Elizabeth: March 1588, 11-15

Pages 185-199

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, 11–15

Mar. 11. The Privy Council to the Commissioners.
Her Majesty being made acquainted with your letter of the 5th doth very well allow of your proceedings hitherto and in sending Mr. Spencer and Mr. Dale. Touching the place of meeting H.M. could have wished you had let the Secretary Grenier understand that you were specially directed to require that the treaty might receive his beginning at Ostend, as you were by your instructions to repair first unto Ostend and there conclude the cessation of arms before the treaty was further entered into.
Touching the cessation H.M. wishes it to be general, to extend to the whole Provinces United as to those towns held by English garrisons. Your lps. may allege that by such an extraordinary favour the States may be provoked to hearken to the treaty which hitherto they have obstinately refused. But H.M.'s meaning is not that your lps. should so far insist upon that point so as to draw out the treaty or without the States consenting to observe the same on their part.
H.M. thinketh you should propound Borbrough, Berges St. Winnok or St. Omare as the place of meeting, after the cessation is accorded, reserving the choice to yourselves, but doth no wise like you to assent to go to Antwerp.
H.M. thinketh you should find some fault with the delay in sending the commissioners to Bruges, which not being performed doth minister occasion to suspect that there is some coldness grown in the duke towards the treaty. It may be reputed some touch to H.M.'s honour that you should expect the commissioners so long without any meeting without certain knowledge whether there be any commission to treat with you at all.
As touching certain contradictions observed in de Loo's report H.M.'s intention is not that anything exhibited by de Loo to the duke shall be available to alter any point of your instructions and therefore you should forbear to cause him to set down any further matters in writing.
We hope ere these letters reach you that the wants of the garrison will be supplied. Order is also given that all captains having charge in the town shall presently repair over, and for the supply of powder, munitions and necessaries.
Endd. with date: Copy of a letter from their lordships to the Commissioners at Ostend. 2¾ pp. [Flanders II. f. 232.]
A draft of the same with corrections in Burghley's own hand. Endd. 4 pp. [Ibid. f. 234.]
Heads of letter (the same) from their Lordships to the Commissioners.
In Walsingham's hand. Endd. 4 pp. [Ibid. f. 238.]
Mar. 12. Copy of her Majesty's answer to the complaints of the Council of Zeeland against Sir William Russell [of which the substance is given in part 1 of the English version, below.]
Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXII. f. 98.]
Mar. 12. Copy of her Majesty's reply to what Mr. Ortell put before her in the name of the Council and the Estates of Zeeland on this date. [Substance given in part 2 of the English version below.]
Endd. “To remain with Mr. Secretary.” French.pp. [Ibid. f. 88.]
Mar. 12. Substance of “Her Majesty's answer to the griefs of those of Zeeland.”
1. “An answer to the States of Zeeland.”
Has received their letters sent by Ortell, and heard what he had to say in their names “touching certain griefs conceived against her Governor of Flushing, Sir William Russel.” For their desire that some well chosen person should be sent over to advertize her of the state of affairs there, she knows none fitter than the Governor-General of her army, the Lord Willoughby, who has received her special charge to seek to compound their present disunion, which cannot but work their ruin and if there be found as good conformity amongst themselves as there will be care and industry on his part, she hopes his travail will have such good effect “as shall be to their benefit and her good content.”
2. “The answer to the points communicated to her Majesty by Mr. Ortell on behalf of the States of Zeeland.”
Whereas they complain of her governor of Flushing that, contrary to the treaty he sought to bring his cornet of horse into Walcheren, she learns that her said governor “hearing that certain men should be placed within that island, and seeing no cause but that his cornet should be as well employed there as any other,” gave orders for its repair thither; but on finding that this was misliked by the States, he countermanded them; wherefore “her Majesty seeth no cause why any mention should be made thereof.”
As to their further complaint, that when Marshal Villiers' cornet was sent into the Isle, the said Governor directed the inhabitants not to receive it, she cannot but approve of his doings; first for that they did not place the governor's cornet there as well as the Marshal's, “residing in the island as he doth; whereby he may [sic] the better oversee the said cornet and keep them in discipline, and being one of whose fidelity and valour they might assure themselves as much as of any one that serves within those countries.
