Elizabeth: April 1588, 21-25

Pages 308-326

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, 21–25

April 21. Lord Willoughby to Walsingham.
“After some recovery from my sickness … I addressed myself toward Medenblick, where I found Mr. Killigrew very sick, whereby he was enforced forthwith to return.
On Saturday, 13th instant, I came into the town, and found things encumbered with many difficulties between the soldiers and the colonels and captains; as also by some capitulations with the Count, whom I had left at a village near where their camp lay.
You shall understand the whole circumstances of our proceedings more at large by Sir William Read, who has importuned me for his coming over; and in the mean time briefly advertise you to the chief points of the same.
After some letters between Count Maurice and myself, and some proceedings with the soldiers for their entertainment; “having concluded with them that they should have three months' pay in ready money, and their debts both for victuals, apparel and other necessaries to be paid by the country; hostages being delivered and money received, on Friday, 19 April towards evening, the Count (having sent his company before) came himself into the town, where he was met by the Colonel ‘Sennoy,’ and received by the burghers in their arms; at which time, the ships that lay before the town being retired before in the morning, their camp should then have departed also.
“Upon Saturday, 20, we sat as well upon some difficulties for the establishing of religion as for the policy of the town and the security of the Colonel; wherein divers matters were vehemently debated but nothing concluded.
“Upon Sunday, 21, I interceding between the Count and Colonel, reduced the differences into these points:—That the Colonel should still continue and command within the town … with his company of 150 men, according to the accord concluded at the Hague etc. And forasmuch as the companies of Cristall and Wolfwinckle by the said accord were to depart thence, there was address given them to such other garrison as was liked of both by the colonels and captains.
“And whereas it was demanded by the Count that some of the companies that had lain before the town should be brought in in their stead, that was not thought expedient, lest any outrages might be offered; but … it was agreed upon that the proper company of the Count should remain there in garrison until some other company might be sent which had not been engaged in this action. And that besides the special commandment which the Count from his own mouth would give … to his own company for their good comportment and due obedience to the Colonel, as [also] to their Governor for the time that they should remain there in garrison; they should also take their oath … to the Colonel, having full authority to govern and command as well the said town and the soldiers there in garrison as also the Burgers … who then made protestation of all duty and obedience to the Colonel….” It was also accorded that he should have a protection from the Count for himself or any of his to go to Alcmar or any other place, if business should draw them.
The Colonel then, in the hearing of myself and others, made voluntary offer to take an oath of fidelity to the Count and to the country, before it was demanded, “which the Count seemed thankfully to accept; but it was not then ministered …”—Medenblick, 21 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. close writing. [Holland XXIII. f. 119.]
April 21./May 1. Form of the cessation offered by the Duke of Parma.
Since the deputies of England arrived at Ostend about eight weeks ago they have effectively had a cessation, whereby they have seen the sincerity and good will of his Altesse and have had ample time to set forth what they have in charge upon the principal matter. In order not to delay the fruits of the treaty his Altesse is content to give order that from 3rd to 13th of this month nothing shall be attempted against the towns etc. of the other side where there is an English garrison or against their ships and mariners, provided that the same order is given on the other side and that the said garrisons, whether English or other, with their ships and mariners shall remain peaceably where they are, without coming out or committing any act of hostility, free navigation being permitted to go and come in the ports on both sides—1 May, 1588.
Endd. as above. French. 2/3 p. [Flanders III. f. 254.]
English translation of the above.
¾ p. [Ibid. f. 256.]
April 21. [Burghley] to Dr. Dale.
“I have received your late letters, whereby it seems you find our resolutions somewhat dark, or rather incertain; which proceedeth only of the jealousy retained here of the Duke's sincere meaning, upon the speeches let fall by him and Richardot at your being there, and the ‘incenes’ [qy. insincereness] which appeareth on their side, far contrary to the readiness and forwardness assured on their behalf by Andreas de Loo's letters. In the present despatch, you shall, I doubt not, receive her Majesty's full resolutions …” I assure you she receives great content from your and the other commissioners' discretion in this charge, especially in your last negotiation with Granier.—Greenwich, 21 April, 1588.
Postscript. Her Majesty, in perusing the copy of the Commission, overslipped the clause I send you enclosed; which would greatly have offended her; it seeming to import that she made the first overture and propounded conditions of peace, “which she seeketh altogether to transfer from herself.” If you could have that point reformed, “it might avoid her Majesty's offence, both against the Duke and my Lords, and you, the rest of the Commissioners, in that you did accept of a Commission containing matter that her Majesty might conceive should greatly touch her honour….”
Endd. by Burghley “Memo to D. Dale….” 2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 175.]
April 21. The Queen to the Commissioners.
