Elizabeth: April 1588, 16-20

Pages 294-308

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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April 1588, 16–20

April 16. Sir Edward Norreys to Walsingham.
According to your honour's commandment, I made haste, and the wind served so well that I landed here on Sunday morning. Nothing has since happened of which others cannot better certify your honour. But if it please you to have my opinion of the town, “I found that though it be much altered and decayed, … yet with an increase of 1000 men, and victual and munition accordingly, it will be defended against the enemy's bravest approach, until her Majesty may still have means to reinforce it by sea; though the enemy have stopped the haven, and thereby make him spend that season here which he would else employ upon some place of greater importance for us and so stay, if not hinder her worse…. But it must not only be defended from the enemy, but from the sea, which is far more difficult than the other, for the breaches are already such that if it be not repaired this summer, it will be unrecoverable without exceeding charge; for even that which it will ask now for the repairing is more than I think anybody will persuade her Majesty to bestow; although I think the place of that importance for the enemy to annoy us withal, that all means should be sought before it should be abandoned. Such works are never performed without a common contribution, in which these countrymen do exceed all nations. No way therefore can I imagine unless Holland and Zeeland may be persuaded to contribute towards it; and if perhaps they will take less care of it because it is in her Majesty's keeping; better, I think, leaving it to them to defend it from both, than keeping it awhile, be fain to abandon it to the enemy; who will force the countries of Flanders and the rest that are near quickly to recover it, and by it greatly endamage our country and trade.” I refer this to your honour's better experienced wisdom.—Ostend, Monday, 16 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 94.]
April 16. The Lords of the Council to the Commissioners.
With respect to the points on which you desire to understand her Majesty's pleasure—she wills us to signify unto you, first: that she likes well that you should name the town of Bridges, finding no other so fit; it being free from any garrisons of soldiers, “whereby you may with more quietness follow the service committed unto you”; secondly, “she findeth it somewhat strange that there should be any difficulty at all made thereat; especially if, according to her last direction, it had been propounded for the four towns only, both in respect that it hath been a thing usual in all treaties that have passed between princes, as also in regard of the benefits that the said Duke shall receive thereby, by restraining the garrisons of the towns in her Majesty's hands from making of incursions, as heretofore they have done … Therefore her pleasure is that you shall … most earnestly insist upon the point of cessation; as also to have the same continued by the space of twenty days after the breaking off of the said treaty, in case it should so fall out; to the end your Lordships and the rest may with safety withdraw yourselves out of these countries. And as touching the allegation that the said cessation could not be indifferent for the King, she seeth no inequality therein; considering order shall be taken that no annoyance shall grow from the garrisons in any of her towns … so as the Duke's forces may be otherwise employed….
“And for the last point, concerning the Commission, her Majesty doth not see—as by her last letters sent unto you she doth signify— how she can with honour proceed in the said treaty unless the Duke shall show unto you a commission immediately from the King, by the which he is authorised to appoint Commissioners to treat with you; and shall also deliver unto you a true copy thereof testified under his hand and seal, and subscribed by the Commissioners … especially having regard to the sundry advertisements she receiveth that the said treaty is only entertained to draw her (in hope of a peace) from that provident care that appertaineth to a Prince of that judgment and experience … for the prevention of such attempts as the great preparations made in Spain and in the Low Countries do threaten unto this estate…. “She hath further willed us unto you, our very good lord the Earl of Derby, that as she has very great cause to thank you that at the late meeting with the Commissioners you did (notwithstanding your weakness) repair thither; whereby you did show yourself to prefer her service before your particular danger—so should she be infinitely sorry in case your sickness should thereby receive any increase, as she greatly feareth it might do … and hath also willed us to let you understand that she doth very well accept of your service in the charge committed unto you; especially in insisting upon such points as may in any sort touch her in honour….
