Elizabeth: May 1588, 7-10

Pages 356-377

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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May 1588, 7–10

May 7. Lord Willughby to the Privy Council.
The enclosed discourse will show how earnestly I was solicited “to accord the discontenents” of Gertruydenberg, and how needful my travail was, to hinder them from delivering the place to the enemy. I was the more willing to yield to their desires, in respect of slanderous reports which were spread abroad by some ill-affected persons, declaring that the principal foundation of those jars proceeded from some of our nation. It was thought most necessary by Count Maurice and the States “that it should be accorded with and held in her Majesty's name and behalf, but at the country's charge; which falleth out not ill for her Majesty, if we be urged to hold towns for her security.”
This place is “very strong, mightily stored with artillery, powder and other needful things for war. If the enemy possessed it … it would give such an entrance into Holland and the islands thereabouts, and so annoy the passages for Zeeland as the want thereof would prove most bitter to the country and much offensive to her Majesty's service.”
I doubt not but that your lordships will so approve of my service “as I may be encouraged either to go on roundly with my begun course; or (if not liked) that I may break it clean off”; wherein I remain most ready to accept your choice and to follow such directions as you shall please to send me.—The Hague, 7 May, 1588.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 195.]
[May 7.] “A discourse how the matters of Gertrudenbergh have passed.”
His lordship, before going to Medemblick, lying sick at the Hague, “was earnestly solicited, as well by Count Maurice and the States as by the burghers of Gertrudenbergh, to deal and to use his best means for appeasing the differences lately happened there”; at whose instances, he wrote to the soldiers and gave an act to certain of Dordrecht to treat with them and hold them in good terms until his return from Medemblick. While he was there, the burgers of Gertrudenbergh, with others, came to the village of Twisch with letters from the garrison; but his lordship refused to see them until Count Maurice had recommended them.
On Monday, April 22, his lordship departed, and arrived at Utrecht on the 23rd, where M. Mening counsellor of Dordrecht met him with letters to hasten his journey to Gertrudenbergh. Having taken order for the English garrison, and dealt for the security of those of Naerden; on the 24th he took his journey to the Hague, where he arrived next morning, and having dealt with the States for the levying of mariners to be sent to England, wherein they and Count Maurice seemed most conformable, he was by them most earnestly importuned to deal with Gertrudenberg, they promising “to perform, ratify and to hold for good (at the country's charge) whatsoever, in her Majesty's name his lordship should accord and conclude …”
On Friday, 26, he went to Dordrecht, where he consulted with those of the town and some of Gertrudenbergh.
On Monday 29, he sent the Sergeant-Major, Sir John Wingfeild, and Mr. Gilpin to Gertrudenbergh, with Mr. Mening, authorized to deal with the garrison, and to receive in writing what they required. “Next morning early all (saving Sir John Wingfield) returned, whom at the soldiers' earnest request it seemed fit to leave in the town to maintain them in good terms. Such articles as were brought from the garrison, his lordship presently answered; in which their chiefest demand imported for his lordship's presence.”
Whilst at Dordrecht, Count Maurice and the States sent M. Villiers and other messengers, beseeching him to persevere; promising (as before) to perform whatever he should conclude. To which purpose the Count wrote also.
“They of Gertrudenbergh were so desirous to have his presence amongst them … as his lordship was contented to come before the town, and there, aboard his ships, to confer and deal with the deputies. According whereunto on Friday, 3 May, his lordship, accompanied with the Sergeant-Major, Mr. Gilpin and others, and with Mening and divers of Dordrecht (thereto deputed) embarked and came before Gertruydenbergh; where presently … the magistrates of the town and some of the deputies of the soldiers came aboard; and after consultation had, it was resolved in council … that his lordship should enter the town, to assure the place; which the night before was in danger by treason to have been delivered to the enemy; for which purpose they presented 2000 strong, and was like to have taken effect if the practice had not been discovered; for which some of them, being apprehended, were tormented and after executed; which could hardly have been done … without his lordship's presence in the town. For these considerations, and at their most earnest request … and counsel under their hands, his lordship toward evening entered the town and was, in all appearance, most lovingly received. The 4th and 5th his lordship remained labouring to work them to some reason …
”They desired to be assured under her Majesty's and Count Maurice's hands for their lives; and to pass untouched for what hath been done; and to be governed under her Majesty's protection and to be used as her Majesty's soldiers. To all which his lordship hath promised to use his best means.
“Those points promised, and the garrison assuring to hold the town thirty days fast for her Majesty, his lordship on Sunday … after a friendly farewell (leaving at their requests Sir John Wingfeild amongst them) went aboard, and on Monday morning arrived at Dordrecht. Tuesday, 7th, his lordship departed thence, and arrived that night at the Hague to see what may be done with the States for means with money to content them, which is the mark they principally aim at.”
Endd.pp. close writing. [Holland XXIII. f. 197.]
May 7. Lord Willughby to Walsingham.
“Your opinion for accepting such towns in this country as lately were proffered unto her Majesty was rightly grounded in your letter of the 10th of the last. And now God layeth open a most easy means to assure Gertruidenberg, if her Majesty shall please to allow it, as by my letters and discourse unto the lords appeareth. This may be so handled, with consent of the States, and good-liking of the country, as they may be made to pay, and her Majesty have the benefit to possess it.
“I have but 26 days left me now to yield a full and resolute answer; which expired … I fear the event will be that the enemy shall enjoy them; who have made protestations rather to become Spanish rather than to serve the States.”
I have no answers to my last letters, and pray you to procure them. Nothing is more precious than loss of time in matters of war.
This gent. Lieutenant Bagnall, has asked for my licence to be absent. I pray that you will do him what good you can, and if there be no means for the same, that you will cause not only him, but all who remain away from their charges to return with speed.—The Hague, 7 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 199.]
May 7/17. Count Maurice of Nassau to the Queen.
