Elizabeth: June 1588, 1-5

Pages 442-460

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 4, January-June 1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1931.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

June 1588, 1–5

June 1. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
“Being newly arrived here upon advertisements of the enemy's designs for this town, that I might provide for the security of the place, which stood in desperate terms, I sent my trumpet to my lords, her Majesty's Commissioners, that from them I might be the better informed of the state of things. From them I received understanding of the enemy's intention to besiege this town, and my trumpet, upon his return, saw them marching hitherward, and encamped within two miles of the town; and since then are come nearer, and set down within view…” Whereof I leave the relation to this gentleman, and to the memorials I have delivered him; wherein, I doubt not but your lordships will have such consideration as is requisite …—Ostend, 1 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 1.]
June 1. Postilles to the points contained in the States' letters of the 13th April.
1. There shall order be given to Lord Willoughby for employment of the said forces from time to time, as desired, so as they be not employed in desperate service, and that care be first taken for safety of the towns from which they were drawn; in which towns they have been purposely placed for the defence of them; the same being not otherwise provided by the States.” (fn. 1)
2. Order to be given to the Treasurer and some one with him to join with those appointed for examining how the store has been consumed; which being duly charged upon any of the Queen's bands shall be defalked, to be employed in new provisions.
3. For sums heretofore paid from the treasure of those countries to her Majesty's garrisons in Flushing and Briel; after account has been made between her and the States; often called for and not executed by default of the States, they shall be rembursed what is due to them, and order taken henceforth that the country be not charged with such disbursement.
4. Order to be given to Lord Willoughby that nothing be hereafter done, otherwise than what may stand with the contract.
5. The said extraordinary sums having been disbursed by her Majesty for defence of those countries, without which they might have been in great (fn. 2) danger, considering how they were disappointed in their extraordinary, sent for into Germany; her Majesty finds it strange: “the said sums having been disbursed for their good, without any benefit to herself otherwise than for the care she showed to have of their conservation; that they should now stand upon terms not to allow the said extraordinary sums otherwise than as they have not been disbursed with the advice of the Council of State; the time being such, and the places at the camp, as the Council of State were not present.
6. “So as they shall show themselves in all other things conformable, her Majesty may be induced to yield to the forbearing of the said repayment for the time by them required.”
Endd. with date.pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 3.]
June 1. G. Prounincq, dit de Deventer to [Leicester].
Poor Captain Rancy is going to kiss your honour's hands. His company is now at Bergen. He writes to me that if he had not consolation from God, he would be the most unfortunate man on earth. I hope your honour will never doubt his fidelity and still less the good service he has done, who will declare to you the designs of the Pensioner of Holland against him.
The States General have made their état de guerre. I do not find there either Rancy's name or that of my own cousin Bax, nor do they make any mention of their dealings with Schenk. The division made by them of the garrisons of the country is:—at Ostend 900 foot; at Bergen 1200, with 300 horse; at Gertruydenberg 400 foot and 150 horse; at Utrecht, 400 foot, 100 horse; at Amersfort, 300 foot, 100 horse; and at Wyck, Rhenen, Arnhem, Wagheninghe, Doesborch and all the frontier garrisons to boot; so that I do not see any places whatever for the English garrisons saving the Hague, Leyden, Haarlem, Delff, Rotterdam, Tergou and Dordrecht.
They reckon the contribution of Brabant at 1500 florins per month, which, well managed would make 25,000 and must be fed from the blood of these poor clowns; certain personages spend it uselessly, and we others, who are of the country, robbed, for the public cause, of all our goods, cannot draw a farthing for the relief of our poverty. The iniquity, Sir, is too great. Yet the States of Utrecht neither will nor can meddle in this government. Seeing, moreover the Instructions which the States General have given to the Council, to make their authority greater than it has ever been; granting to the said Council all the power that used to belong to the Governor-General with the Council, but reserving to themselves the power, not only to command it but to dispose of all affairs committed to the said Council, to which end all the Governors and men of war shall swear, not fealty, as they used, but obedience to the States General; and all this the servants are doing against the will of the master and deputies, without commandment from their principals. Confusion too great, and presumption truly tyrannical! Which is seen more clearly in the reprisals which these States General have permitted to our banished men, notwithstanding that we have given all satisfaction to the deputies of the States General and for the rest have offered justice in the parliament of this province, with two counsellors of the court of Gueldres, two of Hollandand two of Frise.