“Some lack she findeth in you touching your last conference … in that you did not (for any thing [that] appeareth by your late letters) move the Commissioners to have both a sight and a copy of the Duke's commission; for that without such a commission—he being only a substituted governor in the Low Countries … cannot treat or conclude anything that may concern the kingdom of Spain, from whence, for the present, the greatest danger doth grow, in respect of the great preparations made there by sea. And as touching the Commissioners' allegation that the Duke procured the King's ratification of the treaty between him and the Queen Mother for Cambray, her Majesty doth not think, in respect of the inequality of the comparison (they both being no sovereign though otherwise so most honourable personages) that you ought not to have let slip the said allegation without some reply.” And therefore would not have you hereafter to suffer the commissioners “to run away with any such like advantages.”
Copy of letter of 16 April to the Commissioners. Endd. with note of contents.pp. [Flanders III. f. 124.]
Draft for the above, much corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date.pp. [Ibid. f. 128.]
April 16. Lord Cobham to Bubghley.
Garnier has been with us, and we thought he should have brought us the Duke's answer about cessation of arms; but he delivered the same speeches which President Richardot had done. “He was told roundly that this course seemed very strange unto us, for that we were promised their Commissioners that we shall know directly the Duke's answer.” When he came to take leave of my lord of Derby, who lay in bed, he said “that he perceived that we did always go about to draw from them and yield nothing ourselves, and wished that her Majesty would command in all the towns in her possession to forbear any hostility and that the Duke might do the like in his army, and the same to extend by sea and land, not comprehending those of Holland and Zeeland, except either they do desire it or her Majesty would require it for them. It was demanded whether he was willed to say this much unto us from the Duke. He answered, no; but he would acquaint the Duke, and send us word this morning; doubting nothing but that the Duke would allow of it; and pressed us to know the place for our conveniences; which was forborne, for that we are restrained; for we are only to think of a place and not to name it. Antwerp were the only place, for sundry respects; next Borbergh or Bruges, if the Duke will retire himself, and remove all his forces out of the town and country about, and to have the passage open by Sluse.”
I desire to know if Mr. Cecil be come to you and in good health. Our charges are great and growing greater; more than my poor ability will perform, except her Majesty relieve me.
My lord Wylloby should be written to; and the governors of the cautionary towns and the rest, “that if her Majesty shall lack of this, they be straitly commanded to keep in their soldiers from going abroad ‘a flyetbutting’ and their ships from roving. The next point will be to demand hostages. How that will be digested by them I know not … for I am informed that the Duke has not the power to command them.” Also, if the cautionary towns and others commanded by her Majesty's garrisons do not straitly observe the cessation, what may be said to us.
“We have all day expected Grayner's answer. At the last there is a letter come to us from Andrea de Loo; where he writes that I prayed him to let the Duke and the Commissioners understand how greatly we thought ourselves bounden unto him for the great honour that was done unto us for her Majesty; and that I doubted not that upon knowledge given to her, her Highness would take it in good part, and says further E bien [sic] sperando che avremo stasera qualche d'uno da parte VSS. illustrisimo; which speech is to us all so strange that we cannot tell what to say. If there be any credit given to any of us to deal underhand, as this must of necessity come from some of us, I heartily pray your lordship that I may be revoked, for truly I will not endure it. These courses is no furtherance to her Majesty's service, but rather a hindrance…”—Ostend, 16 April.
Signed. Endd. as sent by Quester. 2 pp. [Flanders III. f. 126.]
April 16. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
“It appeareth by this despatch how nice points we stand upon, and what difficulties we have. It may please your lordship that it may be advisedly considered how far we shall stick ut in neutram partem non simus nimii. Et a nobis diligenter fines mandati sunt observandi; and yet it is hard to hold every man, either young or old, unto Et vix constant posteriora cum prioribus and therefore God send your lordship strength to be at the direction. I have the better hope by Mr. Cecil's presence, whom it may please your lordship to make privy to this despatch, that he may make his gloss upon it; for he knoweth our humours on both sides. But I would wish he had seen our letter received by Sir Edward Noris….—Ostend, 16 April, 1588.
Postscript in Dale's own hand: “The matter of the commission as we are instructed by her Majesty's last letter; and the matter of hostages is very dangerous."
Unsigned. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Seal. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 134.]