Doubts not but that her Majesty has heard from the Baron de Willughby and the Sieur de Killigrew the good beginning of a general accord between the gentlemen and soldiers her subjects, and the people of Holland, which has resulted in consequence of the settlement brought about by himself and the said Baron of the dispute at Medemblick, and which will shortly put an end to the divisions in other places; and give the means to maintain the country and give the greatest possible hindrance to the enemy, both by sea and land.
Has come to this place to join his fleet, and to increase it by a number of good ships which he has caused to be set out during his journey into North Holland; whereby to hinder the Duke of Parma from assembling his ships and boats at Dunkirk, as he is said to intend to do; from which place those most experienced in sea affairs believe that he would make an attack upon either Ziricksee or England.
Hopes to be able to carry out his intention, if the state of the wind does not give the enemy the means of escape; as, against his hopes, he has before now found matter of great consequence both to the country and for himself and his house, brought to naught. For whereas Mr. Russell had formerly troubled his government by menaces and promises made in her Majesty's name (which he bore quietly without doing anything save to prevent the evil from going further) he now hoped either that it would please her Majesty to give order therein, according to his humble requests, or, at least, that Messrs. de Willughby and Killigrew—following the charge which it had pleased her to give them, and of which she wrote both to himself and to the States of Zeeland—would undertake to settle the said differences in some amicable way; which would enable him to continue his service.
But having heard, to his great regret, from Mr. Killigrew that they had no such charge, but were only to hear his complaints, in order to report thereof to her Majesty, he wishes to give her in writing the reasons for his complaints to her Majesty, praying her to examine them, and to consider the great inconveniences which may ensue by reason of such undertakings; contrary to the charges of Sir. Wm. Russel and his oath.
For though he himself desires only to continue to do his duty, yet it will be well nigh impossible to keep this fleet or any other equipped and ready to fight boldly, if the soldiers shall learn that instead of the good reconciliation which he had promised them, there will be attempts made both upon himself and his house. Nevertheless, he will do all he possibly can, with due regard to the public service.—Middelborch, 17 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 201.]
May 7/17. Count Maurice to the Privy Council.
I am assured that you will have received the communication which I gave to Mr. Killigrew, containing the just causes which I have to complain; having found in this country quite the contrary of what I had hoped for, as I have written more at length to her Majesty; whereof I need not trouble your lordships with a repetition, but only pray you to continue me in your good graces, and to excuse me for addressing myself to you so often; for since they do not cease to do me injuries under the sacred name of her Majesty, I am constrained to make complaint to those who respect it above all others; and to pray you humbly to do me justice, and to consider which imports more for the honour and service of her Majesty, to support or to disallow such attempts …
And as by my last letters, written at Medenblick I solicited her Majesty to be pleased to appoint some gentlemen to inform himself of what was wrongly imputed to me touching a pretended enterprise upon Flushing; I now make the same request to you; assuring you that I shall account it as a very great favour if I can procure an examination of the matter, from which I should have no fear of not coming out with honour and good credit….—Middelborch, 17 May, 1588.
Postscript. Since the writing of my letter I have learned the miserable state in which Gertruydenberghe was when Lord Willoughby left it; as I am sure he has informed your lordships, and how he found the soldiers, under the pretext of promises made to them, determined to demand sums so excessive that I cannot see much chance of recovering the town; for I know well (whatever use they have made of her name) that her Majesty would not wish (as indeed it is not reasonable) to pay the said sums; and I do not believe that the States have the means to do so. As to our house, which will lose there 40,000 livres de rente; with what is left to maintain ourselves sparingly, and to send something to the prince my brother, who is a prisoner in Spain; we have not the means wherewith to do it. Whereby you lordships may understand that they are not satisfied with depriving us of honour, but wish to take our life also; which, I am assured, will not be pleasing either to her Majesty or to your honours.
Signed. Add. Endorsed by Laurence Tomson “The declaration wanteth. Desireth his cause may be heard.” Seal of arms with coronet. French.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 207.]
May 7. George Gilpin to Walsingham.
Since my return from Medenblicke, I have touched in haste upon the reasonable end there made between Count Maurice, these States, and Sonoy, to the contentment of both parties. I know my lord Willoughby has given you particulars both of this and of the matter of Gertruydenberghe, wherewith we are still busy, as this bringer, Mr. Stevens will tell you; to whom I also refer me for all other matters; still entreating you to consider my suit and state, and further some good to me from her Majesty.
The Council of State is not yet established, as their instructions, though set down by the General States, are not yet resolved upon; and also those of Utrecht have not yet nominated their members. It would be well for her Majesty or my lord of Leicester to write to them; for “I find them of an humour to protest to be altogether for her Majesty, but do not see them in their deeds so forward for the common cause as … such earnestness doth require.
“Those of Friseland have likewise not yet nominated their counsellors by reason of some difference … among themselves.” I think some indifferent persons must be sent to hear and take up matters.
The General States are still assembled at the Hague, and await the return of Lord Willoughbie to establish the Council; and to resolve as to sending some as commissioners to the treaty about the peace, “which as yet is loathsome unto them.”—Dordrecht, 7 May, 1588, stilo veteri.
Signed. Add. Endd.
1 p. [Ibid. f. 203.]
May 7/14. Jehan le Michiel to Walsingham.
Satisfaction of Col. Sonoy at the queen's letter by which he has been delivered from such great danger, together with his family and friends.
His constant fidelity to his oath taken to the Earl of Leicester put him in great danger of his life, and also lost him the affection of the Estates, of Count Maurice, and of many others. But he finds himself greatly indebted for corn, powder, shot and other great expenses which he incurred during the siege, amounting to about 400 pounds sterling; which sum he cannot satisfy without selling his property; the greater part of which—both of himself and his wife—is occupied by the enemy; and he would never wish to leave the country without having satisfied his friends and creditors. He therefore prays Walsingham to write a word to the Earl of Leicester, to learn if there be no means for satisfying those to whom the money is owed.
Has also written to M. de Burchgrave. Asks for an answer to the bearer, his son, that he may report to Col. Sonoy what he has to hope for.—17 May, 1588, Grootebrouch, stilo novo. John Le Michiel, minister of God's word at Grootebrouch.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal [of arms?] French.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 205.]
