Elizabeth: May 1588, 16-20

Pages 398-408

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, 16–20

May 16. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
“In Count Maurice's packet to your honour there is enclosed a long narration containing sundry complaints against my lord Governor of Flushing, which, after some conference had with his lordship I have apostilled and sent your honour herewithal; wherein, because if those men should understand I have been a dealer, they would conceive great suspicion and jealousy of me, it may please your honour to take no notice of the said apostiles, but to return some such answer to the count as that you will send his narration to the Lord Governor of Flushing that he may clear himself of that is laid to his charge; or otherwise as your honour shall find most meet. But for my lord Governor's own part, considering their great heartburnings against him … I find him very desirous … to be called home for a time to make answer to these accusations, and so to be dealt withal as it shall be found his lordship's carriage … hath deserved.
for his company of horse, it was proposed to put three companies in the island, Villiers and Bersons in the north part, and his lordship in the southern; but fearing inconvenience from lodging them upon the Boors, they placed them in the towns, and as Middelburg would not receive the whole of two companies, they would have set half a company in Camphere and Armu. For which cause the governor also placed his horse in this town “fearing it might be taken hardly if his lordship's horse should be among the boors, when as theirs are within the towns….”—Flushing, 16 May, '88.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 286.]
May 16. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
In favour of the request of the States of Zeeland for licence to transport out of England 12 pieces of ordnance for their own garrison.—Flushing, 16 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 288.]
May 16. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
“Such is now the present estate of this island, as if her Majesty doth altogether abandon those of ‘Camphyer’ and Armue, this place will hardly be kept … for that I find these people greatly altered with this hint of peace, which the Controller giveth out is made and already concluded; being the only ground of all our mislikes and hatred.
“I understand that Count Morris taketh great exceptions to many of my letters, but the greatest cause of all his hatred toward me is for advertising unto your honour and my lords of some enterprise intended by him and some others against this town; wherein your honour can best witness how temperately I carried myself toward him and the Estates.”
I was advertised of it by divers good friends in Holland, as also by Mr. Killigrew and Mr. Herbert, whose opinions I desire may be asked “whether it was my own invention or whether the manner of the enterprise was not set down to them, and by what persons it should be executed; but such is now their malice unto me—as well in respect of that as for that they think me an instrument of my lord of Leicester's—as they seek to discredit me both with her Majesty and the people of this country”; wherefore I pray that I may not be condemned unheard, and that you will have special regard to them of Camphere and Armue; “for if they become enemies, it is impossible to keep this place.”
For my actions, I refer myself to my Lord Willoughby and Mr. ‘Killygrye,’ who are of my opinion as to Camphere and Armue, that if those towns be not kept in good amity and liking with this, it is not possible long to keep this place … if the Estates have a mind to get it, whose affection towards her Majesty is no more than needs in respect of this place and keeping of Bergues and Ostend; with divers other great complaints and griefs, the which they will never forget.”
I beseech you not to draw any companies out of this town, “being a place of much more danger and practice than your honour will think; I myself being fully resolved rather to lie in the Tower than to abide governor of this town if the Queen doth abandon those of Camphyer or any way diminish this her garrison, for that at this present we are assured of none.”
Once more I earnestly desire to be allowed to come over for two or three months. My lord Willoughby being here in Zeeland may remain till my coming over; who at this present hath no other occasion, but rather to attend the enemy here than any way else….”—Flushing, May 16.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. Seal of arms. [Holland XXIII. f. 290.]
May 16. De Loo to the Commissioners.
I saw his Altesse yesterday. In answer to his question I said we were only waiting for the return of the courier with news of the quarters, to go there at once and treat. Let them do so and have done quickly, said he. As I was leaving he called me back and asked what news there was. I told him only talk here that the Armata of Spain was on the coasts of Britanny. He said he did not believe it though there were letters about it; adding only: Go and let us despatch it. I went straight to the President who also said he did not believe about the Armata, and if your lordships are ready they will start at once. Would to God, said he, this had been done three months ago. I went on to M. Champagney who also said he had no certain news of the Armata. The truth will soon appear as another courier should arrive to-day. God grant the best issue and if an accord is not reached it will be deeply deplored by all. As I am to see your lordships to-day I shall await your decision.—Bruges, 16 May, 1588, stilo antico.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. Italian. [Flanders III. f. 353.]