April 16. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
Is sending his lordship “the brief remembrance of the speeches proceeding from M. Garnier at his last being here”; which they expect to be sent hither from Bruges, signed by some person of authority, and then will send into England to their lordships.
Thanks his lordship heartily for his letters, brought by Morris. Beseeches him that they may now proceed roundly in the matter of the treaty, lest by delays, it be overthrown.—Ostend, 16 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd.p. [Ibid. f. 139.]
Enclosure. "Certain speeches uttered … by M. Garnier at Ostend the 15 of April, 1588.
“He called to remembrance that before dinner he had said that tacite both sides did agree unto surceance of arms.
“Then he declared that he did think it reasonable for expedition that the Duke for his part should command surcease of arms to his men of war and garrisons, in any wise not to molest or trouble any of the places now under her Majesty's commandment; and the like to be done on her Majesty's behalf; including also all such as should travel by sea in peaceable sort, without using an hostility; wherein he expressly named Vlushinge.
“Being further contented to accept Holland and Zeeland to be comprised within the said cessation, if they do prœcario modo desire the same.”
[Ibid. f. 141.]
April 17. Capt. Edmond Uvedall to Walsingham.
Sends his honour the plot of the ‘Seg’ of stones, the notes of which he took when there, and which has been since made by Giles Hamburg, a gentleman in his company, and is held by the English captains there to be so perfect that not one trench or work of importance is left out. Desires no more reward than to be continued in his honour's good opinion, from whom he acknowledges to have all he possesses.
The bearer hereof, Jacob Uvedall, his kinsman was in the town with him and can satisfy his honour of anything that may seem doubtful. He has followed both the wars of Ireland and of these countries, but fortune has not yielded him the preferment he desired. Humbly craves his honour's favour for him.— Burgen op Zone, 17 April.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 96.]
April 17. [The Queen] to Lords Derby and Cobham.
We learn from a letter of Sir John Conway, governor of that town to our Council of some disgraces offered by our Comptroller to him, whereof we do greatly mislike. As that he should term him a fool and unept to carry charge; and give him the lie in an open place and hearing of divers of the garrison which are under his commandment; and specially that without his privity, he should give licence to divers burghers and others of the garrison as well to meet and confer with the enemy, as also to carry out of that town good quantity of victuals, contrary to our express commandment given by us to the said governor. And lastly that he should give out that he had secret commission from us to send the said governor over unto us from his charge; which are all matters, as far as we have been informed, done by our said Comptroller upon very slight occasions, and rather of headiness than upon any just ground…. We do also greatly mislike of his late repair to the Duke of Parma, without either our leave or the good liking and assent of you, the rest of his associates; and lastly of a stopping of a breach which we have been informed he hath commanded to be made near to the haven of that town contrary to the advice of the engineer … and as we hear, is of great advantage to the enemy and may be very dangerous for the town. And therefore we think meet that you shall in our name let our said Comptroller understand how greatly we are offended with this his manner of dealing; as a matter which might give just cause to the world to give ear to such jealous conceits as have been given out of his unsound affection towards us and our estate. And that our pleasure is he do both forbear to intermeddle with the government or other matters appertaining to the town for that our meaning was not to send him thither for any such service, but only to assist in the treaty for the peace. And that we do greatly marvel that a man of his years and experience should in so disordered a sort, upon such slender occasion disgrace openly a person put in trust by us with the government of a town; thereby to draw him into contempt of the captains and soldiers, to the great prejudice of our service. And likewise you shall admonish in our name that in further proceeding in the matter you are specially sent for into (sic) those countries—which is the treaty— he do forbear to use any singular courses; but join with you in common concurrency according to your instructions, and such directions as from time to time shall be sent from us….
Memo, of letter to Lords Derby and Cobham of this date. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 150.]
April 10
and 18.
Henry Killigrew to Walsingham.
For the points whereof in your last to me of the 30 of March you desired to be informed, I have written in part on the 3rd instant (fn. 1) by the post, who I hope will be more diligent in its delivery than his fellow was of your honour's to me, enclosing my Lord of Leicester's resignation; which, being dated 22 February came not to my hands before 14 March at Dordrecht. At my return to the Hague, I delivered the same to the States on the 21st, “not without great suspicion and speech bruited abroad that I had retained the said resignation a long time in my hands, by reason the date thereof was so many months ago.” Where the fault for the delay was, I cannot say. It was sent to me by Mr. Gilpin, from the Hague.