May 8. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
Craves pardon for writing shortly on account of his own weakness, and also that Mr. Stevens will make full report of all that has passed. For since her Majesty's commandment for the working of all good means to re-unite the provinces and close up all private differences, the Lord Governor “hath employed this gentleman first to those of Gueldres, Utrecht and Overissell; and since, he hath been privy to all the proceedings at Medenblick, and now last at Gertruidenbergh.”
After his own return from Medenblick to the Hague he was forced to come to Flushing about them of Armue and Camphere, her Majesty having signified to them of Zeeland that direction was given to the Lord Governor and himself to deal therein. But he was presently overtaken with his former disease and fears he must leave “this infectious and contagious air” to recover his health at the Hague. The Lord Governor is, however, looked for shortly and then “those matters which as yet are to come to no ripeness may be brought to some perfection.”—Flushing, 8 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 209.]
May 8. H. Kyllygrew to Burghley.
[To the same effect and almost in the same words as to Walsingham.]
The Lord Governor is looked for in a few days; “after his lordship hath brought the matters of Gertruidenbergh to some pass, which have been hitherto the stay that he came not down hither.”—Flushing, 8 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 211.]
May 8. George Gilpin to Killigrew.
After coming hither, I found that his Lordship had sent to those of Gertruydenbergh “certain answer to their articles; promising, by the conclusion, that he would come to their town or very near unto it.” The next morning he departed with his train and guard, and 40 musquettiers, burghers of this town; also Mr. Menyn and one other of the magistrates.
“Being come thither, there came presently aboard Sir John ‘Winckefielde’ with most of the deputies of the garrison; and so, after there had passed some messages … his lordship entered the town with all his followers; being met at the gates by the magistrates and the chief of the soldiers. All the rest were in arms and standing in order in the streets as we passed; no other being showed unto us than joyfulness and contentment … What the success of our doings has been hitherto, I refer to the bringer of this.
The States have sent my lord an Act of which Mr. Stevens will tell you the contents; but I think my lord will be little encouraged to trouble himself with their business.
We depart this morning for the Hague, with some of this town and Geertruydenbeigh “to urge the States to offer better conditions … The best we have obtained hitherto of the soldiers being that they promised assuredly to stay for his lordship's answer one month; within the which time they look to have contentment.”
At the Hague, his lordship will deal about the establishing of the Council, and reducing of the horse into foot; and I will deal with ‘Barnifeelde’ about the answer to your proposal, and acquaint him and others with the contents of your letter “touching the cold success in the treaty about the peace.”
His lordship is now writing to the Count, and sends copies of all our dealings with Geertruydenbergh. I doubt not but Mr. Villiers will tell you the particulars thereof. I think his Excellency might do well to get the States to deal resolutely about the getting of it; and to appoint some here to be assistant to him as from the Count, in any further dealings with the soldiers, who respect and esteem him; but for the other noblemen they will hear no motion.
Those of Utrecht continue in their wonted humour. It were not amiss that an admonition were sent them from the queen or the earl of Leicester to agree with the other provinces to maintain her Majesty's treaty.
“Friesland standeth also yet in differences, whereof I look for no amendment until some indifferent men be sent … to take up matters.”
I believe his lordship will send you the notes upon the instructions, whereupon, if your return be not speedy, I pray you to send some answer. I have read them over but not compared them with the instructions. Hofflin has been the chief doer therein, “whose judgment and action are very weak,” wherefore I wish for your speedy return, or our coming to you.—Dordrecht, 8 May, 1588, stilo Anglicœ.
I pray you write earnestly to my lord of Leicester for me and for Mr. Stevens.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 213.]
May 8. P. Ortell to Walsingham.
Humbly beseeches his honour to bear in mind the letters from the States General, which he delivered on the 28th of last month, both for her Majesty and for her Council; as he is charged to procure an answer quickly and send it while the States are still assembled.
Likewise he prays his honour to bethink him as soon as possible of the artillery or iron pieces required so urgently of her Majesty by those of Zeeland and Governor Russell, in their present pressing need against the attempts of the enemy. When he knows his honour's good pleasure, he will come to court, bringing the merchants who have the commission for the said artillery.—London, May 8, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 215.]
May 8. The Queen to the Commissioners.
We cannot forbear to let you, Mr. Comptroller, understand what cause of offence you did give to us, besides some discountenance to our commissioners and others in that you took upon you alone without any warrant from us or any determination of the rest, to repair to the Duke of Parma to treat with him alone as you dare do in sundry places and in secret manner, assuring you that such an extraordinary attempt … may be drawn to a further reproof than can be either answered or well endured. Although you have submitted yourself to our mercy for your presumption but thereby to the sight of the world we have no satisfaction. Beside it we think you have not considerately used the matter to send the points of your treaty with the duke in an open writing by a man of no better reputation than John Crofts. But now to resort to the matters certified in your writing of the commission, surcease etc., but yet without mentioning where the treaty shall begin, we think meet to let you, our commissioners, to understand our mind as followeth: first we think meet that means be made that you all should see the commission, as the other part hath seen ours, or else that Dr. Dale be sent to the Duke to require the sight thereof and if upon the perusal thereof he shall find it sufficient and that the duke shall assent to cessation of arms … and that Bridges may be granted for your repair to treat, then upon your certain understanding thereof our pleasure is you shall make you repair thither without further loss of time and enter into the treaty accordingly as you have been by us directed.
Copy, in Burghley's hand. Endd: “Part of the letter sent from her Majesty to the commissioners at Ostend for reprehension of Sir James Crofts.” 1½ pp. [Flanders III. f. 280.]
Another copy of the same.
Endd. M. of a letter to the Commissioners, 10 May, 1588. 1½ pp. [Ibid. f. 314.]
May 9/19. Concerning the importance of the town and country of Groningen to the Low Countries.
From olden times it has always been neutral and a Hanse town, subject to no lord; waging war with Count Charles of Gueldres, the Count of Embden and others, their neighbours.