May 17. Lord Wyllughby, Sir William Russell, and Messrs. Thos. Wylsford, Hen. Kyllygrew and Nic. Errington to the Privy Council.
“After we had assembled and considered how we might best hold in good terms the dispositions of such as were in piques and discontentments in this island, we found that no authority was especially given to any of us to pass any further; save only that I, Sir William Russell, showed letters directing me to maintain them of Camphere and others in their former good opinions and affections towards her Majesty. In which letters, because an underhand course was wished to be held with a people so subtle, who, seeming already to perceive the same, were not a little distasted: fearing therefore but a slender issue of her Majesty's care and charge, we thought it our duties to advertise your lordships how we conceive things to stand, and attend your lordships' further directions for her Majesty's service.
“Two points seemed herein to be chiefy considered, (how the places her Majesty requires may conveniently be come by) which is, by force or gracious favour. The first her Majesty must royally, chargeably and resolutely enter into; for men opinioned in their own conceits are encouraged by relentings. For the other, if her Majesty shall allow to yield her accustomed grace, and will not consume her forces nor treasure (save to defend and maintain them) the only means then seemeth convenient to continue Count ‘Mauris’ in her favour; which were best be done by bearing him up with hope of his honour and profit, without her Majesty's charge.
“And further, if it shall please her Majesty and your lordships, having considered the state and value of Gertrudenberg (mentioned in my discourse sent in this passage from me, her Majesty's lieutenant: to deal and to take it into her hands (now proffered with Count ‘Mauris's’ consent and request) her Majesty at all times shall be likely, without increase of charge, to make her own conditions. And for that and ‘Berges’ to exchange for any other place within this island which may seem most convenient for assuring her cautionary towns and repayment of her money. Wherein we beseech your lordships' pleasures with all possible haste may be sent us.—At Midellburoghe, 17 May, 1588.
Signed by all Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 292.]
May 17. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
Has been earnest with the Admiral and States of Zeeland (who are assembled there) “for the number of ships required according to the contract”; who show all willingness to furnish her Majesty, not only herein, but in all else commanded them. But as all the shipping of Zeeland “are already armed forth and employed at Sluse and other places fit to be guarded; the Admiral hath written to the General States (whom he is assured have taken some order therein) for their answer, which is expected daily. And if the number cannot be wholly furnished so speedily (as may answer the service out of Holland) promise is made that so many as shall be wanting, these of Zeeland will take from their fleet; and, being re-victualled and furnished, will join them with the others, and will send them ready for her Majesty's service….”—Middelborough, 17 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 294.]
May 17. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Concerning Maurice's complaints and the desires of Camphire and Armuy [as to Walsingham above].
Again earnestly prays to have permission to come home for two months …—Vlisshing, 17 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 296.]
“The earnest suits of the captains and burgers of the towns of Camphere and Armuy.”
“First, that as heretofore the governors of the town of Vlisshinge hath ever been colonel of them and of the whole island … they may have it granted again, for that in respect Count Zolmes hath given forth speeches to have more desire to serve against our English nation than the Spaniards, they utterly refuse him.
“Secondly, they intreat that her Majesty will continue her favour and good liking towards them; that they having taken their oaths to do her Majesty service and to be at her direction, it would please her Highness that they might continue in the same course, without breaking any point thereof.
“Thirdly, touching their pay, they will look for it at the States' hands, as they have received the same heretofore, and not to burden or trouble her Majesty herewith.”
¾ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 297.]
Another copy of the above, probably sent to Walsingham.
[Ibid. f. 298.]
May 17. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
[A shorter letter to the same effect as that of 16 May, at page 399 above.]—Vlisshing, 17 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. f. 300.]
[May 17.] Extract of [torn] proceedings in the matter of peace.
Mr. Killigrew's proposal to the States of Zeeland [on May 11. See page 377 above.]
Answer of the States. (fn. 1) “They have written to her Majesty and the lords of the Council touching these differences, and pray him so to recommend the matter to her and the lords that these mistakings may once cease … which may easily be done by one word from her Majesty: to wit that her meaning is, the oath of them of Camphere and Armewe shall stretch itself no further than the oath of the General States; wherein they desire that it will please her to appoint the Lord Willoughby and himself to be dealers, or one of them.
Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 389.]
May 17. Ortell to Walsingham.
Your honour asked me yesterday if Sir William Russell had written anything hither touching the need of those of Zeeland for some iron artillery; to which I answered yes. I remembered after leaving you, that you yourself had seen and read the letter, which was written to his brother-in-law, the Earl of Warwick: that opening it by accident, you had re-sealed it, and asked me to take it to him and make your apologies for having opened it.
For myself, I very humbly pray her Majesty for a speedy resolution; if it is intended to accommodate them (for their money) in this their great necessity with this small thing, as from hour to hour they are expecting an attempt by the enemy. And if not, they should at least be told so at once, in order to lose no time in vainly waiting for it.
Yet I hope that her Majesty, considering that their cause is become as it were her own, will have such regard for her service and their need as she finds fitting; and that your honour will lend a helping hand therein.—London, 17 May, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 302.]
May 18. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
In reply to a message from the duke on the 15th we replied that we chose Bourboroughe and would send him word of the time in a day or two. The next day we received her Majesty's letter of the 13th with great comfort for so good direction. Thereupon we decided to send to the king's commissioners to arrange the meeting and desire them to make provision. Meantime we received the enclosed from Andrea de Loo touching a rumour that the king's Armata is abroad upon the coast of Brytanie. Now this day de Loo came from the Commissioners concerning the meeting. We replied that we would be at Bourboroghe on Tuesday and appointed our servants to go to Bruges and bring us word at what time the commissioners would take their journey.
De Loo says that the bruit was only a rumour spread by Mendoza out of France—Ostend, 18 May, 1588.
Postscript. Since writing we have received the enclosed from the king's commissioners whereby it seemeth that they loathe that we should meet at Bourboroughe and would have it be at Wynox Berghes; but we persist upon Bourbouroghe—yet Richardot and others say they will be there to meet us.
Signed. Add. Endd. 'by Morrice.' 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 351.]
Draft for the same, without the postscript.
Endd. 17 May. 3½ pp. [Ibid. f. 349.]
May 18/28. The King of Spain's Commissioners to the Queen's Commissioners.
Objections to Bourbourg. Hope the reasons put forward will make them change their minds. Ask them to stay 2 or 3 days at Berghes, where they will be on Friday evening, ready to go on if they wish it.—Bruges, 28 May, 1588.
Signed by all five. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 356.]
May 19. Dr. Dale to Walsingham.
My lords find by your carefulness and readinesss in your despatches that you have been ambassador yourself … this last despatch from her Majesty is round, direct, plain and very pertinent, wherewith my lords do take great comfort.
What you do find of the truth of the bruit of the King of Spain's Armata or what her Majesty's pleasure will be if it be true, we are careful to know; and what liking there is of Mr. Controller's articles and Richardot's answers. One thing we have learned more, that Mr. Controller hath put his seal unto his articles and that they were sent with all speed into Spain.—Ostend, 18 May, 1588.
Postscript. Surely sir you enter into the consideration of the bottom of the matter, for the States are in arms, not willing to hearken unto us. It seemeth good to hold the old until a new may be had that is better.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders III. f. 358.]
May 19. George Gilpin to Walsingham.
I sent my last letters by Mr. Stevens from Dort; since which time I have returned hither with my Lord Willoughbie, who, having made the General States and those of Holland acquainted with what passed in the matter of Gurtruydenberch, “and insisted [upon] their speedy resolution upon his proposition concerning the ships which these States should send to join with her Majesty's, and for the reduction of horses into footmen, departed for Zeeland, continuing the whilst those of Geertruydenberch by letters in some devotion and hope of a good answer and end of their cause.”
The States greatly desire to recover that town and to keep it from the enemy, who have sought to convey letters thither and win some to their side; but the better sort have hitherto prevented their being received or read and have severely punished those who brought them. “And such as incline that way are most odious and hated of the rest; daring not make any show thereof.
“Count Maurice doth all he can to get contentment for the soldiers; knowing the possession of that place to be one of the best revenues left to the mortuary house of his late father, the Prince of Orange.
“The Count Hohenlo desireth no less the good pacifying of the amutinied soldiers, to the end he might enjoy again such a sure seat of government; … being not a little aggrieved to see in what danger the place is; and no less doubt whether ever he shall command there any more hereafter, being the soldiers so discontented that they will not abide to hear any motion of him.”