They say that her Majesty wishes that we should enter into an agreement with the Hollanders. This is not possible in the present state of affairs for we do not wish to be tyranized over by our fellows and we shall serve as a counterpoise to their boundless appetites, without which counterpoise her Majesty would not be able in any case to do any good in this sick state.
They have hardly kept a single point of what was promised to Col. Sonoy, and he finds himself in the greatest anxiety, as will all who make an agreement with them apart from some one higher who can keep them within bounds. They do not cease to blame, threaten and plot against me, yet the grace of God, with the favour of her Majesty and the aid of your Excellency suffices and I base my trust in having to do with a monarch so magnaminous; that I shall not be left or abandoned in my need. I press this humbly because now is the time. M. di Willibey seems to have conceived another opinion of me than he used to have, owing to the persuasions of the States General, for which they seize upon every opportunity, such as our refusal to nominate to the Council of State; that the company of Scherli which left here against my will, was routed near Zwol; that Williebey's own company is not received here while that of Blund is kept, that I have supported Capt. Rancy (as I was ordered by her Majesty). But I hope your Excellency will put all this right with a word. I only beg you to consider the vexation and danger in which I constantly stand, unable to support my family to obtain a penny in payment of all the ordonnances which the States owe me, who seek nothing else, so it seems, than to destroy here my honour and my fortune. Utrecht, 1 June, 1588, stylo antico.
Signed. Add. A sua Eccelenza. Endd. Deventer touching the bands of war. Italian. 2 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 5.]
June 1. M. de Deventer to Walsingham.
Has received his last letter, and well understands her Majesty's will touching Captain Ranchy, and the re-union of the provinces; whereto he will willingly lend a helping hand if the state of affairs permits.
Has written to his Excellency on what terms they stand, and prays his honour to advise with him thereupon and when all has been considered, prays her Majesty to send him his orders, and he will not fail in his duty. Cannot conceal the fact that Col Sonoy finds himself exceedingly troubled and Captain Ranchy quite ruined by these agreements. Cateros illorum vestigiis terreri; but above all, the country and the common cause are in bad case by the most important loss of all, that is, of the people's hearts and affections. The Count de Neuenar complains that with all his letters and messages, he has not received a single word of reply. Mr. Edward Dier (a very accomplished gentleman) and I have talked fully of the matter. The Hollanders also, when we represent to them the iniquity of the Instructions of the Council of State, reply that her Majesty has not sent thither nor commissioned a Governor General on her behalf, with a commission conformably to the treaty with England, and that therefore they cannot yield to M. Willoughby (he being only constituted Governor of the English forces here), the authority which the said contract gives to the Lieutenant and Governor-General. This is a great mystery to them, whereof you ought to be informed that you may speak of it to her Majesty. For the rest, I would have you be mindful of the state in which I find myself, as do all those who suffer from remaining faithful to her Majesty, and well-affectioned to his Excellency, as, namely, poor Rancy.—Utrecht, June 1, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French.pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 11.]
June 1. Sir John Conway to Burghley.
“It now seemeth that I have much erred in my former conceipt of this treaty. Having intelligence of the enemy's resolution suddenly to dissolve the same and to come upon this place, I did, in the discharge of my duty, presently advertise the same to my Lord Willoughby; and require of his lordship a necessary supply of men, according to the effect of her Majesty's letters in that behalf. Thereupon, it pleased his lordship to make his present repair hither, for his better understanding of the truth, and due conservation to be had of the place. The last of May he arrived here early in the morning; presently dispatched his letters to the Lords her Majesty's Commissioners, as I guess for some more certain knowledge of their proceedings. I did write to their lordships withal what I did understand; and received from them three letters, of the which I have sent your lordship one that contains the effect of all. The messenger returned this first of June, and found in his return this night the Prince's camp set down half way between this place and Newporte; and their sentinels, both of horse and foot to be set within two English miles of Ostend.