The Emperor Charles V, seeing its importance as a frontier town of his Low Countries, enabling him to enter Frize, Overyssel, Utrecht, Gueldres, Holland etc. by subtle practice in 1536 got himself accepted as protector of the town.
Living in peace until 1567; when the war began in the Low Countries, four ensigns of High Germans were then sent by the Duke of Alba to guard the town and country, who by subtle means entered therein. At the same time, Count Louis of Nassau besieged it, and would have gained it had not the duke sent nearly all his best soldiers to succour the place, and the governor, the Comte d'Arenborch, who remained there in person, with more than 2000 of the best Spanish troops, besides others.
And although the Duke was then master, not only of Groningen, Frise and Gueldre, but of Holland, Zeeland and all the rest of the Pays Bas, and was hourly expecting the coming of the Prince of Orange into Brabant, yet he thought little of that, compared with his fear of losing Groningen and Frise, and went in person thither, where by treachery he gained a victory over Louis of Nassau.
And although he had a strong garrison in Groningen he ordered a strong castle to be made (contrary to the treaty with Charles V and the King of Spain, and to all right and privilege). The magistracy and burghers resisted this fiercely, but when the Duke had mastered Harlem, and threatened them with a great tyranny, were forced to submit, and the castle was built and fortified by Casper de Robles.
In 1574 Count Louis of Nassau raised an army in order to enter Groningen, but he was defeated and killed with other great lords, on the Mockerheide, and his men miserably dispersed.
In 1577, at the beginning of the government of the Estates, Groningen being reduced by the Comte de Rennenberch to their obedience, the King of Spain, after long practising by means of money, promises and presents, gained the said Count, and made himself master of the town in 1580.
The Prince of Orange and the Estates twice besieged it, by Col. Bartel Entes and Count Hohenlo; but the Prince of Parma sent succours thither under Martin Schenk; Count Hohenlow was twice defeated, and the town relieved. Then the land of Frise was in great danger of being lost, if God had not miraculously taken care for it. Many attempts have since been made to recover the town, but so far in vain.
The king has many times written to the governor, François de Verdugo, to put garrison into it, and assure himself of it, as he esteemed it more than either Antwerp or Brussels. It might now, more easily than ever be regained, and I pray your lordship to call me and put my reasons before you. Signed Ludich Engelstedt. 19 May, 1588.
French.pp. very close writing. [Holland XXIII. f. 218.]
May 9. G. Gilpin to H. Killigrew.
On Tuesday last his lordship arrived here, and next morning appeared in the meeting of the General States, where report was made of all proceedings in the matter of Gertruydenberghe, “and what means were to be used to content the soldiers, which without a large sum of money could not be effected, no nor any motion to be made, [so] that his lordship left now the further proceedings to themselves, considering he was to depart for Zeeland…according to her Majesty's commandment,” whereupon they thanked his lordship, beseeching him to continue his good office; and present order should be taken of what might be given to the soldiers. They are busied about the motion for reducing the horse companies into footmen; but I think it will be done only provisionally, as “they see small appearance of any service to be done this year in field.
“Touching the contents of the copy of Mr. Dale's letter by you sent (fn. 1) … they rejoiced greatly thereat, and would consider of the sending of some to Ostend, to join with her Majesty's commissioners.
“First two, and after [wards] all those of the elected counsellors of State were with his lordship, to entreat him … to allow of their meeting by provision to deal in matters so far as the treaty made with her Majesty extended unto … without to be bound unto the instructions until upon your return, by mutual conference, the imperfections therein contained might be amended. (fn. 2) But this his lordship thought not convenient to grant, by reason that if they had once so begun, it would be hard afterwards to bring the States to any alteration; and so it seemeth, at your return, the points must be particularly debated upon and resolved … Your worship shall do well to hasten hither. I pray you forget me not when you write into England, that I might know whereto to trust. (fn. 3)
“Those of Holland committed certain who dealt with his Lordship about matters of Gertrudenbergh; and [it] was determined as the best means to be offered unto the soldiers the count and reckoning of their services, and then each one to be paid according to his time; which is a fair and large [proposal] and must be handled as if his Lordship would labour to bring the States thereto, for to pleasure the soldiers the more; and thus his lordship will underhand have offered by his brother, (fn. 4) Sir John Winckfielde, to whom he hath written, as also to the soldiers, to assure them his lordship will use all good means to further their cause; requiring them, in the mean time to continue in good order, and that the lendings shall be duly paid unto them the whilst. (fn. 5)
I hear the matter of Naerden is passed according to that by his lordship handled, and the letters to the man you know, have done good (fn. 6) ….”—The Hague, 9 May, 1588.
Holograph; the marginal notes in Killigrew's hand.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 220.]
[Dr. Dale] to [Killigrew]. (fn. 7)
I have received your letter of the 21st of this present, whereby it may appear how necessary it is for us to understand one from another; for we hear of some privy conference between the duke and that country, and of mislike of us, and of the country among themselves, and of practice in “Tregoees' and of preparations against those islands; whereof I hope you either feel nothing or care not for it. On the other side, we are so far from conclusion of the peace; whereof you do hear there that we cannot get any entrance to it; neither to see any commission from the king to treat, neither to have any reasonable cessation of arms nor to have any assurance for our safety if we should come into any of their towns; and to us they will not come. They say how the King of Spain is recovered; but you and I, if we were together, would gather good conjectures to the contrary by actions we do find here.
“It is good news that you have composed the matter of Meydembligh; and God grant that we may hold fast one to another, in peace or war …”—Ostend, the last of April, 88.
Memo. “This is the letter that Gilpin doth mention in his, that they like so well of; to which end I sent it, and since, to bring in suspense such news as Mr. Controller's man hath spread, and filled every man with fear, which is gone further than I can tell of.
I have also sent the copy of this other letter, received from the same author the 7 of this present, which I am sure will also do some good for the time.