It greatly hinders the incomes he had by the contributions of Brabant; receiving them now by Heusden but not so certainly as the other way. And if the town should fall into the enemy's hands, or into any other government, he could have no certain account of them any more.
My Lord Willoughby left me here to solicit the States' answer as to the ships and horsemen; which they still promise shall be performed; but they are busy with the Council of State “about the setting down of a due state of the country; as well concerning the incomes and how far the same will extend; as also to make their charges equal … to the end the payments of those in service may be from henceforth better and the country to run no more in debt and arearages.
“The said council is not yet fully established; upon dislike of the instructions given by the said States; whereof they make exceptions, and stay for my Lord Willoughby's presence to confer of the same….”
They of Friesland, by reason of the controversy among themselves, have not yet nominated their councillors; Utrecht seems to defer their nomination until the differences between them and these of Holland are appeased, whereof there is better hope than heretofore. “Also until the difficulties upon the instructions be ended, for which, it seemeth, those of Overyssel do also attend to send their counsellor.
“Here hath been hard hold [sic] in the meetings of the Estates, especially amongst those of Holland, concerning the peace, and the sending to the meeting; whereto they of Holland have small mind; and the other provinces are loth to offend them, considering it is on them they must depend chiefly for aid and succour.
“They still steadfastly say the danger is great to speak thereof; and if any commissioners should be sent, and the treaty begin, although the conditions were never so unlikely, and the success more uncertain, the people would hardly be kept in, but even headlong bend to accept of a peace whereout a division and disorder were to be expected that would put the whole state and country in danger.
“The King of Navarre's ambassador is still here; and hath been heard both in the general and private assemblies of the States. He is utterly against the peace, and insisteth most earnestly for aid, both of shipping and money; whereunto as yet he hath no answer; but put in hope to be dealt with according to the present state and ability of the provinces.
“We do not hear that the enemy doth or intendeth as yet to attempt anything; and as little appearance on this side to done anywhere; having enough ado to appease the mutinies, to end divisions and establish unity amongst the provinces, in the towns and between private personages.
“Gelderland and the other frontiers remain in one state; and that of late those of Holland have promised to assist them with some pay and other provisions; whereof their want was so great that they could not have endured longer, and no other looked for but that the soldiers should have spoiled the towns, and then to have abandoned or delivered them over unto the enemy.
“The Scots have not yet their discounts and reckonings, but there are certain commissioners appointed thereto, who are busied therewith, and, as is said, the like shall be done with all other soldiers in service.”
All other matters continue at one stay. Mr. Killigrew has told me of your honour's favourable remembrance of me, and I hope daily for some resolution of her Majesty's pleasure, or leave to employ myself as I shall see cause.—The Haeghe, 19 May, 1588.
Postscript. For the matters of Camphere and Armew, I refer your honour to Mr. Killegrew.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 304.]
May 19. “Rem[embrance] from Sir Thos. Shirley [to Lord Burghley] for a further supply for lendings etc.”
The pay due on Oct. 12 last is wonderfully expected by officers and men, and especially by their many creditors. The money due to them for their entertainment by her Majesty, up to that date, is 27,631l. 13s.d. Besides what is due to the extraordinary cannoneers “who have not been accompted withal since their first coming into the country in 1585. The most part is due to creditors, Dutch and English; for want whereof many poor men are undone, and all discontented, “mistrusting that her Majesty will never pay that which is behind.”
“The captains also … have not been able to keep those days which they promised, so as they cannot get any credit” however extreme their necessities may be. “If her Majesty will make this pay, it will greatly content both captain and creditor,” and as she now clothes and victuals them, the pay may be better forborne for two years than now for one month.
“Divers bands, especially horsebands, being very weak, are yet paid their weekly lendings as if they were strong, which cannot conveniently be redressed without a pay.”
On June 12 her Majesty will owe the companies for 8 months; i.e. more than 30,000l. besides any imprests they have received.
“The weekly lendings end in ‘Bergenopzone’ 2 Junii and in the other garrisons, 7 Junii, so as present order is to be taken for treasure to be sent over.”