Secondarily, he had cause to oppose himself to the placing of the said cornet, for that the marshal is employed in the prosecution of Colonel Sonoy, known to be well-affected to her Majesty, and therefore he justly misliked that the cornet of one who prosecuted her Majesty's friends should be put in that Island.
“Touching another grief of theirs, that her cousin of Leicester, their late governor, should command the garrison of Camphire and Armyn to continue in the said towns, and not to receive any other garrison” as also that her governor of Flushing assured them of pay if the States should not satisfy them:—she thinks it meet they should understand that seeing the severe proceedings against those well-affected to her, and the confusion and mutiny amongst the soldiers for lack of pay, she could do no less—seeing how near they were to one of her cautionary towns—than draw them to be at her devotion and to depend on her favour, without meaning at all to draw them from the service of the States; for if so, she would have sought to take them presently into her own pay and place in the said towns some garrisons of her own, which is far from her purpose, whatever may be given out by those who would breed jealousy between her and the States.
Touching their complaint of the garrison of Ramekins, she has given order to her governor to examine it and give redress therein.
Endd. with date. 5 pp. [Holland XXII. f. 90.]
Mar. 12. [? Walsingham] to Lord Willoughby.
Her Majesty, as he will see by the enclosed copies of letters to the States General and the Council of State, has left somewhat to be delivered by him in her name.
And whereas they labour to excuse their prosecution of Sonoy and the rigorous proceedings of those of Leyden against certain persons well affected to her (as by the copies of their letters may also appear), she would have him confer with Mr. Killigrew and others how to impugn the reasons laid down by the said States and Council, that he may be the better able to prosecute the matter; for whose further instruction he has caused Burgrave and Medekirke “to set down their knowledge of their oversevere and hard proceedings both in the one and the other.”
Her Majesty also greatly desires that the disunion amongst them may be removed, and that they may be drawn to choose some commissioners to join with hers in the present treaty of peace, in both which she wishes him to use his best endeavour; “with regard also of necessary expedition, as well in the one as in the other, so far forth as the slowness and delays of the country will permit.—Greenwich, 12 March, 1587.
Copy, unsigned. Endd. M. to the L. Willoughby. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 94.]
Mar. 12. [Walsingham?] to Mr. Killigrew.
Her Majesty has directed Lord Willoughby to confer with him and other well-affected persons, in order to be the better able to disprove the allegations of the States General and Council of State. Doubts not but that he “will arm himself with sufficient matter” for the purpose.
And as she earnestly desires that they should be persuaded to good union and mutual concord, so necessary for their welfare and safety; “the rather because in this time of the treaty of peace, the gap of disunion will greatly encourage the enemy to stand upon so much the prouder terms,” she would have him travail between the parties to persuade them to hearken to her friendly advice, and also to use his uttermost endeavours to induce them to join their commissioners with her own in the treaty of peace; “letting them understand that she will not restrain them of their liberty in treating, nor constrain them to accept of any conditions that may not stand with their safety; and that in case the enemy shall stand upon terms of any hard condition, they concurring with her Majesty in the treaty, it will the rather encourage her to take another course for their safety.” Sends copy of an extract from her Commissioners' last letters.
From France they have “hard sorrowful news that the Prince of Condé should be taken away by poison; the procurer of it not yet known.” A ship from Rochelle brings report that the king of Navarre is in like danger, but there is no confirmation of this from “our ambassador.”—Greenwich, 12 March, 1587.
Copy, unsigned, in the same hand as the preceding paper. Endd. M. to Mr. Killigrew. 1 p. [Holland XXII. f. 96.]
Mar. 12. The Queen to the Council of State.