“I have received your letters; and as I was in conference with Champagni and Richardot, they had received two letters, the one out of Hulst, which gave them intelligence of 300 of our men that were defeated by theirs (they missed much their number); and that out of England there was news of the greatest preparation for wars that had been heard of; so as they would conclude that we went about to decive them … but I got now the sight of a commission bearing date in Spain the 17 of the last; and we are now talking about a cessation of arms and a place of residence, where to treat. Hereby you can judge how forward we be.” I have to do with two fair renards; but leave your old friend alone with them awhile. I have advised them to disguise their forwardness to a peace as much as they may, and to admonish their train ad idem.
Copy, the whole in Killigrew s hand.
2 pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 221.]
May 9. Translation and copy of the articles of the garrison of Geertruydenbergue, and of the apostiles, given on May 9, 1588, by the Baron de Willoughby.
1. That they may keep the garrison under such governor as it may please her Majesty to give them.
2. That none shall command them save he who is commissioned by her.
His Excellency will command them himself.
3. That they shall be excused from presenting themselves for any exploits etc. in which the Count Hohenlohe will command in chief.
4. That it will please her Majesty to receive them into her protection in such sort that what is done here for her service may never be taken in ill part and that for their greater assurance they may be granted such conditions as shall be found requisite.
5. That her Majesty will receive into her own succours in these countries, and that they may receive the same pay as those of her own nation.
6. If there shall be any soldiers (whom they hope will be very few) who shall demand their discharge; that it may be granted them.
His Excellency hopes in this to accommodate them all.
Signed, Cornelis Bierslot.
Copy of the same in Flemish.
Endd. as in headline. French and Flemish.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 223.]
May 9/19. Col. Diedrich Sonoy to the Queen.
Assuring her of his gratitude to her for having so promptly and zealously taken his cause in hand, as he has not only learned by the report of the Sieur Mostart but proved by its effect, seeing that by the interposition of her authority, he has come to an agreement with those that had besieged him. Is overwhelmed by the benefits which he cannot repay, but prays her to believe that he would esteem himself most happy if opportunity should present itself to lessen in the least his obligation.—Medenblicq, 19 May, 1588, stilo novo.
Signed. Seal. Add. Endd. French.
1 p. [Ibid. f. 227.]
May 9/19. The Same to Walsingham.
Has long known the excellent gifts and virtues with which his honour is endowed, and his affection for honest men and those of the Religion, whereby he has been drawn to love and respect him. But now the Sieur Mostart and the minister Michel having declared to him the great services and good offices which they have received from his honour, and the affection shown in relation to himself, his affection is so inflamed that he hopes with all his heart that he may be able to show by deeds that he desires nothing more in the world than to be able to do him service.—Medenblicq, 19 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 229.]
May 9. Dr. Dale to the Queen. (fn. 8)
I reached Bruges on the 5th. The next day the duke had taken physic and could not give an audience. The following morning, having access, I declared unto him that your Majesty did take in very good part the honourable manner of meeting near Ostend as a demonstration of her good disposition and his sincerity, and that you were desirous that expedition should be made and misliked that there had been so many delays, and you would like some entry to be made into the principal, for which I had repaired to Gant to make collation of the commissions whereunto I had none other answer but that his Altesse would not deal without full commission … But at the time of the meeting … no commission was showed from the king. It was afterwards required of Garnier and again of his Altesse at Bruges by Morris…. As his Altesse had declared that he hath a most full and sufficient commission from the king, your Majesty had commanded me to make repair to him to make collation of the same … not minding to make question of the sufficiency thereof so that his Altesse would promise amendment if need were.
The duke repeated the sum of my speech. He was very glad your Majesty did take the manner of the assembly in so good part … President Richardot should confer with me about the commission. I replied that I only asked for the collation; any matter of difficulty might be debated when the commissioners met. He answered he would appoint M. Champaigny and Richardot to deal with me in the afternoon.
I then told him that your Majesty hath expected some reasonable answer touching the cessation. Although you might justly require that it should be general for all the king's dominions, you would not stand upon any precise point and would be contented that it should extend no further than to Flushing, Briel, Ostend and Berghen ap Zome, and that … by private order. To that he said nothing … saving that he liked not of any publication thereof. And so I went no further.
In the afternoon I had conference with M. Champaigny and Richardot … unto whom I opened how far I had dealt with the duke touching the commission. After a pause Richardot began to make some quarreling arguments that they should never have done with these impertinent demands. We ought to be satisfied with the duke's promise of ratification … Have we not shown it to M. Crofts. If we show it to you another may come to-morrow and so we shall never have an end. I said the delays came from them, and he himself, in the presence of Mr. Cecil, had promised to show a perfect commission. At the time of the writing of the letters commanding me to repair to the duke your Majesty did not know that Mr. Controller was then gone to him. Richardot began to take it short … but Champaigny stickled the matter and said he did mistake me, and so moved him to show the commission. Whereupon Richardot pulled it out from under his gown. I found it was signed with the king's hand and sealed with the great seal of Spain, dated 17 April stilo novo. The King authorises the duke to appoint commissioners to treat and conclude, binding himself to ratify all that shall be done.
After the reading I said this would be some satisfaction to your Majesty, as you had conceived good hope of the duke's sincerity and by this commission you might have a like good opinion of the good inclination of the king unto peace.
I then began to enter to the matter of cessation of arms, and rehearsed why it should be general. What profit can that be to us, said M. Champaigny for they of other towns will join with them of the four towns and shift from one place to another, and there withal read unto me the letters whereof I send a copy enclosed, (fn. 9) concerning a raid from Lisloo, Berghen up Zom and Flushing to spoil the country of Hulst … and yet they had suffered them of Ostend to go quietly abroad. I said I was assured your Majesty would be offended that such a disturbance should happen by any of your forces, and it might be the information was not true. If they had granted cessation at the beginning for Flushing and Berghen as they did for Ostend your Majesty would have given commandment for it and so would do hereafter if cessation were accorded. M. Champaigny knew that you were so well respected, loved and obeyed that you were as well able to contain your forces in order as his Altesse is.