Her Majesty having perused your letters of the 15th, containing a report of what passed, touching the cessation of arms; as also some points wherein you desire her speedy resolution has commanded us to tell you that for the first, she very well likes the course of speech you held, “in that you did derive the proposition for the cessation of arms as a thing proceeding from them, debated and concluded in an open council held by the Duke's commandment at Brydges, and not required by her Majesty”; but for the matter itself (as she has already signified) she is content that the cessation should only comprehend such towns as the two cautionary towns, and Ostend and Bergen, now in her hands whereunto it seemeth that the Duke may be brought to yield; “thinking it not reasonable to press the Duke to a general cessation of arms, unless the States of the United Provinces might be drawn to make themselves parties in the said treaty.
[A long paragraph by Walsingham in the margin is here cancelled, and replaced by the following; written on a fly leaf.]
“And for the manner of the cessation, we think it meet it should not by proclamation be published … but rather that order shall be given, both on her Majesty's behalf and the Duke's, unto the governors of the towns that do front one upon the other, or such other towns as by conference between you and the Commissioners shall be thought may annoy one the other: to restrain the garrisons from attempting of any thing to the annoyance, the one of the other. And that you shall move the Duke also to promise that during the treaty, and twenty days or some such seasonable time, nothing shall be attempted … against the towns, either by land or sea; and the like reciprocally to be promised by you or by the governors for her Majesty to be observed on the Queen's party; for which purpose there shall be direction given to the Lord Willoughby and to the Governors of Flushing and Bryll, to see due execution of that which shall be agreed on between you and the said Commissioners touching the cessation upon notification given unto them by letters from your lordships and the rest.” [The above inserted passage is corrected by both Burghley and Walsingham.]
“Now touching the points wherein your lordships do desire her Majesty's resolution. First, touching the Duke's commission; whereas it appeareth by your letter that you are of opinion that he hath no such commission directly from the King, you conceived, she hath willed us to signify unto you that if it should so fall out, she cannot find it strange, both in respect that the Duke hath heretofore avowed that he had a commission, videlicet bastantissima, from the said King, both to treat and conclude; as also in that he allegeth—as appeareth by the copy of the late commission granted unto the commissioners, that he had advertised the King of his proceedings with her Majesty, and received full power and authority from him to appoint commissioners to treat with such as should be appointed by her Majesty for that purpose; which falling out otherwise, far contrary to her expectation, might give her Majesty just cause to think herself not well handled; and were it not that it hath been given out maliciously by some (in respect of the long delay that was used in the sending over of her commissioners, which grew only by default of the States) that her Majesty carried not that sincere meaning touching the proceeding in the said treaty as in outward show she bore the world in hand, she might with good reason be moved upon so just a cause to forbear all further proceeding in the same treaty; but for that she would be loth that such as are maliciously affected should take any occasion … to charge her with any unprincely dealing; and being desirous also that so holy and profitable a work … might receive any furtherance that she can yield, she would have you let the Duke or his Commissioners understand that to the end there may be no time lost, she can be content that the same treaty shall proceed provisionally that in case the Duke shall procure immediately from the King either a sufficient commission under his hand and great seal to himself to depute commissioners; or else to the commissioners now by him deputed to treat and conclude all matters in controversy depending between her Majesty and the said King for all her dominions within some convenient time to be by you limited, upon conference between you; that then such things as … shall be agreed and accorded on, shall be of full force and effect; otherwise to be void and of no validity.
“And as touching the point of the hostages … you shall insist thereupon in such form and sort as you were by her Majesty's own letters directed, being a thing usual and as hath been always yielded unto in like cases. Lastly, touching the place … her Majesty doth like very well of the town of Bridges, and that for the convenience of your stuff thither, you may use such means as by you shall be thought most fit; and doth also like that the Duke should be moved to remove Stanley and the rest of our evil affected subjects our of that town.”
Endd. “A minute of a letter to the Commissioners … 21 April, 1588.” Draft, heavily corrected and with many insertions, mostly by Walsingham. 5 pp. [Flanders III. f. 168.]
Fair copy of the above, dated 22 April,
Endd. with abstract of contents. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 186.]
April 22. Walsingham to Sir Edward Norrys.
“I thank you for your letters. This bearer can tell you that here we do nothing but honour St. George, of whom the Spanish army seemeth to be afraid, for that, as we hear, they will not be ready to set forward before the midst of May; but I trust it will be May come twelve months.
The King of Spain is too old and too sickly to fall to conquer kingdoms. If he be well counselled, his best course will be to settle his own kingdoms in his own time. And so in haste I commit you to God.“—At the Court, 22 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XIII. f. 121.]
April 22. Burghley and Walsingham to Lords Derby and Cobham.
The Queen would have you understand in how good part she takes your careful and discreet proceeding and especially your regard of her honour, in the point of “the abstinance of arms, by your deriving the first motion thereof from the Duke himself.” She would have you to continue the like course; so as there may be no colour for the other party to pretend that the necessity of her own estate presses her to desire or beg a peace. She would have you put in mind that you have to deal with Italians and Spaniards “reputed two of the subtlest and sharpest witted nations in these parts of the world with whom she doubteth not but that you will carry yourselves so warily … as they shall find no advantage to overreach you with their cunning….”