She has seen what they say in their last of the present difficulties there, as to which reason demands that she sould keep an ear for the accused before holding them convicted of the imputations against them. But truly, it displeases her that at such an unseasonable time they should contend so obstinately against each other, that there is danger that the total ruin of the country may result therefrom; for the obviating of which, inasmuch as they desire her to send some person of quality to accommodate the differences amongst those who have the management of affairs, she has resolved to give this charge to her Lieutenant-General, the Baron de Willoughby and to Mr. Killigrew, assistant in their Council, as personages very fitting and worthy of executing it; in which she doubts not that they will employ themselves with such zeal, affection and skill that if they find good correspondence, a very good result may be hoped, for the good of the whole country.
Copy. Endd. with date etc. “To remain with Mr. Secretary.” French.pp. [Ibid. f. 102.]
Copy of the above.
Endd. French. ¼ p. [Ibid. f. 172.]
Mar. 12. The Queen to the States General.
Has received their answer to the memorial she gave to their deputies, but cannot consider it satisfactory, for the reasons with Lord Willoughby will put before them on her behalf. To which she will add, that even if those of whom there is question should be manifestly guilty of what is imputed against them, it would be fitting for persons of judgment and experience in matters of state to reflect that it would be very unseasonable so to provoke the people one against another that their common forces could not be used for defence and preservation of the country at a time when the enemy is so strong and well provided with means to assault it, that even if united, they will have trouble enough to make head against him.
And as, to avoid the manifest danger which these differences may bring upon the State, she has given order to the Baron of Willoughby and Mr. Killigrew to do all good offices on her behalf, she prays them to hold such union and correspondence among themselves that her intervention may have the happy effect which she desires and by which they will merit the continuation of her aid and favour.
Copy. Endd. with date etc. “To remain with Mr. Secretary.” French.pp. [Ibid. f. 104.]
Copy of the above, on the same sheet as the copy of the preceding letter.
French. ¼ p. [Holland XXII. f. 172.]
Mar. 12. Memorial of Martin Blowett to Walsingham.
Offers what seems to him needful for the affairs of Zeeland.
That the garrisons of Camphere and Armuyden may have assurance of their pay, and protection from her Majesty against all their illwishers.
That she do not leave them to be paid by the States, seeing that they do not pay those at their devotion too well, and still less those who go counter to their factions and desire to live and die in the service of her Majesty. It is very needful to take advantage of the present opportunity to make sure of this Isle, which imports so greatly for the preservation of the church of God, her Majesty's service and the public welfare, and will serve as a bulwark against the rage of her enemies.
If her Majesty does not wish to charge herself with the pay of these garrisons; that she will at least to use the means and general impositions of the Isle, and that these be employed for this purpose and not paid to the States General until the said States shall join themselves again to her Majesty, or at least shall take some better way of carrying on their government, now in such confusion; so that the said garrisons may not be frightened out of their good resolution.
Prays his honour to lend his helping hand herein and to pardon his boldness.—Signed, M.B. With marginal notes of contents.
Endd. with date and name of writer.
1 p. [Ibid. f. 106.]
Mar. 14. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
From Mr. Dale's report we find that the duke is fully resolved that the king's commissioners shall not come to Ostend and to have no commission of his part seen until the meeting. He gave no sufficient reason but implied a doubt of the king's intent, intimating that he feared some accident might disturb the colloquy. In plain speeches by Richardot he said he doubted much the king would make some attempt out of Spain to the disquieting of England (which Richardot explained later as being only by way of discourse) and that we are to trust to our safe conduct only whatever accident shall happen or fall out on either side.
Touching the cessation of arms they only permit free passage to such as come to or go from us to England, which they cannot deny by virtue of the safe conduct, but only yield it under a protest that it shall not be free for any others to use the benefit of the safe conduct, plainly denying any passage from Flushing to this town.
The Mr. of Requests enquiring of Cosmo touching the commission, found that he knew of none; neither could Richardot affirm that there was any, but said they would not come without a commission, and we could not learn of any from Garnier. We think the duke, finding us to doubt his commission, might at least have shown it us. We take it strangely that the king's commissioners are not at Bruges, as appointed, nor can we conceive what Richardot inferred by saying to the Mr. of Requests that it was meant that the duke's safe conduct should serve for no place but such as are in the king's possession, the words being general “In quocunque loco in Belgio.” We refer the report of the Mr. of Requests to your lps'. greater understanding and crave your lps'. advice and her Majesty's direction upon the same. Ostend, 14 March, 1587.
