off from relief by sea, we have thought good that you should not only deal with the States General for the stay of such violent proceedings against those well-affected to us, but should also notify to the principal towns of the several provinces, by letters writ in our name, how greatly we think our honour touched by so strange and unlooked for a proceeding; whereby it appeareth—besides their little respect towards us, who for their sakes have embarked in a war against the mightiest potentate in Europe, sparing neither treasure nor our subjects’ lives—that they have not had that regard to their own safety as the necessities of their state required. For what course could turn more to their ruin than that now, when the enemy is stronger in the field than ever before, they should be carried into so disordered a course as to persecute those who have shown themselves the best affected patriots, and that chiefly in respect of their affection to us; who have made it manifest to the world that we have had no less care of their well-doing than if they had been our natural born subjects.
We might justly be moved by their ingratitude to take some way of revenge, were it not that we believe it proceeds only from a few ambitious and malicious persons, who care not what becomes of their poor afflicted countries, and whose end tendeth, though they make show to be enemies to the present treaty of peace, thereby to alienate the hearts of well-affected persons from us, and by setting them at disunion, to reduce them to such straits as shall force them “to such a dangerous composition with the King of Spain as neither liberty of conscience, the enjoying of their ancient privileges, nor the removal of strange forces shall be provided for, as now it may be if they would take profit of our advice and join with us for our security,” and thus take order of prevention of such abuses as are like to ‘befall’ upon those countries. For what could be more prejudicial to them, or a greater advantage to the enemy than the violent proceedings against Sonoy, when treasure, munition and men should be conserved to make head against the enemy, not against a sound well-affected patriot. And even if their charges were true, it is a very unseasonable time for division among themselves.
Having found by experience that our remonstrances to the States General have not been regarded with the respect they ought, we think meet that by letters to the particular provinces and separate towns you shall advise them in our name to move the said States to look unto the authors of these dangerous counsels, and take order for removing the division reigning among them, and establish such orderly form of government as that these confusions may be avoided. “Which we conceive may be best performed if the authority may be established as heretofore it hath been, in the States General, according to the act of 5 February; being also assisted by the Council of State, to whom the despatch of the ordinary matters of state may be committed.
And in the absence of divers of the States General, we think it convenient that you should repair to the place where the provincial Council of Holland is held, as we are informed that the proceedings against Sonoy and others proceed chiefly from those of that province; and there, after acquainting them with our last directions sent you to be imparted to the States General, and also with the Memorial given to their late deputies here and our answer to their propositions, you shall protest that if the said violent proceedings be not stayed, and present order taken for removing the divisions raging among themselves, we are resolved to withdraw our assistance from them. And of this, you shall require an Act to be made, a copy of which you shall send into the particular provinces and towns, with our reasons for withdrawing our favour.
And whereas we find by late letters from the States General and Council of State that Sonoy is charged with two principal matters; first, that he abused the Earl of Leicester in procuring a more ample commission at his hands than might stand with the liberties of those countries, alleging that he had the like commission in the late Prince of Orange's time, which, as the States do affirm, was revoked; the other, that he should draw into the town greater numbers of his regiment than were necessary for its defence, whereby they were put to extraordinary charges, and other frontier towns left slenderly furnished:—for answer of which two points you shall move them in our name that the decision of the controversies between them may be referred unto us, whom they may assure themselves to find not any way partially affected; and that in the mean time, considering the good proof the gentleman hath made of his constant affection to the common cause, he may be continued in his charge, with a convenient garrison fit for that place,” whereto, if they give consent, he should be moved to reduce it to a number sufficient to guard the town and to stand with their liking; letting him understand from us how it behoves all well affected members of that country to yield to such reasonable things as may breed good union amongst themselves; of whose conformity we make an assured account.
And further, you shall persuade all affected to us “to bend themselves altogether to union,” wherein we would have both you and Killigrew to employ your best endeavours for compounding factions which otherwise will lay open to the enemy there a most dangerous gap. To the better affecting whereof, you should confer with such as are well-affected patriots, how this discord among them may be removed. And nothing doubting of your careful endeavours, we rest in very good hope that your travail will fall out both to our contentment and the good of those countries, which now stand in very dangerous terms.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Holland XXII. f. 54.]
Mar. 5. The Privy Council to Lord Willoughby. (fn. 6)
Informing him that of the 10,000l. delivered to Sir Thos. Sherley for her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries, 1400l. is to be sent to Ostend, to Sir John Conway for weekly lendings for that garrison; 400l. to be delivered to his lordship himself, for his entertainment, and 20l. weekly imprested to Sir William Russell and Lord Burgh, severally, as governors of Flushing and the Brill. The rest to be employed in weekly lendings to the other companies in her Majesty's pay, so far as it will stretch. [Instructions as to how he is to issue the above moneys.] Is to “have consideration” of Sir William Reed, Mr. Henry Killigrew and Thos. Wilford the sergeant-major. As her Majesty is not disposed at this time to make full pay of her whole army up to Oct. 11 last past, she would have a certain imprest delivered to each captain, according to a schedule sent herewith.