“This morning, before we did thus understand of their near approach, they gave us alarum two hours before dark, done by the Governor of Blanckenborough and some thirty with him; whereof there was but six which showed themselves; and therefore we took no larum, nor answered their shot; yet these came into the midst of the town. This is the best that is to be given to the amity a Spaniard desires with our nation and to Italian sweet phrases; neither have (sic) deceived me though they have bewitched wiser men.
“I humbly beseech your lordship consider that our nation have, through some default of the unthankful States, lost of late some honour in these services. I would be most glad it might be seen what [was] recovered again by your lordship's good means, and in the dutiful defence of this place.
“It is the condition, my good lord, of right believing men to seek succour where they have an assured hope of help in greatest distress. So do I in this case fly to your lordship for succour.
“The substance of my petition is that your lordship will again write your former letters to my lord General for our supply of men; in whom I find some difficulty to unfurnish other places. Withal, I beseech you, be the mean that we may have 200 men, without arms, sent hither presently to ‘ranforce’ our companies: they are very weak.
We have, my lord a young commissary here, of fitter years to attend his book to learn further experience than to judge of her Majesty's service. The office, my lord, would be exercised by a man of more gravity and consideration. I beseech your lordship make choice of some fit man for the service. And for the present, vouchsafe your honourable assistance in our wants.
“I hope if your lordship make a quick address of your letters to my Lord Willoughby, we shall have a supply without her Majesty's further charge or your lordship's trouble; only I desire your lordship to send us our Master Gunner Thomas Wright; which hath long attended for obtaining our supply.
“We shall need, my lord, for the present time, three or four other of his profession, which I know their services; if your lordship will let him bring but three small pieces, whereof he hath the note, for our old town defence; add a few necessary barrels to entertain a scale and to blind a breach; it will help us much; and some muskets to supply abroad. If your lordship send us the seventy to renforce our companies, I will dispose of them where shall be most need; and return every man's bill to the Treasurer; so as her Majesty's charge may be allowed of the captain's pay which we owe them….—1st of June, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 7.]
June 2/12 M. de Villiers to Walsingham.
As these good men, moved by their zeal to take their journey into England, for the service of God and his church have need of direction and counsel;—not being used to the manners of a court—and as they understand that you are much occupied with those of high quality; they have yet determined to apply to your honour, by reason of the assurance which I have given them that you have not regard so much to their particular persons as to the nature of their errand; and that you will be willing to give them counsel in regard to the petition which they desire to offer.—Middelburgh, 12 June, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 13.]
June. Col. Schenk to the Queen.
I arrived at Vlissingues on 9th of this present June, and made all diligence to go to the County of Nassau and Lord Willoghby; but having delivered your Majesty's letters and having received no pregnant answer as to the carrying out of your orders, I desire to inform you of what I have been able to discover in the short time I have been here, of the designs of the Estates. And in the first place I have remarked that they are endeavouring to draw out of Berghen op Zoom your Majesty's garrisons, as also to expel from all places those whom they see to be well-affectioned to your Grace. This is evident in the case of Camfere where the companies in garrison have been broken for refusing to take any other oath than to your Majesty, whereat those most affectionate to you have been amazed and begin to lose the affection they have borne to you.
To-day, very bad news has come in regard to Gertrudenberg, seeing that the soldiers are beginning to hearken to the enemy by reason that the States, with Lord Wylloby up till now have proceeded very coldly and slowly for its preservation; on which account and at the earnest prayer of the burgomaster, I came thither to-day with all speed, to endeavour all in my power to move the conservation of the said town; concerning which, and all other things touching your Majesty's honour and dignity, I shall not fail shortly to inform you more at large. Undated.
Signed. Add. Endd.
“June 1588.” French.pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 16.]
June 2/12. Col. Schenk to the Lord Steward.
Sending a copy of his letter to the Queen, which he asks him to consider.—Vlissinges, June 12.
Signed. French. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 18.]
Enclosing the copy above mentioned.
pp. [Ibid. f. 19.]
June 2. The Privy Council to Lord Willoughby.