Then Richardot answered that they would consider of it and know the pleasure of his Altesse. I asked to have audience of the duke again in the morning, to take leave.
They then moved the matter of the place and said they had rather it should be at Bruges … except we would take Gant or Antwerp. But I cut them off short for those places … and further said that the commissioners did never desire Bruges but Winoxberghen or Bourborough. They had raised objections and Bruges was named merely to pleasure them. They said I should have answer in the morning.
In the morning Richardot came to accompany me to the duke. I moved him earnestly to have a copy of the commission. He answered he durst not but said assuredly I should have it at our meeting. Coming to the duke I said I supposed your Majesty would have good satisfaction of the commission which I had seen … and desired to know his pleasure for the cessation. He said he could like well of it, so that the like order were taken by your Majesty. I said order was already given therefor as soon as the commissioners should understand that order was given on his side. He prayed the commissioners to choose some other place because it could not be at Bruges … and desired to know at what time they would appoint to meet, that order might be given by him accordingly. And so I took my leave with very good satisfaction of the duke, as it seemed.
At my departure from Bruges Dr. Maes and Garnier brought the enclosed project for a cessation, whereunto they said they would put their hands, and asked to have the commissioners' hands also because they must send to so many places, etc.—Ostend, 9 May, 1588.
Signature cut off. Add. Endd. 10 pp. [Flanders III. f. 282.]
Draft for the above, corrected. 22 pp. [Ibid. f. 290.]
Project for a Cessation of Arms delivered at Bruges by D. Maes and Garnier.
From this side no act of hostility will be used against Ostend, Flushing, Berghes sur le Zoom and Brielle, without prefixing a time, but subject to six days' notice. Reciprocally that the garrisons of the said places and all others of the queen's obedience shall remain peaceably at home without attempting any hostile act against the king's country and subjects or assisting other enemies of his Majesty, both parties being allowed free navigation to and from the ports of their obedience, without let or hindrance.
Endd. by Dale. French. ½ p. [Treaty papers V. f. 29.]
Two other copies of the same.
[Flanders II. ff. 53, 177.]
May 9. Dr. Dale to Walsingham.
If her Majesty mislike that I have not a copy of the commission, first, her letters are but to bring a copy, second I took it to be my occupation to conceive and bear away the tenure of a commission and lastly if a man cannot have he must be contented withal, especially seeing it must needs be had at the meeting. And why was it not had at the last meeting? forsooth because they had it not themselves … I hope her Majesty will be pleased well enough with the handling of the matter.
And so for the cessation … though it be not accorded in the terms her Majesty prescribed she hath the better cause to like of it because she shall try the experience cui bono and be at liberty within six days. For the place, the poor doctors must go to the hospital if they should go to Bruges, and … the duke will suffer no man to pass by Sluys to pry into the privity of his navy, though he will not be known of that cause. And we shall have a thousand disorders at Bruges by the fugitives, religion etc. God knoweth what you will make of Mr. Comptroller's articles there. All is as it is taken. Methinketh I have done like a pretty fellow, and yet I shall think myself well enough if I be not shent for my labour.—Ostend, 9 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. An abstract of the King of Spain's commission (sic). 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 288.]
May 9. Cobham to Burghley.
The Master of the Requests has been with the Duke and seen the commission [particulars]. For the cessation they have set down a form [particulars]. For the place the duke asks them to choose between Wynox Berghen or Burborow. Now there remaineth only hostages for our security … Her Majesty hath hitherto willed us to stand upon this but now she thinketh otherwise. My hope is … we shall be publicly provided for, and not the burden to lie upon the States to the overthrow of our houses if anything should happen. Now your lp. sees the state of our action I hope we may either proceed in this treaty or be revoked home, who have spent much time and done little. It is meant to prove whether the defects in the cessation may be amended. In the mean time we do send to see the two towns. Burborch hath been a place of meeting heretofore and for my own part I could like it better. It is here said that my Lord Admiral has taken his leave to join with Sir Francis Drake. How these actions will agree with ours I refer to your honourable consideration. If it might please your lordship to write to Mr. Controller to follow her Majesty's direction which she wills us to deliver to him, it might do good. His zeal doth transport him.—Ostend, 9 May, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders III. f. 306.]
May 9. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
May it please your lordship to make the best of all things. I suppose your lordship may boldly satisfy her Majesty that she shall not need to doubt of the commission. It must of necessity be showed at the treaty if it be by letters. Blame them not if they wrangled for it when they had it not. I hope her Majesty will not require that cannot be had conveniently … yet if she do your lordship hath argument enough to answer it.
For the cessation your lordship seeth in honour it is maintained; in matter her Majesty's pleasure may be to keep it but as it shall be found good. The place must be Bourbourgh for our sake. For my part I were undone if I should to Bruges. This journey hath cost me pounds, and yet I was defrayed, [high cost of provisions].
I know the greatest cause why the duke would not have us come to the Sluys is lest his preparations should be made known. I learned of Mr. Wotton not to write conjecturally of future contingencies. But certain it is they do prepare themselves to war, and yet will be glad to have peace and to live in quiet with her Majesty, except they have some plot resolved upon for England, whereof I can nothing judge for lack of advertisement out of Spain. Our fugitives brag openly they will into England. Other are more close and yet give signification of no less, whether it be to fear us or in earnest, I know not. If the matter were well followed it would soon be learned.
As I was in the middle of my talk with Champaigny and Richardot in came a boy with a billet to Richardot from the Conte Daremberg, with an advertisement from Midlebourg that they of Flushing were busy and that there was more preparation for war in England than ever there was, and that H.M.'s commissioners did but abuse them and meant not peace indeed. Yea, quoth Champaigny, I think they arm as well as we. The peace will be the better made sword in hand. I have not put this in my letter to the Queen because it is a by matter, yet it may please your lordship to advertise her thereof. Margin, in the same hand: I have put it in a schedule within the Queen's letter.—Ostend, 9 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2⅓ pp. [Flanders III. f. 303.]
May 9. [Burghley] to Sir James Croft.