Signed by all five. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2 pp. [Flanders II. f. 242.]
Copy of the same.
pp. [Ibid. f. 277.]
Mar. 14. Robert Cecil to Burghley. (fn. 1) *
I attended Dr. Dale 2 miles and turned back to Antwerp. The way was exceedingly fair, well inhabited and the ground very diligently laboured, being saved by the care of the governor named “le Bayliff du Pays de Vays” who by a tax for every cow and beast levieth maintenance for certain soldiers, who pursue freebooters and incontinently hang them up.
I had the duke's passport to come hither. The town is one of the pleasantest that ever I saw, but utterly abandoned by those rich merchants who were wont to frequent it, saving some Italians whereof one of the richest fell into my company by the way and would needs lodge me in his house affirming that his Highness had so appointed him. Of the townsmen I have had all favour and freedom to see all places worth the marking. The burgomaster was born in England, christened by K. Edward. He was son to Vanderdelf, ambassador for the emperor. My host is Carlo Lanfranchi very inward with M. Champigny, at whose motion he first set this matter on foot, whereby it is confessed that the first overture came from them, whereof they make no scruple, for it is most certain that only the Spanish captains and they that have no other living but the king's pay are only they that hinder the good success hereof, wherein none are more mischievously disposed than those of our own nation who have fallen from their true obedience, who have already bruited that now her Majesty has kept the duke from any enterprise at Ostend she has no meaning further to proceed.
All the gentlemen of the country and men of living are utterly spoiled. What the duke's mind may be I have nothing but outward appearances to inform me. If the war utterly cease he hath sufficient to maintain the dignity of a prince and that beyond his father, having (as the Spaniards underhand will speak) not a little enriched himself in these wars. If these countries come to repose and the trade begin again, such is the industry of the people and so great will be the traffic, as if the ground may be tilled and the towns frequented, especially from England and the Easterlings, he that shall here peaceably command for the king shall live in greater happiness than the king of Spain himself, with all his riches, which is not a little exhausted to maintain their forces. This Italian merchant, who is an officer under the pagador, informed me that he spends more than 400,000 crowns a month. Besides as they all confess they know how hard his fortune shall be that best speedeth in a war with so mighty a nation as ours and therefore they are not so blind as willingly to quarrel with them, if as they term it, by any means possible this king might not be mastered by his own which rather they say than still they will endure they will adventure the redress, though with the hazard of all their fortunes and lives.
Their preparations, if they were ten times greater than they are, can be no greater than they desire you should suppose them, whereof by my next letter I will more particularly advise you. I mean to go from hence to Bergen op Zoom by water, whereby I shall the better see such shipping as is here.
[Hopes that there may be no greater care had of the conclusion of a peace than of the security and continuance hereafter.]
The counsellors that most govern his Altesse are all Burguynions or Italians, which partiality makes all the Spaniards very greatly repine. Montdragon, governor of the citadel, would quickly have laid his authority upon me, if I had not had a direct passport from his Altesse. Of him, so I have heard, the duke keeps a hard hand, as one that was toward him is suspected of a libel to this effect that the K. of Spain did now discover his folly in suffering his affairs to be governed by one that for his own private glory and desire of repose, not only disgraced all the king's old servants, and advanced his own nation, but, also with shame enough escrire et rescrire to the Queen of England of this matter so long delayed, whose meaning was nothing less than to suffer the king quietly to enjoy his own, as might well be perceived by her countenancing of Mr. Drake in all his actions, which they maliciously gave a worse term.
Mr. Pyne returneth to Ostend, who carrieth this letter. Antwerp, 14 March, stilo nostro.
Postscript: I have seen the citadel, which is counted the goodliest and strongest piece of all Europe. I have sent your lp. of the best seeds that came now in a ship out of Italy.
Holograph. Endd. 3 pp. [Flanders II. f. 240.]
Mar. 14. Dr. Dale to the Queen.