After her Majesty's letter to the States in favour of Col. Schenk was signed and made up, he exhibited to her certain other requests, whereof some part are satisfied by the said letter, as your lordship may perceive by the copy thereof sent with this; and as it is specified therein that you have charge from her to solicit the States in furtherance of the said Schenk's petition, her pleasure is that you shall do so with all care and diligence, greatly desiring that by her means he may receive satisfaction. Such requests as are not recommended by her letter are answered by way of postiles to the Memorial exhibited by him, which you are to take as a direction whereupon to deal with the said States.
And the government of Geertruyenbergh having been propounded to the said Schenk to be procured for him by her Majesty's mediation, grounded upon your advertisment that you had been requested by the States to take the town into your hands; he utterly refused to seek the same or any other things at the States' hands, and means to have no more to do with them; but will be content that the said government should be obtained for him by your lordship, to accept it as from her Majesty, wherefore being persuaded that the captains and garrison there shall like of it—your lordship or Mr. Killigrew shall move the States, in that and other matters, not as suits of his own, but recommended by her Majesty in regard that yielding him satisfaction, they may retain him in their devotion. And if they agree thereto, you shall send him word to Bonn, or wherever he shall be, to repair to the States and take the said charge upon him.
And whereas it was stated that she would direct your lordship, if the States accept him as governor of Geertruydenbergh, to assign him the pay of 200 horse, she has been moved thereto by the great decay of the horse-bands of which the States have so often complained. And seeing that it would be a great charge to her to make up this decay, she thinks that they may be with most ease supplied by the said Colonel, and that they cannot be better employed than under a man of such action and valour as he is known to be. Therefore she would have you discharge two of the weakest bands, giving order to the Treasurer to make allowance for them to the Colonel.
Copy. Endd. with date. 3 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 21.]
Another copy of the same, without the paragraph for recommending him as governor of Geertruydenberg.
Copy. Endd. with date
“1 June.” 1½ pp. [Ibid. f. 9.]
[June 2.] The Queen to Lord Willoughby.
Having been advertised that the enemy intends, upon the departure of her Commissioners from Ostend, suddenly to attempt somewhat upon that town—although for her own part she conceives “that the Duke having yielded that the said town shall be comprized within the cessation of arms [will keep his word], yet considering how much it imports her honour, the said town being taken into her hands, to have it sufficiently provided to withstand any attempt, and especially with a sufficient number of soldiers—she desires him to send thither five companies of, foot; viz. three from Flushing and two from Bergen op Zom; from which places she conceives they may be most conveniently spared, there being no fear of any enterprise in those parts, considering her own and the States' strength on the seas. She has written to the Governor of Flushing to have the companies in a readiness to be shipped, and has taken order for victuals and other provisions.
Copy. Endd. “June 1588.” 1 p. [Ibid. f. 25.]
Draft for the preceding letter.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 27.]
June 2/12. Copy of articles and promise by Lord Willoughby [to the garrison of Gurtruydenberg] of this date.—The Hague, June 12, 1588. (fn. 3)
French.pp. [Ibid. f. 23.]
June 2. The Queen to Sir William Russell, Governor of Flushing.
Informing him of the Duke of Parma's intent against Ostend (as to Lord Willoughby) and desiring him to send thither three companies out of his garrison.
Copy. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Holland XXIV. f. 29.]
June 2. Joachim Ortell to Walsingham.
Asking him to recall the resolution taken upon the Articles of the States General, and the rather that the redress of their present affairs (as they write) depends thereupon. When it is ready, he will come to the court to receive it, and send it off by express.
His honour will do a work of charity if he will take compassion on these good gentlemen, who have been treated so miserably by Sir Walter Lusson and his men; otherwise they must seek redress at the Admiralty, not having a penny wherewith to follow their cause; everything being in the hands of the said Sir Walter, who seeks only to ruin them with their own money and the sweat of their blood.
If by the favourable agreement of his honour and the lords of the Council the matter could be referred to Mr. Beale and Justice Young, he doubts not but they would obtain satisfaction.
He also desires to know her Majesty's final resolution concerning the transport of artillery for those of Zeeland; their need of it being very great.—London, 2 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 35.]
June 2. Thomas Digges to Burghley.