Copy. Endorsed with date.pp. [Flanders III. f. 177.]
April 22 [Walsingham?] to Mr. Controller [Croft]. (fn. 1)
Is very glad to find his faith strengthened touching the good success of the Treaty; but doubts there will fall out some difficulties of very hard digestion; especially for that the States cannot be drawn to join with her Majesty … without which concurrency, men of best judgment here do think it hard to make a sound peace…. They may have more light that side. No doubt of Croft's good and honourable meaning. Only it is doubted that he may be over-reached by some Spanish cautells, whereof doubtless he will have a watchful eye.
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. “22 April. A minute of a letter to Mr. Controller.” 1¼ pp. [Ibid. f. 179.]
Fair copy of the above.
Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 188.]
April 22. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
Being ready to go to Bruges, which place we very well like of, and the Commissioners on the other side earnestly desire, “I thought good to advertise your lordship that so many contrarieties have come to us from England … and some upon so strict points, as we dare not once give a meeting to the Commissioners on the other side … till the errors committed on both the sides may be deliberated upon and remedied, as being able to deliver unto them many errors committed by their side; whereof a number have been confessed and offered to be remedied by them…. [But] the sundry delays will compel them, for lack of meeting only, to overthrow the whole cause; though themselves do know the great detriment that will grow to the King and his dominions thereby; and yet they will publish to the world that the breach thereof cometh by us and our means, and will make us become fabula mundi.—Ostend, 22 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 181.]
April 22. Dr. Valentine Dale to Burghley.
I am sorry Mr. Controller will needs to the Duke before he knows her Majesty's pleasure.
“My lords, for their discharge, could not but advertise and truly they were very loth so to do … We look for answer to-morrow by Morris touching the cessation of arms and to the demand of ours to have a view of the Duke's commission … This is not the first time it hath been demanded, for I stood upon it to the Duke and to Richardot at Gant; to Richardot and Maes here and to them all at the meeting. And they made as though it were an indignity to ask it or to doubt of it …”—Ostend, 22 April, 1588.
Postscript. “It is a shrewd conjecture that the Duke doth not mean well, that [he] sendeth not all this while a commission; for truly if there were any, it would be for the Duke's honour to show it. My lords are much offended that Mr. Controller protested that he would charge them if the peace went not forward … I am glad Mr. Cecil is not here at this jar, and yet truly he did good in such points, and that one of us can bear witness with the other.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 183.]
April 22. Dr. Valentine Dale to Burghley.
Your letters of the 16th “supply a good part of the want of direction which I have always had,” from your lordship. “The law is very plain, that the Duke may make inducias for the place within his government, but cannot make peace or give commission to treat of peace … without a special commission for the same; not [even] so much as for those countries which be within his government, much less for Spain. “Your lordship may remember that Chappino Vitelli was sent away upon this point, coming from the Duke of Alva.” But as our Instructions are to proceed if amendment of the Commission was promised, and that the Duke has promised to get full confirmation from the King. And perceiving by the speeches of the Commissioners that he has not as yet got any such as is by law required, we thought it did not stand either with our Instructions or with discretion to break for that point; “seeing there was another principal matter of cessation of arms … upon which point we were precisely charged to stand by our Instructions.”
But now we have letters from her Majesty and from the Lords, ordering us to stand upon the point of the commission, which we had not received at the time of our meeting. I hope the meaning is not that we may not proceed at all, the Duke promising a commission as he doth, which we think it imports him as much as her Majesty to obtain.
I write this the more plainly that Mr. Cecil may have somewhat to serve him in time to come; “for I see but few that are furnished, like to serve in such things hereafter; as Mr. Wotton, Mr. Peters, the Bishop of Durham and such others.”
If your lordship had been here to see how likely we were to break upon the point of cessation of arms, I am well assured you would have been right glad to see how well we departed.—Ostend, 22 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders III. f. 184.]
April 23. J[oachim] Ortell to Walsingham.
Has just received from the Estates of Zeeland the enclosed, addressed to her Majesty both in reply to hers of the 12th of last month, and in order to obtain from her some aid of ships of middle size, in order to take measures for their defence against the enemy, who is making every possible effort to fall upon some of the islands, as he has no doubt her Majesty and his honour have been advertised by Governor Russell, who has also written to him to the same effect.
Would himself have presented the letters, but is prevented by indisposition, and therefore prays his honour to give the said letter to her Majesty and lend a helping hand, that their humble and necessary request may not be denied, but receive the speedy and good reply which they hope for. They have written to the same effect to the Lord Admiral, which letter he will himself deliver.
Of news they have none, save that the differences in Medemblyck are appeased, and all put into good order once again. At Wilmstatt, they have taken a traitor called Sucquet, who, abusing her Majesty's name, thought to do much evil, but his practices being discovered, and confessing that he was sent by La Motte, it is not to be doubted that he will receive the pay he deserves.—London, 23 April, 1588.