I have been with the duke of Parma. Richardot accompanied me to him, and I found him in the ancient house where the Emperor Charles was born. After compliments I told him your Majesty had been advertised that he was desirous to be a mean to make a full reconciliation between your Majesty and the king Catholic, and you had conceived a singular opinion of his sincerity and honour in keeping of his word. Upon this ground your Majesty was contented to give ear unto a motion for a treaty and had despatched certain noblemen most fit for such a charge, who reached Ostend on the 26 February. I asked him that there might be some meeting for the treaty with as much expedition as might be. For the better speed of the matter I told him I was to confer with the king's commissioners for the collation of their commission and offered the like for your Majesty's, as my lords assumed that the duke's commissioners would come to Ostend without question.
The duke, understanding that I used not Italian answered in French. He admitted that he had procured a motion to be made for peace to avoid bloodshed. Though brought up to war he thought it would be more honourable to make a peace, especially with such a great queen, allied of ancient time with the house of Burgundy. He was glad the commissioners were of such quality whereby he hoped for good success, but feared that some accident might happen by delays and therefore he desired there might be no time lost and that some place might be agreed upon for the meeting of the commissioners. I answered that your Majesty's commissioners were at Ostend, quoting the French proverb “Il s'ennuie qui attend.” He replied that Ostend was very incommodious and wished they were at Antwerp or some such place. I replied that they were contented with the place and grieved at nothing so much as the delay. Then the duke said the place was over much incommodious for the king's commissioners and there was no place convenient for them near. I said they might very well be at Newport and come in the morning to negotiate, returning in good times. Your Majesty's commissioners had travelled almost 40 leagues by land and passed the sea, therefore the king's might well take a little pains. Well then said the duke, they may come to Ostend for one meeting. I thereupon asked him to appoint what time they should be there. The duke then began to speak in Italian saying he used not the French tongue in matters of substance. He refused to continue his French and said he would rather speak by interpreter. He said, Ostend was not honeste, but desired some neuter place and said there were letters of Andreas de Loo whereby it appeared that other places were appointed. I said I took it he was contented that the first meeting should be at Ostend. He answered, near Ostend, so that I could not press him any further but said your Majesty had given election of the country to the duke and so in reason the place should be left to your Majesty who did take it as a thing undoubted, and had chosen Ostend, neither was there any place neuter in the Low Countries. He said, Ostend was not in the Low Countries but a town in the sea. I said your Majesty had charged your Commissioners to meet at Ostend, which they could not break, being but commissioners, but his Altesse might dispose at his pleasure and desired him not to stick upon punctilio. He smiled and said there was no punctilio. I doubted lest I should annoy him with over much reply and desired him to confer with his Council and devise some mean way, desiring to know if I might repair to him the next day in the afternoon. He said he would be at good leisure in the morning. I then reminded him of the points in the commission. He said that was a thing usual to be considered at the meeting of the Commissioners and not before. I desired him to take order in that matter with Pres. Richardot, and so took leave.