Further, as her Majesty is desirous to retain her treasure within her realm as much as may be; yet that the soldiers’ necessities, chiefly in their want of apparel should be relieved, she had given order for the provision of cassocks, doublets, hose, stockings, hats etc. in England, by certain honest merchants etc. at reasonable rates, to be delivered as imprest upon a new account beginning from 11 October last, in the execution whereof they pray his lordship to direct the captains to distribute the apparel to the soldiers “without seeking any gain thereby.”
It being conceived that there is present want of money at Flushing, Bergen-op-Zoom and other places remote from his Excellency (if he is at the Hague, as they think he is) order has been given to the Treasurer to supply them out of hand, and afterwards demand his Excellency's warrant for the same, which they pray him to give accordingly.
Lastly, understanding that he has “conceived some misliking against the Treasurer about the treasure last sent over,” they assure him that to their knowledge, there has been no just cause ministered by him to move his Excellency to such mislike; for he acted on direction from themselves, by her Majesty's order, and not by his own disposition. And so they pray his Excellency not to impute any fault to him, “who from henceforth, shall not make any payments by himself or his deputies of his own authority,” save with his lordship's allowance and warrant.
Draft, corrected by Burghley. Endd. with date.pp. [Holland XXII. f. 58.]
Mar. 5/15. Count Maurice to the Queen.
Expressing his regret that any should have tried to persuade her Majesty that he was other than her very humble and affectionate servant, or that he had undertaken anything against Colonel Sonoy or others to the prejudice of her service. For though Sonoy has all but put the country into a flame, and by abusing her name has desired to satisfy his avarice and other ill affections; yet by reason of his own reverence for her Majesty he has borne with him, although his behaviour was contrary to the customs and privileges of the country and of all government; liking better to leave the decision of such matters to the course of law than to settle them himself, to which end he put it before the Baron de Buckhurst, her ambassador. But present necessity compels him to hinder so dangerous an enterprise as Colonel Sonoy has undertaken, which would have resulted in the ruin and destruction of a hundred thousand men; not however until he had several times sent requests to him, which he haughtily refused; as he hopes her Majesty has been informed both by the Council of State and the Estates of the country. And seeing that the throne is the seat of justice to which all should have recourse, he prays her that the matter may be well investigated, either by herself or such as it pleases her to depute; and hopes that she will then do him the honour to defend his right, as one of her most faithful and obedient servants, and to settle the dispute according to justice. For although Col. Sonoy and himself are not of like quality, he desires nothing save what her Majesty shall find reasonable when she knows the facts.—From his ship, 15 March, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French.pp. Seal of arms. [Ibid. f. 62.]
Mar. 5. Burghley and Walsingham to Sir William Russell.
As it appears that the garrisons of Camphere and Armuye remain constantly affected to her Majesty, and therefore fear some hard measure at the States' hands; and as he has asked that if the States refuse them further entertainment, they may be received into her Majesty's pay; she desires him to assure them that if the lord Willoughby's and Mr. Killigrew's good offices with the States shall not prevail, she will herself take such order for their relief as shall be to their satisfaction; to which he shall add such other assurance of her gracious acceptation of their devotion as may comfort and encourage them to continue in their good course.—Greenwich, 5 March, 1587.
Endd. “Minute to Sir Wm. Russell from the L. Treasurer and my Master.” ½ p. [Holland XXII. f. 64.]
Mar. 5. [The Lord Admiral] to Count Maurice.
Thanks his Excellency for the honour shown him in sending a gentleman to salute him. Now sends his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Hoby to inform him of her Majesty's displeasure on hearing that so faithful and affectionate a servant as is Colonel Sonoy has been besieged by the States in Medenblick, as if he were an enemy; whereby she cannot but feel touched in her honour, as she has already declared to the deputies of the States in England, and has moreover desired Mr. Killigrew to make appear to the States themselves.
She has, until now, hoped that the respect owed by them to herself would cause them to raise the said siege, and to treat Colonel Sonoy as a good patriot, in regard of his long service to their country, and it is with great regret that she hears the contrary; and her Majesty having now sent himself hither, he prays that they will cease to molest the said Sieur de Sonoy, and will raise the siege until she shall have judged the cause.—On his ship, 5 March, 1587.
Copy. Unsigned. Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 66.]
Mar. 5. Dr. Valentine Dale to Burghley.
They will not yield us anything that shall touch their faith, as they call it or the king's authority. They are contented to take all the towns that her [Majesty] hath and as many more if she had them. The commissioners letters to the Council show how they hang aloof. Is going to see what there is to build on.
From what Garnier says their commission is yet to be written, for it was as strange to him as though he had been in another world; and yet was pressed to answer categorice. Andrea di Lo and Mr. Controller though it strange that any man should doubt of anything. Personally feels doubtful.—Ostend, 5 March, 1587.
Holograph. Draft. Torn and much corrected. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 196.]
Mar. 5. Dr. Valentine Dale to Walsingham.