Postscript. Hopes to come himself to-morrow or the next day, to learn her Majesty's pleasure.
Add. Endd. French.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 123.]
April 23. Dr. Valentine Dale to Walsingham.
I thank you for yours of the 16th, “whereby I conceive some hope that those men shall have cause not to stand so much upon punctillios as they have done. As for the delivery of towns, I warrant you old lawyers have learned to hold fast, and to look how they depart with things without very good cause. They had rather get somewhat, or at the least to be assured not to lose anything they have; for that they cannot abide.
But “I trust in God both you and we shall look first to honour, which is a great matter; having received them at the States' hands; and then to security which we may learn, as you know right well, of the Italians; that our neighbours be not too strong for us; wherein we must go plumbeis pedibus as we should do when you are to judge a matter in the Duchy, or I in the Court of Requests. And in the mean time I hope God will clear the way by his providence, by some such accident as you write of.”—Ostend, 23 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 190.]
April 24. [The Queen] to Lord Willughby.
Whereas by letters lately addressed to her commissioners sent to treat about the peace, she finds some likelihood “that the Duke of Parma may be drawn to a cessation of arms during a certain time to be agreed upon between the Commissioners on both sides; and that the towns of Bergen op Some, Ostend and the two cautionary towns shall be comprehended in the same; with promise that nothing shall be attempted by any of the King's forces in these countries against the said towns”; so as the like may be observed by her forces in those towns:—forasmuch as she does not wish this to be published by open proclamation, but rather that orders shall be given to the governors of the particular towns “for the restraining of the forces on either side from attempting anything to the annoyance of each other,” which she, for her part has promised to see duly observed; she desires that when her Commissioners now in those countries shall signify to him that the cessation is agreed upon he shall not fail to give direction to the governors of Bergen and Ostend to restrain the garrisons and forces of the said towns from making sallies or committing any acts of hostility that may tend to the annoyance of the towns and countries in the King's hands.
“And in case it be alleged by the States that by this cessation of arms they cannot use the service of such companies within those towns as are in their pay … against the common enemy, as heretofore they have, you shall let them understand that we have been moved to comprise those two towns within this cessation chiefly for their profit and benefit, being frontier towns, which the enemy hath long time gone about to attempt, in respect of the annoyance the provinces of Flanders and Brabant received from the garrisons placed in the same; and we did never find that any care was taken by them, notwithstanding any solicitation made by our ministers to see them furnished of such provisions of munition and victuals whereof they stood in need or were meet to sustain a siege; so as of all likelihood they must have fallen into the enemy's hands in case he should attempt the same, if they should not by this cessation have been provided for by us.
Endd. “If certificate of cessation of arms do come from the Commissioners, how it is to be ordered.” Copy. 2 pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 125.]
April 24. Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
“There is such impression settled in Mr. Controller for his going to the Duke as it cannot be removed by any good means; and [he] saith that if he had the dealing of this peace alone, it had been concluded. If this much be written to her Majesty … I doubt much that those that carefully observed their instructions and her Majesty's letters … may be blamed, and incur her Highness' displeasure; therefore I heartily pray you with speed to advertise me what I have to do. He hath sent twice into England for his going, and because it is denied him he thinkens he may go.” I have already written somewhat of this, and sent you the copy of de Loo's letters and another which you will receive by the next packet. Such occurents as I have gathered, I send herewith. Pray let me know what answer I shall make to the party. “It were very necessary that he were spoken withal and that he might be assured to come. Since our meeting yesterday in Maleynbek fields, though we have often solicited by messages we can get no answer, neither for the sufficiency of the Duke's special commission nor for cessation of arms and for our security.—Ostend, 24 April.
“Pappot is willed to be ready to depart for England as soon as Morrys is returned with answer.”
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Flanders III. f. 192.]
April 25./May 5. “The copy of the States' decree touching the mariners to be taken up in Holland, Friesland and Zeeland for furnishing of ships for her Majesty.”
Viz.: that in Holland, Friesland and the places adjoining her Majesty may, for her own service and upon her charges, levy six or seven hundred, and in Zeeland and the countries thereabout three or four hundred shippers; “so that the same levying or taking up be done to the maintenance of all good order and discipline … and all occasions of variance laid down by the agreement of his Excellency as Admiral; of whom the General States have desired … that it would please him to give such order that none of the mariners that are in service of these countries may mingle themselves amongst them upon pain of life; and that the said taking up may be done to the least damage to the country”; also that so soon as they or part of them be levied, they shall be shipped into England. “Resolved in the meeting of the aforesaid States in Sgravenhage, the ‘fift’ of May, 1588.
Signed, Berch; Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Translation. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 127.]
April 25. H. Killigrew to Walsingham.