Count d'Arenberg and Richardot came to dine with me, for I was very honourably entertained at Ghent, and the duke had sent for hangings, beds and plate to Bruges. In the afternoon Champegny came to me. I told him he had been a great ‘traveler’ for quietness and so now he must needs tenir le (sic) main at a pinch. We were but commissioners and could not break a jot of our commission and therefore they must not stick upon narrow points. He would hardly hear me out and began to declare what travayle he had taken and so forth. I desired him to give good advice so that I might have a good answer in the morning. About 4 Richardot came with a premeditated speech. He marveled at our proposing Ostend; they would have liked a neuter place, the duke of Cleves' territory, Colin or Liege. They would better have endured England than a town of ours possessed by us. Berghen op Zome had been first mentioned, then Bourbourg or Wynock Berghen, and now Ostend and he did not know what these delays and alterations might breed. The king was a great way off and what his determination might be they could not tell nor what accident might happen to England. They were all satisfied when they understood that your Majesty would send to this country and would not stand on the point of honour, but were content for the first meeting to come to a place near Ostend. For the commission we might be well assured that the duke would not act without a sufficient one. This appeared by the king's letter to the king of Denmark whereof he was assured we had a copy. I said not a word but asked for Mr. Cecil, who was in the next chamber, to come to us. At his coming I began to rehearse what Richardot had said. Then he began again in the Latin tongue and rehearsed all his former speech. When he had done I began somewhat roundly in Latin and said we had not proposed Ostend, but the election was given to your Majesty and we thought it a matter not to be called in question. And then began to amplify that equality ought to be observed in princes of equal degree. As they chose the country they should yield locum loci. If they had such desire of peace as they said they might well yield as to the place of meeting and they should take heed that the let might not be found in them whereby the whole country might execrari authores mali. I answered his reference to Berghen op Zoom and said there was no account to be made of the letters of Andreas de Lo, as there were as many letters of his of the other side. Further the duke's safe conduct was in quocunque loco in Belgio. Yea, said he, I said when it passed that it was meant ad loca in possessione regis constituta. I replied it was too late to add that, and if it had been added my lords would not have accepted it. The king's letter was a slender argument for a commission, but I said I had only mentioned it for expedition's sake and pressed the point no further. I then began to declare unto him that since your Majesty and his Altesse were so well inclined it were lack of due consideration in their ministers not to further the matter, and he should take pains to come to my lords at Ostend to show his reasons and hear theirs. He said he would do it with all his heart. I said they were to blame to send Garnier so slenderly instructed. He granted it and said he had chidden Garnier, and so we parted.
The next morning Richardot fetched me to the Court, where the duke was with more company than before. After compliments I said I did partly perceive by him that he was thoroughly disposed to peace and asked him to assure himself that your Majesty was also, so if things did not proceed, let it be imputed to others. I told him of my conference with Richardot and of Ostend. The duke began again with his desire of peace and would have entered again upon the discourse of the place, but I stood resolutely upon the commission for Ostend and said M. Richardot would go there to confer. He said he would send Richardot or some other, meaning Garnier. I desired Richardot. The duke said he could not spare him but would send Garnier. I desired that he might be better instructed than before and so took my leave.
After my departure the duke called Richardot and de Lo unto him. I understand the duke and Richardot examined de Lo what he could say to maintain their pretence.
After dinner certain eschevins of Gaunt came to thank your Majesty for taking pity on them and prayed God your good meaning might take good effect. I told them you took their imputation in very good part; but qu'il ne tient point a votre Majesté, and required them so to say to the rest of the town.
Afterwards Richardot came and in Mr. Cecil's presence I reminded him of what he said about some new accident out of Spain or for England. I asked him what would become of us commissioners if any such thing should happen while we were in treaty and in any town of the king. He paused a good while and said he had spoken it but by way of discourse and if such things should happen the commissioners' persons were safe by the duke's safe conduct, and “God forbid you should be molested, that were contra jus gentium.”
The next day I left Gaunt for Bruges with a good convoy to this town, where my lords do attend to be advised of your Majesty's pleasure…. Ostend, 14 March, 1587.
Postscript. I omitted the duke's words in answer to your Majesty's opinion of his sincerity. He said he had always especial care of keeping his word and that his body and service was at the commandment of the king his lord, but his honour was his own and your Majesty might be assured he would have special regard of his word to such a great and famous queen.
Add. Endd. 15 pp. [Flanders II. f. 244.]
A draft of the above letter with many corrections.
Endd. “A minute of Dr. Dale's letter to the Queen” and by Burghley “Copy of a letter from Dr. Dale to her Majesty.” 50½ pp. [Ibid. f. 252.]
Mar. 14. Dr. Dale to Walsingham.
I have written what I have seen, heard and said as plain as a ‘pickstaf.’ Others may make defence and treaty. I suppose wise men will gather here to direct us, for here we be, as you see, upon terms to stand still or to go…. I pray you … concerning of my letter or of my doings that you will help me out as well as you may, and if I have broken Priscian's head by error or plainness I had rather my imperfections were seen than that anything should be concealed.—Ostend, 14 March, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 279.]
Mar. 14. The Same to Burghley.