Having lately received sundry letters from gentlemen who have served as Commissaries of Musters under him, whom he maintains at his charge “to finish the accounts of the checks till Annunciation,” the time of his discharge, he finds so great confusion and disobedience to orders as they cannot conclude the reckonings for the time long past; “many captains refusing utterly to come to any reckoning till they know who shall sign their warrants; and then mean, on the sudden, to deliver their books into the office of musters”; with demand for present dispatch, that the officers may have no time to examine their abuses, which are many and most subtly contrived. Fearing to be tedious, he has put down the matter in writing.—2 June, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 37.]
A note showing “How want of discipline and good orders established in the Office of Muster, is like utterly to ruinate her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries, besides the undue wasting of her treasure.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 38.]
June 2. The Lords op the Council to Sir John Conway, Governor of Ostend.
Her Majesty having received of late secret advertisements that the enemy has intelligence in the town, and may attempt something for the surprising of the place—although her Majesty believes the Duke of Parma ”to have that regard to his honour as he would not use so dishonourable dealings“; having agreed that the place should be included under the cessation of arms—would yet have all means taken to prevent any such practice and therefore desires you to have a special regard to that charge. And understanding that that part of the town towards the ‘Bridges Gate’ is weak, the town ditch being filled up with sand, thinks that you should have advertised her thereof, that the decay might be repaired, which she would have presently done. She also understands that “the use of soldiers is in such places of defence near the enemy” not to spare their own lives, and therefore expects them “to show that endeavour soldierly disposition to bestow their labours in advancing so necessary a work; and if the burgesses be discreetly dealt with, she doubts not but that they will employ their labours or make some contribution; for which also they shall receive 100l. from her, to be employed in that service. And as his defence is chiefly “to consist upon sufficient forces and careful government, order is taken that Lord Willoughby shall send him five more companies, and her Majesty has caused Sir John Norryce and other experienced gentleman to write down some advice and direction which is herewith sent enclosed, praying him to have especial care for the observance of the same, and of such other orders as he shall think fit to be put in practice, for the safety of the place. For victuals, they are advertised that some which they sent awhile ago have arrived, whereof they pray him to make spare use, that they may serve for the 600 men presently to be sent for their further strength. Court at Greenwich, 3 June, 1588. Signed by, John, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Chris. Hatton, Canc, Burghley and five others. (fn. 4)
Add. Endd. Seal with the Tudor rose. 1 p. [Holland XXIV f. 41.]
June 2. Reply of the Lords of the Council to the points contained in the letter of the States to them of 13 April, 1588.
1. That the whole numbers agreed upon by the Contract, be employed in the field.
Ans. Order shall be given to Ld. Willoughby for their employment from time to time, as desired, so that care be taken for the safety of the towns from which they are drawn.
2. That the examination of the stores consumed may be hastened.
Ans. Order shall be given to the treasurer and another to make examination with their deputy, and any consumption being charged upon the queen's bands, shall be defalked and employed on new provisions.
3. To be repaid for services to the garrisons of Brill and Flushing, and that the country be not henceforth charged with such services.
Ans. A perfect account shall be made, and they shall be rembursed the sums due; and order shall be taken that the country be not charged in future.
4. That the Lieut. General and governors of the cautionary towns be forbidden to meddle or withdraw any of the soldiers in their pay into her Majesty's service.
Ans. Order shall be given that nothing shall be done hereafter otherwise than may stand with the contract.
5. For the extraordinary sums disbursed by her Majesty in the country's service, they are content to allow all such as have been issued with the advice of the Council of State, so it may appear first that the country ought to bear it.
Ans. Seeing these sums were disbursed for the service of those countries, which otherwise would have been in great danger, and how they were disappointed of the levies sent for into Germany, her Majesty considers it an over straight manner of dealing; the sums having been disbursed for their good without any benefit to her, that they should now stand upon terms … the times being such and the places at the camp, as the Council of State were not present.
6. That the country ought not to be charged with the foreign levies, which have been made, as being repugnant to the contract, but they will allow them when the troubles shall be ended.
Ans. If they show themselves conformable in other things, her Majesty may be induced to yield to forbear the said repayment for the time they ask.
Signed by Walsingham. Endd. with date. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 31.]
Another copy of the same.