… The matters of Medenblick are fully compounded, as no doubt your honour has heard from the Lord Governor, who is now returned “to take order for those of ‘Getruidenbergh’; but in his way hither, which he took by Utrecht, he found the matters of Narden not in such terms as were to be wished and the burgomaster, Deventer, not so conformable to this new course of reconciliation and agreement. He standeth upon some letter written of late from your honour unto him touching Rencie of Narden. Under correction therefore, it were not amiss if it pleased your honour to write unto the burgomaster to some such effect:—That seeing her Majesty hath signified her good pleasure to my lord governor by sundry letters that he should work a reconciliation among the provinces and an utter oblivion of all former grievances and dissensions; that they being reconciled among themselves may, together with her Majesty's gracious succours of 6000 men (which, in respect of her other charges is very great) withstand the common enemy, he would not, upon any vain hope or conceit be an hindrance of this union, neither persuade himself that her Majesty would in particular do this or that for any one province or town, but respect the common cause and the general good of them all. Assuring him that if he endeavour himself therein, he shall perform a most acceptable service to her Majesty.”
Touching those of Armue and Camphire, of whom your honour wrote in your last, I mean shortly to make a slip into Zeeland to order matters there. But as yet the States have made no stay of their payment. Count Maurice, as I hear purposes to go thitherwards on Monday, about which time I hope also to set forward to be with him there, and from thence will advertise your honour more particularly of all things; meanwhile desiring your pardon for my shortness, both in respect of Sir William Reade's sudden departure, and also of my indisposition of body.—At the Haghe, 25 April, '88.
Postscript in his own hand. “Guylpen I hear is to be cassed by the States, of whom he [hath] had nothing since my lord's departure. The man is not able to live of himself, having wife and children, and must [return] again to serve the merchants, who offer him [blotted] a year; but it were pity her Majesty should lose his service here, for the causes I have mentioned in my former letters….”
Add. Endd. 2 pp. close writing. [Holland XXIII. f. 128.]
April 25. George Gilpin to Walsingham.
Has returned with Lord Willoughby from Medemblick, where all things have ended very well … If his lordship “hold that hand he hitherto hath done, there is no doubt but this estate will be ere long brought into better terms, and all things reunited.” Is now going with him towards Dort, “to deal in the matter of Gertrudenberg” and trusts assuredly to bring it to as good pass as the other. His lordship employs him continually for her Majesty's service, and will not suffer him to depart, but being discharged of his office by the States, and having spent all the little means he had, he will be forced to do so. Beseeches his honour to licence him to seek for a living, if her Majesty have no cause to employ him.—The Haeghe, 25 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 132.]
April 25. The Same to the Same.
After having made up my packet, “I met Mr. Villiers the minister, and had long conference of sundry matters, amongst the which that of Gertruydenberg was one; and although there is no doubt but that my lord Willoughby's dealings with them will be respected, and ‘sort’ to good effect, yet because Sir William Russell hath in some sort been a doer with them, to move their affection to her Majesty's service, the said Villiers thinketh it would do much good … that the said Sir William should by your honour be written unto, that he should write to those of Gertrudenbergh, admonishing and exhorting them to hearken and deal altogether with my lord Willoughby, as her Majesty's lieutenant and general, unto whom is given order and authority to deal with them; and [that] whatsoever in the behalf of her Highness shall be promised the same to be most sure and resolved. And this by your honour to be furthered with all conveniency: with this assurance; that I have found Villiers in all his proceedings of late most sincere, and to have done those good offices about the Count Maurice and others that both he and they are altogether devoted and assured to her Majesty's service; desiring nothing more than that their doings may be to her Highness' liking, for the continuance of her favour.—The Hague, 25 April, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 130.]
April 25. Lord Willughby to the Privy Council.
Your lordships' letters of the 10th instant only came into my hands on the 23rd, at Utrecht, on my return from Medemblick hitherwards. And although I had purposed to have remained some days at Utrecht, yet to hasten the motion for the mariners, “I presently posted hither, and forthwith moved Count Maurice (being Admiral), and from him the States, concerning what your lordships commanded me.” Whom I found most glad to show their readiness to serve her Majesty, and who forthwith entered into consultation which way to satisfy her pleasure.
It is impossible to have them levied and sent in so short time; but your lps. may inform her Majesty of their willingness to obey her, not only in this, but in all else. I have despatched the bearer to your lordships, humbly praying that as I will most carefully urge the speedy levy, and to have them so soon as is possible made ready, so that your lordships will make present order for money for their conduct and transport.
“This day I arrived here from Medenblick, where I left all matters well accorded, to the content of Count Maurice the States and Col. Snoye; who on all sides account themselves bound to her Majesty's great care over them….”—The Hague, 25 April, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 134.]
April 25. Lord Willughby to Walsingham.
[The first paragraph to the same effect as in the preceding letter.]
Concerning the accepting of Gertruydenberg and other towns, my late letters to her Majesty and to yourself will have shown my opinion. “But now, considering that Medenblick and Narden have compounded; Utrecht upon reconcilement; the States General assembled (in show much devoted to her Majesty) the Council of State re-established, and a common expectation for a perfect reunion, I am of opinion … that your honourable advice, delivered in your letters to M. Villiers … were (without any altering) followed. Yet what shall be directed me from thence I will most willingly obey, and use my best endeavour in performing it….”—At the Hague, 25 April, 1588.