“As touching the compounding of the present differences … there is good hope of knitting up all matters in controversy; but what means they have to maintain their estate I see not. [Margin “otherwise than the state of the war which they have set down. the copy whereof I have sent long ago to my Lord of Leicester.] My Lord General and myself do not cease … to employ our best endeavours in drawing all to unity … wherein I pray God our labour may prove as happy in the end as it is likely in the beginning, particularly for this matter of Colonel Sonoy which presently we have in hand … I hope it will shortly draw to a good end, notwithstanding the long delays these men use in these matters. My Lord Willughbie himself was held from this journey by sickness, which I have also taken here, and in that respect less able to deal in this controversy.”
As for those of Camphere and Armue, I have propounded the matter to the States, but have as yet received no answer. And also, for that the States General are not so properly to be dealt with therein, because the garrisons of Zeeland are paid by the States of Zeeland. I sent my proposition to them by Telinck, one of the Council of Estate for that province and have solicited my Lord Governor of Flushing to solicit the said States therein, and in case of any difficulty or stay of payment to let me understand thereof, but I have not as yet heard that any stay has been made, neither do I think will be—Medemblick, 10 April, 1588.
Postscript. The former I wrote at Medemblick, where I fell into a burning ague which brought me very low, and compelled me to depart before matters were fully ended; “but we had drawn the matter to a full composition for the Colonel himself … and for the soldiers and burghers which had departed the town in this time of the siege.” There was good hope of the ending of all things by the Lord General, who came thither before I went away.
“Mr. Villiers, by my procurement, was one of the Commission to deal in that matter, and hath carried himself therein very well and uprightly. [Concerning Gilpin's substitution in his place, and the conference with Villiers upon the Duke of Parma's use of flat-bottomed boats etc.] Sends his honour copies “of such remonstrances and memorials as were delivered unto the States by the Council of Estate at the giving up of their authority … I understand the States (which are now assembled here altogether at the Hague) have been in hand to establish a new Council of Estate, with new Instructions. Some difficulty there hath been made therein by those of Guelderland, Utrecht and Oberissell, because they could wish my Lord of Leicester's return and all things in their old estate. For otherwise they see no hope of holding out against the enemy, unless by his lordship's means, her Majesty be thoroughly embarked in their defence.
This afternoon certain from the States came “to desire me, if my sickness would suffer me, to join with them in consultation about the establishing of a new Council of Estate, “but my sickness excuseth me. They signified unto me also they had received divers advertisements the King of Spain was dead, and some reason they brought “for that of a long time he had not been seen abroad; and the Emperor's and Pope's ambassadors had received audiences of the Infante, Elizabeth of France's daughter.”—The Hague, 18 April, '88.
Signed. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 100.]
April 18. “Abstract of the proceedings of her Majesty's Commissioners and the Commissioners appointed to treat with them about a peace in the Low Countries.”
Feb. 28. Arrived at Ostend.
March 8. Dr. Dale repaired to the Duke of Parma to induce him to send his Commissioners to Ostend.
[Notes of his reply.]
April 11. The Commissioners held their first meeting and propounded. 1. The validity of the Commissions on either side. 2. The place where the treaty was to be held. 3. A cessation of arms.
[Notes of the discussion on these points.]
“The States refusing to join with her Majesty in the Treaty doth greatly hinder the good success, likely otherwise to ensue thereof. In case they may be brought to join … the greatest difficulties will consist in these points following.
1. Toleration of religion; which the King himself yielded to them at the treaty of Gaunt; the divines of the Universities of Louvain and Doway agreeing that he might lawfully grant the same.
2. That the King should withdraw his Spanish, Italian and German forces from those countries; that such garrisons as are to be placed in the frontiers may be “of people of that country birth”; and that all citadels not upon the frontiers be demolished.