I send your lp. the minute of my letter to the Queen. Your lp. must needs make the best of it. What is to be gathered thereby or what expedient formed for the clearing of things, wise men must judge. We must be directed from point to point Nihil enim hic certi possumus statuere. This changing of the first place hath bred all this alteration and for anything that we find this place is not only incommodious but inconvenient.
The journey was both painful and chargeable. Mr. Cecil and I supped one night both of us with an orange, saving that I lunched him with half a red herring. It was two days before we had a couple of eggs apiece, and then we thought we fared like princes. And yet truly we had great entertainment for the season. Mr. Cecil sat 9 hours upon his horse in foul way and most rainy; yet he is very well and was honourably used by the duke…. Although I did not know of his mind for his journey to Antwerp yet having so good opportunity I could not but allow of it, and old as I am I would I had seen the castle … for it hath been builded since I was there. What we shall do when Granier comes … I know not, but I devised it that some should come because I would entertain the matter until we might hear from thence.—Ostend, 14 March, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 281.]
Mar. 14. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
It is reported that Armewe and Camphire are at her Majesty's devotion and that the deputies for the States departed from the Court and have promised to return with others out of Holland whereby it is supposed will grow some conformableness in them to hearken to this treaty, which may not a little further this peace. Yet as here and there people are ready to move scruples it shall not be amiss that her Majesty's honourable meaning therein may be made known to the duke of Parma, for this age hath more need of repelling false imaginations than to maintain true and honourable proceedings. As soon as may be it is reason that my lords here may understand from my L. Willebye how far the surcease of arms shall be fit to extend under his government, for as yet there is nothing heard from him.—Ostend, 14 March, 1587.
Postscript. I do many times wish me out of this town for the filthiness and the dissolution of the soldiers who have already robbed my L. of Derby and offered the same to L. Cobham, myself and Dr. Dale. This last night they brake hole in a wall where some provision of mine was laid and yet there is no day but either at my table or with my steward I give meat to 20 of them.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. ¾ p. [Flanders II. f. 283.]
Mar. 14. Dr. Lobetius to Walsingham.
I wrote to M. Horace Pallavicini on the 15th of last month, and to M. Waad, and … asked them to salute you on my behalf. We are expecting the return of Milord Solcker, whom you are keeping longer than pleases his wife.
[Refers to events in France, particularly in the country of Montbeliard and before Jametz.] Not long ago MM. de Believre and de la Guesche were at Nancy, sent by the king, but only for two days, and then returned to him. In coming to Nancy they passed by the place where the Duke of Guise was and stayed there three days to communicate with him, but of what is not known. Some think that the king wishes to take those two places, Jametz and Sedan, into his protection, and has demanded the withdrawal of the forces before there; others believe that it concerns the laying down of arms and treating of a general peace, a matter which would not be without great difficulties from the diversity of humours and wills. The king has disbanded his German reiters, whose colonels were the Count Rhinegrave and the Sieur de Bassompierre; those of the Dukes of Lorraine and Guise having been already dismissed.
Duke Casimir has done the same with his troops. It is said that the Duke of Wirtemberg had sent to the princes of Saxony to obtain leave to make a levy of reiters and has permission to raise eight thousand. It seems that there are some great enterprises in hand on one side or another. Colonel Martin Schenck fortifies Bonn as much as he can, and has built a fort on the other side of the Rhine which will be very serviceable. The Duke of Parma threatens the town with a siege, and troops are ready for that purpose, under the Prince de Chimay, although they talked of some truce and agreement between the two archbishops, in which the Duke of Cleves was very forward; but the negotiation has come to nothing.
You have heard how unfortunate our affairs have been in Poland, and that the Archduke Maximilian, after losing a battle, has been made prisoner. The Chancellor of Poland is now making overtures of peace, and for the delivery of the Archduke, who is treated kindly and with great respect. The Emperor will not listen to any but an honourable peace; wherefore they are arming in Bohemia, Hungary, Silesia, Moravia, Lusace and other places. There is beginning to be talk of an Imperial Diet. Those of Geneva have had some little quarrel with the people of their neighbour, but it is hoped it will go no further. Those of Mulhausen are not altogether quieted, there being still some refractory ones, wherefore ambassadors from Zurich, Berne and Schafhausen have gone thither. It is said that the Catholic Cantons are much urged by the King of Spain to join with him.