Postscript in his own hand. “May it please you, Sir, to give special thanks to M. Villiers, the preacher, for he hath in those services you commended to him done very good offices.”
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 136.]
April 25. The Privy Council to Sir John Conway, Governor of Ostend. (fn. 2)
Desiring him to afford his favour and assistance to Henry Cockes of London, merchant, appointed Commissary for the provision of victuals for the town; and to see that some convenient place may be appointed where corn and other victuals may be “safely and sweetly kept.”—Court at Greenwich, 25 April, 1588.
Signed by Hatton, Burghley, Warwick, Walsingham and Wolley,
Add. Endd. Seal. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 138.]
April 25. Dr. Valentine Dale to Walsingham.
Prays him to consider the last three lines of their letter; for when they have prated on this point and that, and have brought it as far as they can, they must be directed from thence what they shall do.—Ostend, April 25, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd.p. [Flanders III. f. 194.]
April 25. Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
What passed between ‘Graynier’ and us you know by our letters sent by Quester; after whose departure, Andrea de Loo sent us a letter on receipt whereof we sent Morrys to require him to come to us and speak to Graynier, to know why he did not send us the Duke's resolution touching cessation of arms that he had delivered to us in way of discourse, which he thought the Duke would allow of. His answer, brought by Morrys, was: M. Garnier dict qu'il a proposé à son Altesse tout ce qu'il avoit communique avec les seigneurs Commisaries d'Angleterre, et que son Altesse (trouvant par le diet Garnier que les dicts seigneurs estoient resolus d'attendre la responce de la royne, (qui seroit envoyé par Monsieur Cicell) estoit deliberé d'attendre la dicte responce, which being delivered unto us in writing and conformed by Andrea de Loo who said that Graynier did mistake us; for neither did we look as yet for Mr. Cicell's return, and had already power to nominate a place, so that a cessation of arms might be agreed upon. With this answer we have returned Andrea de Loo and Morrys, requiring them to bring us the Duke's resolution for their commission and cessation of arms; which being done, we have given Morrys credit to name ‘Borborow’ as a place for many respects fit, if they will like thereof, though not commodious for ourselves and our train. It is near Gravelyn, Dunckerque, Callys. By means thereof her Majesty shall hear often from us; for if this treaty do proceed, it is most necessary for us to send, and to hear often from you, and to have one appointed to write what doth pass, keep those letters that be sent us and to write ours, for they are too common.
Since the writing of this paper, letters have come, from my lords: “that her Majesty is contented that we should name Brugys; which we have since done; not leaving Borborow out, conditionally that such a cessation of arms be granted as by our letters we are directed and the Duke's commission seen that he hath from the King, and to have a true copy thereof delivered unto us, testified under his hand and seal and subscribed by the Commissioners; giving charge to Morrys, who is sent with this message to feel (?) them what security we shall have for ourselves.
“These things being denied, in part or all, it may well be seen, there is no good dallying, but occasion given to her Majesty to break off with honour.
“The contents of your letters to my lord of Derby and me shall not be forgotten, as we may do it conveniently and to good purposes. La Mothe is gone from Brugys; some say to Dyxmoihe, others to Gravelyn, Morrys has brought answer to all those points committed to his charge, as you will see by his report; and an act of cessation as the Duke will make. I have small hope of enlargement in any of these points.
“He utterly denieth our coming to ‘Bryges’ so now (if there be any) Burborow is the place.” Our pinnaces have returned to England for lack of victuals. Pray let them be returned with speed, and some others to waft us along the coast, if we go thither.—Ostend, 25 April, 1588.
Holograph, the words in italics deciphered. Add. Endd. Seal of arms.pp. [Flanders III. f. 196.]
April 25. The Queen to the Earl of Derby and Lord Cobham.
Whereas by letters from our Privy Council we have directed you to insist upon requiring hostages: “having since further considered that if the Duke want Commission (as by yourselves it is vehemently suspected) it is likely he will make difficulty to deliver any noblemen out of the jurisdiction of the King; and they perhaps to obey him though he should yield thereunto … and that if they shall have a disposition at any time to break with us, the danger of such hostages will not stay them from it; for that the noblemen of that country are of no great regard with the King, but rather (having most of them taken arms against him) held in some jealousy by him”; we think, to avoid further delays, that if you cannot obtain hostages, you shall content yourself with the Duke's safe-conduct, and so go forward with the treaty; so as the copy of the Duke's commission and abstinence of arms be yielded unto.
Copy. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 198.]
Draft of the above.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 211.]
April 25. Dr. Valentine Dale to Lord Burghley.