On the other side, if the King should not yield to a toleration “her Majesty findeth that the Protestants … shall be forced to forsake the country; which is the cause they will not join in the treaty … doubting the King's sincerity in that point. So as the country being wholly possessed by Papists, it will prove more dangerous to her and her Estate than heretofore it hath been. So as upon these two points, the principal difficulty will stand.”
Endd. April 18. 1¾ pp. [Flanders III. f. 154.]
April 18/28. The Duke of Parma to the governor of Dunkirk.
By what is written in French to the Admiralty of this town, you will understand the offence which has been committed against an English ship of the deputies of the Queen; and since it is contrary to the safe-conduct and promise which I gave them and therefore to the detriment of his Majesty's service and my reputation; you will, without delay restore what has been taken, severely punishing the culprits, after a full enquiry, so acting that it may not be necessary for me to send a person expressly; to show the king and myself to be careful observers of our word; and see that care is taken henceforward to avoid such disobedience, as not only the sailors and soldiers will pay for it, but the chiefs.—Bruges, 28 April, 1588.
Copy in de Loo's hand. Endd. by Burghley. 8 April (sic). Spanish 2/3 p. [Flanders III. f. 156.]
April 18. Henry Kyllygrew to Burghley.
[Reasons for not writing before]. “Since the delivery [of Leicester's resignation], a great change is fallen out, and good hope of reconcilement, according as my Lord General and myself were commanded by letters from her Majesty to work the same by all good means we could. Whereof, because the end must yield the best trial, I dare not be overbold to assure your lordship … but sure they give good tokens … that they will remain at her Majesty's devotion.”
The matters of Medenblick are composed to the contentment of all. [Details of the arrangement.] I was there until by the contagious air of the place I fell into a burning ague, which constrained me to return hither, where I remain unable to do her Majesty any service.
“Gilpin was one of the commission for the matter of Medenblick, without whom we had been able to do nothing for want of the language.”
[Margin, by Burghley. “I know not any of his estate more meet to be entertained for her Majesty's service than he is.”]
Again recommends that Gilpin shall succeed him or that some reasonable entertainment be allotted unto him … “I see daily in how great stead he standeth my Lord General … and how hardly matters would go forward without him.
“The States of all the provinces are now assembled here together, but as yet have given no answer to my propositions … to join with her Majesty towards the treaty. But there is good hope they will send thither some commissioners shortly.
[Margin, by Burghley. “Some effect will shortly follow upon this.”]
[Concerning the establishment of a new Council of Estate as to Walsingham.] “Within two or three days my Lord General is looked for here from Utrecht, whither he made a step after the matters of Medenblick were compounded.”
I cannot but again give you to understand “that unless provisions of victuals be made for Berghen and Ostend, they are gone, if the enemy come before them. These men refuse to supply their wants, alleging they are in her Majesty's pay, and the magazines wherewithal they have furnished them heretofore have been thrice consumed.
“Of late I have had some conference with men of good judgment touching the Duke of Parma's preparations of places in the coast of Flanders; whether they should be for this country or England. They are of opinion they are for England; and whereas it is thought they cannot brook the seas; that experience teacheth they have oftentimes crossed over in such flat-bottoms to Newcastle for coal. Moreover, that they are so made as they will transport 40 horse, and run their noses up to the very land. It is thought in the North country near Scotland, at a place called Hartelpoole, they might find a good landing.”
[Margin, by Burghley: “This place would be looked unto. The town was the Earl of Cumberland's and now is my lord Lumley's.”]
At the Hague, 18 April, '88.
Postscript. Thanks him for his letter…. “The error you mentioned therein of the day of my Lord Willughbie's oath was only the diversity of styles.”
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. close writing. [Holland XXIII. f. 98.]
April 18. Sir Edward Norreys to Walsingham.
Believing last letters intercepted, repeats what he said of ease and advantage of defending Ostend; but need to the repair of defences against the sea.
“These last low tides of foul weather have so enlarged the breaches and carried away our works upon our ramparts” have increased the need “but it shall no sooner be in the enemy's hands but with a general tax upon all the country, he will easily recover it; and in it a haven commodious for ships of 200 ton.”