Endd. as having been sent to Mr. Ortell by Mr. Secretary and delivered to him by Mr. Nedham on June 5. The date 5 June also written in by Burghley. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 33.]
June 3. Sir Chris. Blounte to Walsingham.
[Acknowledges his letter of April 28.]
I told you, in the conclusion of my last, “what course was to be taken for ‘Utrique’… I have been earnest in all my letters to persuade the conveniency of the contrary course I perceive by you is resolved on. I would have been glad her Majesty would have entered for the whole, because I know to whom much honour must have happened thereby; but, Sir, for the assurance of your country, [I] advise again that you let [not] slip the opportunity you have to retain the Isle of ‘Walkerland’; for if, without the rest, you build any assurance on Flushing, you have those that inform you ill, and such as know little what belongs unto the force of a Prince, assisted with the discontent of a people, whose hearts must needs be altered from you, when, offering themselves, you shall seem carelessly to reject them.
“The Prince, I doubt not but you hear, makes show of coming to Ostend. You will not forget that we are a number here fitter to entertain him in a town than of judgment how to prevent him for [sic] taking of a town from us…. We want all things belong[ing] unto soldiers; care, discipline, reward; and surely I doubt of our values, we are growing so poor; I mean now our horsemen, whom if your wills be should decay, I beseech you send me word that I may learn wisdom betimes of such who keep their bands fit for no service; yet draw their entertainment, as liberal as such who hold their bands full. I am not weary of doing her Majesty service, or unwilling to the wars, but I grieve my want must cause me to desire to be cast, or to procure me to follow the example of such as I see carry themselves dishonourably; which I protest unto you shall then only be when I am enforced thereto by extreme beggary… Present payment is now exacted of hay and straw, contrary to our contract… If our General write nothing hereof, it is because he is either imbusied about greater matters or feeleth not the want of poor soldiers … but sure I am, if we were called to service to-morrow next, of a thousand horse that should be, we are not able to draw 600 into the field….
[Assurances of his indebtedness and gratitude.] “My brother Cotton is by your honourable favour toward me set at liberty; I would I could promise for him any conformity; but I will be the first that shall accuse him if I perceive he swerve in the least jot of true and sincere duty….
“To you my soul was ever known; God hath altered me for my opinion in religion, and I not altered it to please any man but to save my soul; yet have I enemies that inform my Lord of the contrary, and that at my departure I said I would live and die a papist. You know better; wherefore as occasion is offered, certify for me both his lordship and her Majesty, who otherwise will believe of me as she heareth, because she knows me not, nor the faithful service I vow to do her.
I think it will be long before you hear from me again, for I am commanded with my company into garrison at Berk, near Collen, wherefore I make bold to recommend the care of my estate to you.—Vlissing, 3 June.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal.pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 43.]
June 3. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
We delivered the enclosed duplicate at our last assembly on the 30th. The next day Richardot proposed, as we thought the form of cessation proposed by them was not indifferent, to enter into the principal without any more speech of cessation because his Alteza had stayed so long upon the hope of peace, at excessive charge and with 2 or 3 times as great forces ready as he had at the siege of Antwerp, and because the king's preparations upon the sea may not be stayed upon uncertain hopes of peace, and delivered the short writing enclosed in answer to ours. Upon perusal whereof we were very greatly perplexed for that we durst not directly refuse to enter into the principal matter before cessation … nor could we tell whether we should accept that form of cessation which they had delivered (for others they will not agree unto). Yet upon advice we shaped them a kind of answer … to put them to their shift, either to agree to grant a general cessation, if this had been accorded before our coming out of England, to give us time to prove it, or else to drive them to say they would have none of such an agreement now, and so betray their inconstancy. We asked for an answer in writing whether they would accept the form of cessation by us corrected, … and whether they thought it reasonable they should be at liberty to invade England out of the Low Countries during the treaty, and what they could say about Holland and Zeeland. We delivered this answer on 1 June and is here enclosed. Upon the reading Richardot said it would never be proved that it was said before our coming over that a cessation should be granted. If it had, they had already stayed a long time, and now they cannot stay. He marvelled what we meant by invading of England which was never spoken of by them, whatever they thought, yet they prayed God these delays did not bring it upon us, and so they desired us to enter into the principal matter.