Asks pardon for sending but part of a letter, wanting the report of Morris, who will supply it, having dealt wisely in the matter. His lp. will see what is to be done in those things contained in their lps'. last letter, and the commissioners likewise understand how to proceed, specially in the matter of the commission, The point of the hostages will be impossible … Has been earnestly in hand with Mr. Controller to get some man to go to the queen from the duke, which would make up all, if anything may do it. It hath been an hindrance all this while that the duke hath not sent.
The matter of Mr. Controller's going is pacified on both sides … he should go as of himself, and he was not willing to go until now that he hath some particular matter, by their last letters, and so all is well. It was sharp for a while and my L. of Derby did very honourably pacify it with him.—Ostend, 26 April.
Thanks him for his letter of the 22nd.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 209.]
April 25. The Commissioners to the Lords of the Council.
[Acknowledge letters of the 16th.]
We understand thereby her Majesty's pleasure touching the cessation of arms; wherein how far we have now proceeded, you shall hereby understand at large.
“And whereas it seemeth that her Majesty would have wished us to have stood more precisely, at the time of our meeting with the Duke's Commissioners, upon the insufficiency of their commission, it may please your lordships to call to remembrance her Majesty's Instructions; which are as followeth:—
[Quote passage concerning the mutual viewing of commissions.]
Now, when we met on April 11, we had not received her Majesty's letters of that same date, sent by Sir Edward Norris, commanding us “to stand more precisely upon the sufficiency of the King's commission,” than she had done in her previous Instructions. “And forasmuch as the Duke himself, in his commission, doth promise to get aggregation and confirmation from the King of Spain at all times and in such manner as he shall be required; we thought it did not stand either with our instructions or with discretion to break for that point of the commission. Whereof it may please your lordships to inform her Majesty, that she may understand our carefulness in precise observation of her pleasure in all things.
“It may please your lordships further to call to remembrance our former several requests made to the Duke at Ghent for the sight of his commission, and our earnestness with Richardot and Maes in that point at their being here; and the words of our letter of the 12th of this present; wherein we did write expressly that we said at our meeting before Ostend … that it was reason they should provide a commission directly from the King, for that a conclusion of peace could neither be made by any governor nor by virtue of general letters. Whereby we trust the Duke's commissioners have no cause to think that we have not oftentimes required the sight of a commission from the King … specially seeing we had that other point of cessation of arms not resolved, but deferred by them to know the Duke's pleasure therein. Upon which point we were precisely commanded to stand by our Instructions … And if your lordships had seen how earnestly they stood upon the matter of cessation of arms; and specially the Count d'Aremberg; and how likely we were to have broken thereupon, your lordships might have thought it want of discretion in us to urge too many points at once over sharply; and thereby to break off at the first; which was not unlike to have happened indeed, if the Duke had not been in the place in person, as we understood since he was, to give order for our quietness. And forasmuch as we heard not from Granier of the Duke's answer touching the cessation of arms, according to his promise at his last being here, we sent Morris, Mr. Controller's man to Bruges, to bring us in writing the Duke's answer … and to declare … that her Majesty doth look to have no less time for continuance thereof than during the time of the treaty and twenty days after; being an ordinary matter in all treaties and to have all her Majesty's and the King's dominions comprised, and also to include them of Holland and Zeeland, if they make means to enter into the treaty. And further, to declare to the commissioners that we are content to agree to Bourborough … or Bruges, so that the Duke be pleased to remove from Bruges, and the fugitives avoided and free passage to be given to pass by sea … to and fro.
Item, to move them to show a commission immediately from the King, by the which the Duke is authorised to appoint commissioners … and to require a copy thereof testified under his hand and seal and subscribed by the commissioners. What answer hath been made thereunto, both by the Duke and by his commissioners, your lordships may understand by the report of Morrys, which we send enclosed.
“In one point we must needs say that M. Champagnay hath said more to Morris than was said unto us at our meeting; viz.: that they did promise at our Assembly that they would procure the King to give a new commission, such as her Majesty had given unto us; for that in truth they said not so; but that we ought to be satisfied with the Duke's promise contained in his commission, which is, that the Duke would procure ratification from the King and not otherwise. It may please the Lords to put my lord Admiral in remembrance to send back her Majesty's pinnaces hither, and … to know her pleasure, things thus standing, what we shall do.—Ostende, 25 April, 1588.”
Signed by all the Commissioners. Endd. “Morris' report upon his return from the Duke.” 3 pp. [Flanders III. f. 201.]
Draft for the same.
pp. [Ibid. f. 21.]
April 25. Morris' report upon his return from the Commissioners at Bruges.
At my arrival, the Duke signified, his pleasure that I should come into his presence, which was contrary to expectation, as I was sent to the Commissioners. I declared to the Duke the points contained in my Instructions: 1. That your lordships were content to go to ‘Burborowe’ or Bruges, “so that the English fugitives could be avoided; the passage by Sluse freed, and himself pleased to make choice of some other place of abode for that time.” Secondly that her Majesty looked to have the surcease of arms to continue during the treaty and twenty days after; and to comprehend Holland and Zeeland if they wished to concur in the treaty. Lastly that his Highness would show the Commission whereby he was authorized by the King to depute Commissioners and give them a copy under his hand and seal. To this, the Duke answered: Nous donnerons satisfaction; asked for a copy of the demands in writing, and so licensed me to depart.