If my opinion should be allowed of, and order taken in it, “it will be a town honourable for her Majesty to keep, and more profitable than Flushing and Brill together….”—Ostend, 18 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms.pp. [Ibid. f. 105.]
April 18/28. Philippe de Marnix, Sieur de Ste. Aldegunde, to Walsingham.
Thanks him for the testimony of his affection, shown by the letter sent by the Sieur Casembrot. Finds his advice very good, and on the whole is inclined to follow it, but not entirely. It grieves him to abandon his native land, although the malignity of his enemies does not permit him to serve it. And on the other hand, he would desire to have some clearer proof that he would be welcome over there for otherwise he should find himself very uneasy and in more trouble than now. And the more so that jealousies reign everywhere and especially in the courts of the great…. Moreover, the Princess of Orange does not yet seem to have entirely made up her mind; so that he is still waiting to see how it shall please God to dispose of him.
Moreover, having anew taken upon him the yoke of marriage, and his wife being at Antwerp, entirely wrapped in her domestic affairs, and both of them having children, the decision is made all the more difficult. Also he knows not what state of affairs may be brought about by the enemies' new preparations for war.
Yet he remains very much of his honour's inclination, and is very grateful to him for his cordial frankness in his behalf; which he has in no way merited. And wherever he may be, will endeavour always to show how entirely he is his honour's affectionate, humble and entire friend.
Will not discuss affairs of state, but is touching somewhat thereupon in a letter to M. de Sidney, and if his honour thinks it worthy of the trouble, he will ask M. Sidney to impart it to him.—Middelbourg, 28 April, stilo novo, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. closely written. [Holland XXIII. f. 107.]
April 18. Adolf, Count de Neuwenar to Walsingham.
Doubts not that Mr. Daniel Rogers will have delivered his letters of Jan. 23. Yet, as it seems that he cannot expect much correspondence from thence, and that there are preferred to him men of less quality, in his governments, and as he does not desire to lose either trouble or time; he asks that the bearer may receive the papers and memorials of his, which are in his honour's hands.—Utrecht, 18 April, 1588, stilo consueto. (fn. 2)
Signed. Add. Endd. French.
1 p. [Ibid. f. 109.]
April 19. Captain Christopher Blount to Walsingham.
“I send to you this, my third; and because it is by my man, I use not my secret means. Our General employs his best wits to the compounding of controversies. God send his zeal show not want of discretion; for truly, Sir, in appeasing of these mutinies, much good service might have been done in retaining the honest in their accustomed devotion; and yet the States should have thought themselves beholding to her Majesty, too; for but by her means, no acknowledgement would have been made of them. I doubt they will attempt little when, by her means they have obtained that they desire.
‘Memlique’ is compounded, well to his contentment that was within, because he is wise himself, and had secret advertisement that he might make his own demands; and should not be refused, were they anything reasonable. He remaineth governor still; changeth not his oath, and yet is master of the town. His Lordship is now in hand with Gert[rud]enberg, God grant he make a good match there; for they will be, they say, rather enemy than yield themselves to the States.
“Utrique and those Provinces upward, are not so easily united, albeit it hath been declared unto them it is her Majesty's pleasure it should be so.
“These seem to show most love, and yet (by their leave) respect chiefly their own good afore they see the misery of the war must be their sufferance; who, but that her Majesty assist more royally, must either be continually oppressed or speedily make their own composition, which it may be presumed they will be loth to do; yet it were good to provide against the worst; which methinks were not to take notice of their distressed intent, but to show thankfulness for their affection, and so to hearken to their requests as to show willingness to afford them some way satisfaction.
“It will not be long, I believe, before they declare their griefs to her Majesty. I beseech you, in their reasonable requests, let their suit be furthered; and if they may be satisfied by altering of persons in government, without putting her Majesty to any more charges, you shall not do her ill-service herein, in procuring them contentment; whereas it will fall out to our nation a safety, and to our prince an honour.”—‘Utrique,’ 19 April.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1½. pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 111.]