His lordship is prayed to send henceforth three month's lendings at once; as sending every two months is exceedingly chargeable to the writer, very troublesome to the ships, and more hazardous than if sent seldomer.
Endd.pp. [Holland XXIII. f. 306.]
May 20. “State of her Majesty's debts in the Low Countries.” (Added by Burghley) “lxm.
An account of the pay due in October last, plus the charges yet unpaid for 166 days, from Oct. 12, 1587, to March 25 at the rate of the old establishment and from March 26 to June 11, at the rate of the new. Sum total lxm.xxxiiijl. viiis. 10d. ob.—20 May, 1588. Signed, Edmund Hunte.
1 p. Endd. as in headline. [Ibid. f. 308.]
[May 20.] Rough draft, much corrected, for the following letter.
Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 310.]
May 20. The Queen to the States of Zeeland.
Is very sorry to see, by the contents of their letters of May 24, their style, the dissensions which have arisen in that island; as a thing which cannot but be very dangerous to the state of their affairs; as giving opportunity to the enemy to make more profit thereby than by arms. Yet, as in their said letters they have asked her to enjoin the Baron Willoughby and Mr. Killigrew to apply themselves to the settlement of all these differences; showing thereby their good will and inclination for a reconciliation, she has good hope that these disagreements will be very shortly adjusted. And to this end, she has not wished to omit to send at once full powers to the above Messrs. de Willoughby and Killigrew to endeavour their utmost therein; doubting not but that they will employ themselves as faithfully and will have as happy success as they have had in the business of Medenblick and elsewhere; which will be so much the more easy to accomplish in so far as they [of Zeeland] shall show themselves as comformable thereto on their side, as she is such that those of her own will be on theirs.
Endd. with date. Later draft, with the former corrections incorporated, but some further ones made. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIII. f. 311.]
May 20. The Queen to Count Maurice.
“Mon cousin. Nous avons faict examiner le personnage que puis nagueres avez envoyé par de ça, se donnant le nom et tiltre de Marques Colonna, pour vous avoir diet qu'il avoit quelques ehoses d'importance a descouvrir, et mesmes qui estoyent pour nous toucher en personne. Mais de tout ce qu'il a declaré, l'on n'ya rein sceu trouver que toutes choses frivoles, sans sustance ny apparence aulcune de verité. Si que s'estant descouvert pour un affronteur, nous l'eussions voulu bien faire punir, pour avoir cherché d'abuser ung prince de vostre rang et qualite, nous nous sommes contentées neangmoins de le vous renvoyer par le Colonnel Morgan, qui vous deschiffrera l'homme tel qu'il est, afin que puis apres vous disposiez de luy comme bon vous semblera; estant prisonier par dela. Nous ne pouvons cependant que grandement vous remercier du soing et affection qu'en ce avez monstré de nostre bien et vers nostre personne. Ce que nous retiendrons en bonne memoire pour en faire la revenche de mesme cœur et affection en vostre endroit selon les occasions qui s'en pourront offrir … Escript a nostre chasteau de Grenovuiche le … jour de May, 1588.
Copy. Endd. with full date. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 312.]
May 20. The Queen to the States [General].
Recommending Colonel Morgan, appointed in place of Sir William Reade, late governor of Berghen ap Zome, whom she has decided to employ in England. She has found no one more suitable or sufficient for that charge for ever since his first coming there he has always acquitted himself as a valiant gentleman; courageous, constant in the advancement of their affairs and of the common cause. She feels assured that they will be glad for him to continue his service there, considering the experience he has gained in the management of affairs of war. She asks them to see to it that the entertainment and payments which appertain to the said office of governor may be assured and confirmed by them, at neither more nor less than any other has heretofore received.
One other thing she must very straitly require of them: viz: that such sums of money as still remain due to him for his past services shall be paid and satisfied to him without delay. This, she will consider as an especial favour done at her request, and for which she will ever be especially bound to them …—Chateau de Grenowiche, May, 1588 (fn. 2)
Copy. Endd. with date. French. ½ p. [Holland XXIII. f. 313.]


  • 1. See Killigrew's letter of May 22, giving the date of the colloquy, at p. 414 below.
  • 2. Received by the States on 27 June, n.s.; entered as dated at Greenwich 26 May o.s. Japikse: Resolutien der Staten Generaal, Vol. vi., p. 73.