I can worse judge what we shall do here than ever I could what would become of a process in the Arches … if their mind be no better felt but by compliments it is hard to resolve anything. I am constrained to go to the duke to feel directly whether he will send, yea or no, and when Dr. Rogers had been better able to take the journey. I have have written to Mr. Killigrew that we may the better concur both in intelligences and actions. Here we are shut up and may make the round about the wall, but what is done in the world without we know not, neither can I tell how expedient it were that an enemy should come here. Ostend, 5 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders II. f. 198.]
Another copy of the same.
[Ibid. f. 200.]
Mar. 5. R. Spencer to Burghley.
It pleased their lordships to send me to the duke of Parma, the 28th of the last. I was to salute him from them, inform him of their arrival, say that de Loo had welcomed them and thank him for Mr. Controller's entertainment; express the hope that the king's deputies were ready to meet them. I took my journey and at Oudenbourghe, wherein is a very weak garrison, I received an escort to Bruges and another from thence to Ghent where I arrived late. The next morning I saw the duke and delivered my message. He expressed his satisfaction but regretted the poor accommodation of the place their lordships were at. He desired the good success of the treaty. He asked me of her Majesty's health and where she was. I told him I thought at Greenwich, which he said he knew well, having been there in Q. Mary's time. In talking of her Majesty's rare virtues he asked if she took pleasure to speak in the Spanish tongue. I told him that she was often pleased to speak in that tongue, as well as in the Italian, French, Latin and others, being perfect in them all. His Highness spoke of the pleasures of the “powkes” and hunting in England and [asked] whether her Majesty did take pleasure to hunt herself … and whether she did go on horseback, in coach or “littiere,” whereunto I made answer sometimes in coach but never in “littiere,” and might easily perceive how greatly he did honour or rather admire her. He spoke to me again the same afternoon, telling me he was sending M. La Griniere to their lordships, and wishing me to remember him to them, bade me farewell. I left the next-morning with this gentleman.
I now beg to impart what I have learned in this time of my being among them. The commissioners are all at Ghent, except M. de Champyny who is troubled with gout at Antwerp. The people desire peace but the gents de guerre are altogether against it except some few who for love for their country forget their private gain. The common speech among them is that we shall have peace. The manner they mean is to reduce things in statu quo prius. The conditions they will most hardly be brought to will be toleration of religion, cessation of arms against the States or anything to restrain the king's puissance royale to command his subjects. They will be content to have the meeting at what place H.M. thinks best. They would think Antwerp or St. Omer a very fit place. M. La Motte, who though governor of GJravelines doth remain at Bruges, being as it seems desirous of this peace, did will me to tell their lordships, without mentioning him, what assurance might best be had for the continuance of this peace if it be concluded. He said the Marquis of Ranty who is in good opinion with all the country people, was a man most fit to be dealt with in this matter.
The duke of Parma hath a very great number of men in a readiness which, for the most part have their quarter betwixt this and Ghent. His cavalry is gone to distress the town of Bonn. I find they mean to raise trouble in Germany about the emperor's brother's imprisonment in Poland, and also about the election of the king of the Romans. The chief preparation by sea here is of the ships which are betwixt Ghent and Sluse, which they say amount to near 200, but I hear of few or no mariners to put in them. Of the preparations in Spain they speak much, but I think it is nothing but a Spanish parado. At both my comings to his Alteza Sir William Stanley was in the outer chamber, but both times as soon as he saw me he turned his back, wherein he did me a great pleasure. Ostend, 5 March, stilo Anglico, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Seal of arms.pp. [Flanders II. f. 201.]
Mar. 5. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
The Secretary Granier from the duke brought nothing but compliments. To understand something of his commission Dr. Rogers was to have gone; but in the end I was entreated to go, partly driven by Mr. Cecil, being more willing to go in my company. It seems they are unwilling to come hither. I think from a letter of Champagnie that they would not come without hostages. We are in many difficulties. I will clear as many of them as I can, and but that there is need of great consideration I would be loth to take this journey. I must rely upon your lordship to make the best of all things. There has been speech of St. Omer and Antwerp. St. Omer is near but a place of no traffic with us. Antwerp will be glad of us and draw on quietness of this side for the ease of their commerce and there have they already provided large lodgings for my lords. This town is such as a man would not wish any but a friend to come to it. Your lordship shall have as much trouble with direction of these things as we shall have here. Ostend, 5 March, 1587.
Holograph. Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 204.]


  • 1. As at page 4 above.
  • 2. Not now to be found in the register. See Japikse: Resolutien, Vol. vi. p. 62. The Dutch text in Bor.: Nedl. Oorlogen. Bk. xxiv, f. 40.
  • 3. Not in Robert Cecil's hand, but the folds correspond with those of his letter.
  • 4. Torn
  • 5. The Dutch text in Bor.: Nedl. Oorlogen, Bk. xxiv f. 47. The bulk of the dispatch freely translated in Motley; United Netherlands, Vol. ii. pp. 357–8.
  • 6. See Acts of the Privy Council, N.S. Vol. xv. p. 412.