April 19. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
“Your lordship shall receive herewith a letter directed to the Queen's Majesty not subscribed by any body; the matter therein contained very good, as I conceive it by the copy thereof, which I received with the letter at the hands of Andreas de Loo; and the writing enclosed in her Majesty's letter will give a guess from whence it proceedeth … And if her Majesty like to deal according to that which tacitly is wished, I will discover the persons and their whole and plain meaning; as well therein as in the whole Treaty, wherein I desire some one person to be joined with me, with charge, upon oath and allegiance, to keep secret our whole proceedings….” 19 April, 1588. Ostend.
Postscript. “These letters enclosed were written by the Duke of Parma upon complaint made by us for the robbing and ill-handling of a barque that lately went from this haven, supposed to be done by some of Dunkirk.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders III. f. 163.]
A document headed “Article que convient que soit inserré en la paix que se traite entre la serenme Reyne d'Angleterre et le Roy Catholique,” concerning the removal of foreigners from the Low Countries, and entrusting the government to natives of the country.
Endd. by Burghley. “This writing was sent to her Majesty from the Controller in his letter of the 19th of April.” 1¾ pp. French. [Ibid. f. 161.]
April 19. Advertisements out of Germany.
There has been a general muster in the countries of the Dukes of Saxony, Brandenburg and Hesse; and other princes near unto them.
“Casymir hath nothing so many reiters in readiness as the bruit was neither doth he seem much to stir.
“There were certain soldiers taken up by the Emperor as it was said to release his brother Maximilian by force, … but now they are gone towards Bavaria and Augusta …”
The Poles have sent a second ambassador into Germany, “to know the resolution of the Emperor and the Princes touching peace or war, and to pray the princes not to make the Emperor's quarrel and Maximilian's their own. It is thought the Emperor shall have but small support from the princes of Germany in this quarrel…
There is great disagreement and heart-burning between Duke Casimir and M. Segure, the King of Navarre's ambassador, and some bitter writings and speeches have passed on both sides.
The Baron ‘Donnuoe‘ who was appointed general of the reiters by Duke Casimir doth lay all the fault upon the King of Navarre and his counsellors; and they, on the other side, impute it unto the said Baron, who is at this present in special credit with Duke Casimir.
“There is some heartburning between the Emperor and the Duke of Saxony, which is doubted will grow to a jar; for in the general musters taken by the Duke, he appointed certain towns in Silesia which the Emperor's father had mortgaged unto the late Elector, to muster. The Emperor countermanded it, and will not the said towns should muster under the Duke, though the money be not yet repaid; whereupon the Duke stormeth, and will have them to muster. There was a Diet appointed to be held amongst the Princes at Hamburg, but the death of the King of Denmark is like to break it off.
Endd. with date. 1⅓ pp. [Flanders III. f. 157.]
April 20. George Cranmer to Davison. (fn. 3)
Presumes to present these poor fruits of his labour: Lord Willoughby and Mr. Killigrew have had letters from her Majesty, chiefly to persuade the States to join towards the intended treaty of peace, and also to stay their violent proceedings against Col. Sonoy and some others;
[Concerning her Majesty's various orders in relation to Colonel Sonoy.]
Since the later orders from her, and the Earl of Leicester's resignation, “a sudden alteration has followed; great hope of conformity in these men; great friendship between the Count Maurice and my lord Willughby. And particularly for the matter of Medenblick,—one of the greatest sores that galled them—it is compounded with contentment for the soldiers, and honourable conditions for the Colonel [details given] until the Council of Estate, now to be established, together with Lord Willoughbie and Mr. Killigrew … shall determine the contrary.
Attended Mr. Killigrew to Medemblick, who there fell into a sharp burning ague, which brought him back to the Hague, but whereof he is now recovered. Sends “some scribbled propositions here-enclosed [not now with the letter].—The Hague, 20 April, '88.
Add.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 113.]
April 20/30. Count Maurice of Nassau to the Lords of the Privy Council.
Thanks them for representing to her Majesty his innocence in regard to the business of Medenblick, and doubts not but that they will be amply informed by Lord Willughby and Mr. Killigrew, so that he need not further importune them.