Your letter brought me the 2nd May was sent to her Majesty by your son Edward, which related your dealings with the duke…. Her Majesty was not well satisfied in that you mentioned 12 articles and named not one, sending to me to know what they were, whereof I could not give her satisfaction … I wish you had thought thereof and pray you henceforward to be somewhat more liberal in writing. Having experience of us here you know how easy it is to move doubts, and these not being answered give cause to make quarrels to the matters.
For the commission … her Majesty marvelled you would not require a copy … whereby might be judged whether it were sufficient; and she thinks that you might have objected … seeing you were there long before Easter, the date of the commission, that her Majesty has not been honourably used in “affirmance” that the duke had sufficient commission before your coming over, nor all the time you have been there. This much concerning your former letter her Majesty hath willed me to write unto you.
Yesterday your kinsman John Croftes came with your letters … with a writing not subscribed by you or any other. But I received it. The contents pleased me as things fit to be communicated to her Majesty. And though I had licence to continue at home to recover my health I ventured late yesternight to go to the Court with your letter, and delivered it to her Majesty imparting to her the rest. After being perused and considered by her Majesty I found her somewhat qualified in her former offence against you for your going to the duke, by reason of your asking pardon and in respect of the fruits of your negotiation, as expressed in your breviat, all which she liked well, finding only lack of mention of any dealing with the duke of the place of meeting to be at Bruges. I told her that John Croftes told me he knew the duke had assented thereunto, which did partly content her, although I durst not affirm it as I might well have done if you had written it.
Her Majesty seemed very doubtful what you mean in writing of the surcease. I also moving doubt thereof to John Croftes he assured me that it should be as well in Spain as in the Low Countries, and the duke had sent a courier to Spain for the purpose. But his speeches and many other things in familiar talk at random are I doubt more of his affirmations for lack of knowledge than for any meaning in him to abuse me.
In the end her Majesty resolved to write to your commissioners, if it appear that the things advertised are likely to succeed, to send Mr. Dale to see the commission to judge of the sufficiency thereof, and upon the agreement for Bruges to be the place and for the surcease, her Majesty would have the commissioners to proceed without further delay.
Her Majesty hath willed me to write to you requiring to be advertised of the meaning of a clause in Champaigny's letter to me, which she thinketh very strange; it runs: qu' ayant mis en avant icy ledict Seigneur Controlleur choses de substance, qu'il seroit du tout requis qu'il y eust quelque evidence de la part de la Royne par ou Il constat icy qu'elle avoue ce qu'il en a faict, et fera ce qu'il besoignera ulterieurement. Upon this clause her Majesty entered into speeches of great misliking that you should offer matter of such a substance as she must avow that that you have done or that shall be done hereafter by you. Her Majesty also had great misliking of the suggestion to send Lord Buckhurst thither, which she thinketh proceeded of yourself, but she answereth that she doth never mean in such a sort to discredit the two lords already there. There are other impediments for that Lord Buckhurst is not yet restored to her Majesty's presence and the Council because the matters betwixt my lord of Leicester and him are not yet determined … Hoping by the next to hear that you shall be on your way to Bruges, not alone but with the other commissioners.
Copy. Endd. M. of my l. letter to Mr. Comptroller. 2¾ pp. [Flanders III. f. 301.]
A collection out of Dr. Dale's letters concerning the report of his dealings with the Duke of Parma.
In Burghley's hand. 2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 305.]
May 10. The Queen to H. Killygrew.
Finding by your late letters that those of Camphyr and Armue have refused to receive the horsemen that Count Maurice had ordered to be placed in those towns; and that you doubt “that they will make some difficulty to accept the general oath, thought meet by the States—upon the resignation of our cousin the Earl of Leicester's government—to be offered unto all the martial men by them entertained and that serve in their pay:—And forasmuch as you doubt that some inconvenience may grow thereby; and that in case they should receive any comfort to stand upon those points of refusal it might give the States cause to think that they are not well nor plainly dealt withal … and therefore, for the avoiding of the said inconvenience, you desire to be directed by us what you shall do … you shall understand that for the first, touching the receiving of the horsemen into the two towns; that although we could like best that there should be none placed in the said towns, yet rather than there should grow any such breach as fell out between the States and Sonoy, we would have you advise them to yield; and yet, if you could so work with the Count Maurice that he may be content that our servant Sir William Russell's band of horse only may be placed in the said towns, we could like best thereof; for which purpose you may let him understand, as of yourself, that the forbearing the placing of any other horsemen in the said towns than the said bands, will be the only way to remove the jealousy that we upon first cause conceived when he and the Count Hollock sought the possession of the said towns at the time of our cousin the Earl of Leicester's being there … he being then governor, to the end, as is to be supposed, they might … with better commodity have attempted the surprise of the town of Flushing.”
As touching the oath, “as our meaning is that the garrisons in the said towns should be continued in the States' pay, we would have them in no sort refuse to take the said oath. And for the better contentment of the captains … we would have you let them know the cause why we refuse to entertain them into our pay, according to their desire … and that in case the said States of Zeeland upon your solicitation shall refuse to satisfy them, in such sort as they do pay the rest of the garrisons serving under them, you shall assure them that we mean not to abandon them.
Copy.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 231.]
[May 10.] The Queen to Count Maurice.
Has been fully advertised by Lord Willoughby of his good and honourable duty touching the business of Medenblik and Colonel Sonoy, which has given her great satisfaction and for which she thanks him heartily. For what he wrote in his letters of the last of April in relation to the reports which he heard had been made to her, that in his last voyage but one into Zeeland he had wished to make an attempt upon the town of Flushing; she must tell him that such a report came to her of the proceedings of himself and Count Hohenlo who during the government of her cousin the Earl of Leicester, and even during his whole stay there tried, contrary to the accord and to all good government, to put into the town of Camphire and other places, other companies and garrisons than those which had been placed there by her said governor. And with regard to what the sieurs de Loze and Casenbroet said touching Sluys, it would be better for many reasons that that affair should be entirely forgotten, seeing that it is a matter which cannot now be remedied. Nevertheless, as he imputes the fault to her people, she must say that if her people were in any way in fault, it was by the default of the States, who failed to furnish in time the provisions which they had promised. But as regarded himself, she hopes that keeping before his eyes the virtues of the late prince, his father, he will take pains to follow them and not allow himself to be persuaded by ill-affected persons, who will seek only to mislead him. Wherefore she accedes very willingly to his request to listen to him, assuring herself that he will not fail to employ every effort to procure the happiness and repose of those countries And on her part, she will give order that her people shall maintain good correspondence and understanding with him.—The — May, 1588.