Next day, April 23, “there was a great solemnity and the Duke with his Court and Council went in procession about the streets; but at four in the afternoon the Commissioners came to M. Champagny's house; de Loo and I were called in, and after I had delivered to them what I had declared to the Duke, President Richardot said “he saw nothing but new matter demanded every day, and asked me if I had brought them any writing under your lordships' hands.” I said no, but some Instructions for myself, of which I had given the Duke a note. Then they spake touching the points, and Richardot said it would not be possible to inhibit the Englishmen who served the King from Bruges … and that the Duke would hardly be removed thence.” The Earl of Aremberg spake against Burboroughe, saying he would rather serve himself with a couple of tents than lie in any house in the town. And told the Commission “that her Majesty was assured by the King of Denmark that the Duke had sufficient authority; and so every one of them spake their opinions, without any resolutions at that time.”
The next morning, in the presence of Garnier and de Loo, President Richardot delivered me the Duke's mind. For the place, he thought Bruges inconvenient, as the Englishmen serving on his side could not be kept out, nor could he remove his own household and court. That they were content to accept Burborowe, unless your lordships would make choice of some more fit place, as Gant or Antwerpe.
“And for the cessation he delivered me this writing; which he promised to sign if your lordships liked it; saying it was yet fourteen days, which was as much as could be required, and that at the meeting together … the time might be enlarged; and that at all times your lordships' persons, followers and things whatsoever were in safety by virtue of the Duke's safe-conduct.” For Holland and Zeeland, he was well pleased to extend the safe-conduct to them, but that to have it comprehend any other countries lay not in his power; “for,” quoth Garnier, “he cannot grant a licence to go with merchandise into Spain but by request.”
“For the sight of the Commission, he said that your lordships were satisfied therein at yout last general meeting,” but he would say (of himself) “that the Duke, besides the general authority hath special commission by letters from the King,” but these contain other matter and cannot now be showed. He told us moreover the Duke, on Easter Day had received signed letters and bills of exchange from the King, “who was neither sick nor dead, as reported at Ostend.” He also spake of wrong done to the King's subject by seizing a ship and merchandise in the west parts of England; and so concluded, “willing me to do effectual commendations to your lordships … and desire you that it might please you to send one or two of the Commissioners, with articles touching the body of the cause, and to deal with the Duke therein, wherein would appear what hope there were to accord.”
Being ready to depart from Bruges, M. Champagny sent for me, and entered into earnest discourse with me and de Loo; “wishing that your lordships should take heed lest by these long delays you made yourselves blameable to the world … that the Duke had reason to mislike Bruges, as well for the causes above remembered as for the multitude of Spaniards in the town … He misliked also Burborowe, and praised the conveniency of Gante, alleging that by way of Sax, it was as near the sea as Bruges to Ostend. For cessation of arms, he wished it might not be stood upon, for that undoubtedly, when your worships and they came together, the time would be enlarged to your contentment.”
And touching the commission, he said that the Duke “hath bound himself under his hand and seal to procure ratification from the King of all things agreed upon, and that the Commissioners had pawned their honours to have a commission from the King answerable in all things to that which her Majesty hath granted your lordships; and that it is already both sent for and expected….
“And so he concluded, assuring also that the Duke hath ample authority by letters de negoce from the King to enter into and conclude this treaty.”
Endd. with date. 2⅓ closely written pages. [Flanders III. f. 203.]
Copy of the same.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 207.]
April 25./May 5. Collection of such answers as have been made by the Duke of Parma about view of the commission.
14 March. Dr. Dale: That it was a thing usually to be done at the meeting of the commissioners and not before. Richardot told him that we might be assured the Duke would not enter into the Treaty without sufficient commission … and that he had such commission might appear by the King's letter to the King of Denmark etc.
1 April. Dr. Rogers: That it was a thing never seen to have the commissions viewed till the meeting of the Commissioners on either side.
5 April. The Lords Commissioners. At their conference with Richardot and Maes at Ostend, they made offer to show their commission at the next meeting.
April 12. The Commissioners. At their meeting, finding their commission to proceed only from the Duke, “they marvelled whether they would not bring further commission from the King; to which answer was made that it would be needless; for that the Duke being general governor, had a particular commission for to hearken to the peace.”
25 April. Morris's report. That it was a private letter from the King, which contained sundry other directions about the state of those countries.”
Endd. “5 May, 1588.” ¾ p. [Flanders III. f. 205.]


  • 1. Printed in Conyers Read: Mr. Secretary Walsingham iii., p. 274.
  • 2. See Acts of the Privy Council, n.s., Vol. xv., page 42.