They write from Rome that the Pope has charged his legate in Poland to acknowledge the prince of Sweden as king. Also that he means to extirpate and extinguish in Italy the old factions of Guelphs and Ghibelines.
There has been a report here of the King of Spain's death, but I believe it is false. They have also given out that the Marquis de Ste. Croix is dead. The Baron de Bolweiler, a German of this country and an ancient colonel of the King of Spain has passed away. M. Sturmius, who has entered his eighty-first year is pretty well, but he is blind, and not able to do anything. He sends you his respectful greetings, and so do I.—Strasbourg, 13 March, 1588. Signed, J.L.
Add. Endd. French.pp. [Holland XXII. f. 108.]
Mar. 14. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Hears both by letter and word of mouth that Medenblicke cannot hold out fifteen days longer. Sonoy sends him word that if driven to yield up the town, “he is to look for nothing but death.” Unless three or four ships are sent to succour it, all the well-affected people and the towns yielded up to her Majesty would resolve themselves her Majesty would have no regard of them if they were driven to the like extremity.
The people of all sorts are now well affected unto the Queen and give out that if assistance comes from England, the ships before that town would refuse to make resistance. The relieving of it would cause them to yield all into her hands they being weary of the States' evil government and desirous to be at her devotion.—Flushing, 14 March, 1587.
Postscript. “The States mind not to join with her Majesty's commissioners in this action of peace, but do still run an indirect and obstinate course against her Highness.”
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 110.]
Mar. 15. Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
Presses for an answer to their former despatch but especially to the letter sent yesterday via Calais. Also to warn him of the tickle estate of that town, wishing that some special person may be sent and the absent captains return to their charges.—Ostend, 15 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders II. f. 285.]
Mar. 15. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
Forwarding Lord Willoughby's answer received that day, to their lps'. letter of 30 Feb., desiring their resolution thereupon with convenient expedition, as well as an answer to their despatch sent on the 14th. Praying them to hasten over the rest of the absent captains to their charges.—Ostend, 15 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. wrongly “Copy of L. Willoughby's letter touching the cessation.” 1 p. [Ibid. f. 287.]
Mar. 15. Lord Willoughby to Burghley.
Count Hollock was at the Hague last Saturday for seven or eight hours without coming to me or sending notice of his being there, although he knew I was in the town.
On Sunday Count Maurice came to my lodging there, with whom I had two hours' conference. I urged that their forces before Medenblicke might be withdrawn, “and that Snoy might stand to be tried either by their privileges, or to stand to her Majesty's assignment, but all I could persuade seemed to small purpose, where appeared a resolution of using revenge and rigour.
“Monday I came to this town, where Count Hollock had been almost all day drinking with the magistrates; for which the people growing jealous … fearing he would combine to bring in forces, began to mutiny against their rulers; and on the last Wednesday, with sound of drum, proclaimed about their town that all strangers save Englishmen and of my train should before night, upon a pain, depart the town. My coming hither hath well settled them in affection towards us,” and prevented the Count's enterprise.
I pray you remember their good disposition by some gracious letter; and that in the Custom Houses and other places where any of them may traffic in England such courtesy may be used as will “show to proceed” from their good devotion to her Majesty.
In coming here, I heard that Count Hollock had lodged the night before in Rotterdam, wherefore I stayed there three or four hours, in conference with the magistrates, whom I left well-affected towards her Majesty's service.
The money you sent has come in good season to relieve the miseries of the soldiers, and shall be stretched forth to the uttermost.
When Meredith, the vice-treasurer returns, your lordship shall have a perfect note of what is paid, what remains, and how long this will last. Touching the Establishment, letters for the musters etc., also received, I will use all good care, and advertise by the next what I have done.—Dort, 15 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXII. f. 112.]


  • 1. A portion of this letter is printed; Algernon Cecil: Life of Robert Cecil, pp. 32-4.