Copy. Endd. “Mem. of her Majesty's letters to Count Maurice in answer of his written to her Majesty of the last of April.” And by Tomson “Thanks for his travail in appeasing the dissensions at Medenblick. Satisfy him touching his doings against Sir William Russel and touching Sluse.” French. ¾ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 217.]
Draft for the above very much corrected. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 233.]
May 10/20. Count Maurice to Walsingham.
Asking him to present to her Majesty and her Council the annexed letters containing a full relation of what has passed since the departure of the Baron de ‘Houwart,’ and to lend him a helping hand in obtaining a speedy and good reply.—Middelbergh, 20 May, 1588.
Signed, impression of seal. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 234.]
May 10. The Queen to the Commissioners.
Touching the commission which Dr. Dale went to see, we should have best liked that all the commissioners had a view of it as well as a copy of it, which the Controller should have required. Concerning the cessation and place of meeting, we think it very expedient, having information that the great navy prepared in Spain is already departed from Lisbon or very shortly to sail thence with intent to join with the duke's forces to attempt somewhat either against this realm or in the realm of Scotland, which importeth us no less, that the said duke should be charged withal…. We have also been credibly informed that Mendoza, the ambassador, sent for Westmorland and other rebels and took upon him to assure them that the said forces were ready to set sail, so as shortly they should be all in their own country in as good state as ever they have been, willing them to put themselves in readiness to repair to the duke, as they have done. And concerning Scotland we are given to understand that one Simple did lately embark at Dunkirk for Scotland, who after presenting the duke's letters to the king, made great offers to him from the duke of money, men and munition and to require permission to land certain forces there for attempting somewhat against our realm. Which things being true we do not see how either in honour or policy we may proceed in the treaty unless we may receive assurance from the duke that either the said forces shall attempt nothing against our dominions or the realm of Scotland or at least that nothing shall be attempted by such forces over whom he hath commandment in those countries, … and therefore we think it most necessary that not only the four towns should be comprehended in the cessation but all our dominions and the realm of Scotland.
For such purpose we think it very meet that Dr. Dale should repair to the duke and acquaint him with these informations and urge upon his honour to deal plainly and sincerely with us touching his knowledge of the said attempts wherein you may tell him we think we may upon better ground press him to yield us satisfaction for that our confidence in his honourable dealing hath carried us much further into this matter than otherwise we would. And if upon these grounds that moved us justly to require Scotland and our dominions to be comprehended in the cessation he shall promise that his forces will not join with those of Spain during the treaty nor 20 days after, upon assurance under his hand, then we are content that you proceed in your treaty at Bridges without delay or attending further instruction from us.
Draft; corrected. 4 pp. [Flanders III. f. 316.]
May 10. Earl of Derby to Burghley and Walsingham.
Dr. Dale's report. Prefer Bourborough for the treaty, as more commodious and nearer to England and the Court whither they will often have occasion to send. Likes the situation and is told that the air is good. Asks that it may be there.—Ostend, 10 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 312.]
May 10. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
We perceive by Dr. Dale's report that the duke hath a commission dated 17 April which was long since our arrival here. The effect whereof we send enclosed together with the manner of cessation the duke is inclined to agree unto, also a copy of a letter to M. Champagny. For the place of meeting … may it please your lordships to move her Majesty to appoint us to Burburgh, and to know her further pleasure.—Ostend, 10 May, 1588.
Signed by all five. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 318.]
Draft for the same.
Endd. 9 May. 3 pp. [Ibid. f. 308.]
(1) Abstract of the King of Spain's Commission to the Duke of Parma.
¾ p. [Ibid. f. 319.]
(2) A Project for the Cessation of Arms. (fn. 10)
½ p. [Ibid. f. 321.]
May 10. Derby and Cobham to Walsingham.
Recommending the enlargement upon ransom of one Jhosias Barney, a prisoner there, for which the commissioners on the other side have moved them, as they feel sure the secretary may do good in this matter, to relieve them of the importunate suit with which they are daily pressed.—Ostend, 10 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 324.]
May 10. The Queen to the Commissioners.
Reproof of Crofts [as in draft of 8 May above p. 363]. Then the demand for an assurance from Parma [as above p. 375].
Draft. Endd. with date. Marginal notes by Burghley.pp. [Ibid. f. 326.]
Money defrayed by Dr. Dale from 26 February, 1587 to 10 May following, for letters and for sending and going on two occasions, total 116li.
Certified by Derby, Cobham, Croft and himself.
Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 336.]


  • 1. Margin, “I send you the copy of his letter herewith enclosed.”
  • 2. Margin: This will not I take upon me; and therefore I pray you, send me back the Instructions, with such notes as you would have me agree with the States or Council of State in; whereof I have written now particularly in this despatch.
  • 3. Margin: Remember this poor man, for he is very necessary for the service of this country.
  • 4. He was married to Willoughby's sister Mary.
  • 5. Margin: They of Gertruydenbergh do not like of the offer of count and reckoning.
  • 6. Margin: The letters I wrote to Deventer burgomaster of Utrecht. Your honour's letters cannot yet be there these three days.
  • 7. With note by Killigrew that these are copies of Dr. Dale's letters whereof he has sent the contents to the Council of State.
  • 8. The substance of much of this despatch printed by Motley: United Netherlands ii. pp. 370–2.
  • 9. At page 355 above.
  • 10. As at page 370 above, but in English.