He will only say that his chief aim has been to satisfy her Majesty; yet he must express his great obligation to them for the honour they have done him, and offer his humble service to each and all of them. And as he has made bold to reply to her Majesty upon some points as to which he knows that he has been accused in his absence and whereof she has partly informed him, by the deputies of the Estates and M. de Walsingham, who, he supposes has written to him thereof by her Majesty's command; and that it has pleased their lordships already so greatly to oblige him he ventures to pray them to intercede for him with her Majesty to do him the honour to make the most diligent and strict enquiry that is possible concerning what has been reported as to the business of Vlissinghe, for the more it is inquired into, the more will his innocence appear. And as the cause which they support is common to them all, he once more prays them, by their discretion and authority, to put a stop to such reports, for their wisdom is sufficient to foresee the miseries and difficulties which may befall him, although innocent, if at every turn it is permitted to everyone to speak and write about him while, on the other hand, he be not heard in his own defence, not refusing although he hath not the honour to be her Majesty's subject, to render her a true and loyal account of all his actions. And if any should go on as they have begun that their lordships will do him the favour to have patience and he will not cease to do his duty against the enemies of her Majesty, these countries, himself and all his house.
Not however being able to conceal from them that one of the greatest hindrances in their affairs is this negotiation for peace, which engenders such disorders that the forces cannot be employed, by sea or land, against the enemy either so soon or so well as he desires. He will however make all diligence to be ready in time to defeat the Prince of Parma's designs.—Medenblick, last of April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. Seal of arms. 3 pp. [Ibid. f. 115.]
April 20/30. Count Maurice of Nassau to the Queen.
According to your Majesty's letters of the 23rd of March, I entered into communication with Lord Willughby and Mr. Killigrew, about Medenblick and Colonel Sonoy, whose affairs have been so managed that I hope you will be satisfied, and the Colonel contented.
Wherefore I humbly pray your Majesty to listen to my defence. It has been reported to you that on a former journey into Zeeland, I had designs upon Flissingen, as many evils have arisen from this belief I humbly pray you, Madame, to appoint such persons as it may please you to make diligent enquiry; for such reports being so greatly against my honour, your Majesty will forgive me if I press this request urgently; they being just as true as that formerly sent to you, that I was treating with the Spaniard. If there be the least truth in them, I am willing to be held to be a disloyal gentleman; and if any of my familiars or servants have been infected therewith, to give them up to be punished as they deserve….
As to the accusers, your Majesty will take such order as shall please you; but I ask you to direct them, another time, to inform themselves better before accusing a gentleman of my quality.
It pleased you, Madam, to order the Sieurs de Loze and Casembroot to tell me that I had failed in my duty towards l'Escluse; and Mr. Walsingham has since written the same; no doubt by your commandment. With all humble respect I answer that I did what was resolved on by the Council [of State]; but those who had orders from his Excellency never came within three Flanders leagues of the place to which they were to go; but returned to Ostend without making any attempt to succour the town and his Excellency having returned to the fleet, the surrender of Sluys followed so precipitately, without having received any assault, that it was not possible to do anything. I am determined to maintain this as a gentleman of honour and rank ought to do and I ask for satisfaction.
And having now together with his lordship, settled the differences between the citizens of Medemblick, I hope to go into Zeeland, to take order for fighting the enemy both by sea and land; and humbly pray your Majesty to order the Admiral to hold intelligence with me, as I will do with his lordship, whereof I have now advertised him. Compliments.—Medenblick, last of April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 3 pp. close writing. [Holland XXIII. f. 117.]
April 20/30. The Duke of Parma to the Admiralty at Dunkirk.
Order to make enquiry and punish the parties found guilty of an offence against an English ship of which the queen's deputies have made complaint, informing him of what they do in the matter.—Bruges, last of April.
Signed: Alexander and below, Garnier.
Copy. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Flanders III. f. 166.]


  • 1. Not amongst tho State papers.
  • 2. Utrecht, unlike Holland and Zeeland, clung to the old style.
  • 3. Printed in Bertie: Five Generations of a Loyal House, pp. 179-181.