We answered that we were well able to prove their promise about the cessation, by letters of de Loo and Richardot's own answers to Morris and de Loo that it should be the first thing accorded, and thereupon her Majesty sent us in the middle of winter and stayed all her preparations by land and sea, to show how desirous she is of peace and looked that they should do the like. If they had accorded the cessation as asked, we had forthwith entered into the treaty aud ended it. Now they had lingered five times 20 days and nothing done at all. The delays were come of them and not of us. As touching their invasion of England, they should find it hot coming thither, for it was never so ready and what we spoke thereof was only to show their unreasonableness [Margin: said the earl of Derby]. To avoid all alterations of words we had put it plainly in writing and required them to do the like in answer, that we might send it to her Majesty, for we knew she would think it strange that they made sticking to perform that which they had accorded before she sent us over. Upon perfect understanding of their answer she would resolve what to do. Soon after Garnier came unto us, as it were half affrighted, and said there were 30 English ships of war before Gravelines, and had sent out a boat which landed two men without the haven, and desired that in future they should land within the haven. We answered that they might be forced by weather to land without the haven, and so Garnier departed. The men brought us letters from Ld. Henry Seamor to know in what terms we stood, and what assistance he might give us or the cause. We sent him thanks for indeed his coming was comfortable to us mainly … that the king's commissioners might see that her Majesty was so well provided that it was more commodity for them to have cessation than for us. And desired him to show himself towards Dunkirk to cause them the better to know themselves and also to give comfort to Ostend and to them of Holland and Zeeland, which lie before the mouth of the haven of Sluyse.—Bourbourough, 3 June, 1588.
Signed by Derby, Cobham, Dale and Rogers. Cover lacking.pp. [Flanders IV. f. 5.]
Draft for the Same.
Endd. with date “4 June.” 10¾ pp. [Ibid. f. 11.]
Enclosure. Duplicate of her Majesty's Commissioners to the reply to the King's Commissioners, 30 May.
The request for a cessation has been wrongly received. When the question of treating was raised they wished to know whether the duke had power to treat from the king, the place of meeting and if all thoughts of war could be put aside, to attend to the negotiations. They were told the duke had full powers, the queen might choose any place in Belgium, arms should be laid down at the first meeting of the deputies. This induced the queen to send her deputies. Three months have been spent on these matters, and it is not yet known what mandate the duke has, but the queen, moved by her desire for peace, only asked for a cessation during the treaty and 20 days after, which was in the duke's power, though not for Spain. That she might be sure of his powers she thought it reasonable to treat for a general cessation. What they offered on 29 May is most unequal, and would leave it open for them to attack England or the queen's other dominions from Belgium or Spain. They should propose equal terms with a general cessation of arms and not at such short notice as 6 days. Ask for reply and particulars of objections in writing.
Endd. Latin.pp. [Treaty papers V. f. 57.]
Another copy of the same.
Latin.pp. [Ibid. f. 59.]
Enclosure. Triplicate of the King's Commissioners.
Deny previous promise of a cessation. After the arrival of the queen's commissioners they offered as a favour what was possible in the present state of affairs. If this is not acceptable they are quite ready that no more mention shall be made of it, and to proceed with the principal business, it being in the interest of both parties to hasten matters as much as possible. They do not wish to dispute about individual points but only on those which they consider necessary for the treaty.
Endd. with date. Latin. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 61.]
Another copy of the same translated from the French.
Endd. by Dale. Latin.
2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 63.]
The Quadruplicate of Her Majesty's Commissioners, 1 June, 1588.
Uncertain of the meaning of the reply about the cessation of arms and ask for a clearer exposition in writing as well as of what Dom. Richardot said about the land and sea forces. They also ask for a written declaration concerning the form of cessation submitted on 28 May about liberty to invade England etc. from Belgium, and concerning Holland and Zeeland, so that they may be able to see what to resolve concerning the whole affair.
Endd. Latin. 2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 67.]
Another copy of the same.
Latin. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 65.]
The proceedings of Her Majesty's Commissioners touching the cessation of arms, from 28 May to 1 June.
Cover without enclosures. [Probably the cover of the preceding enclosures; the paper has the same water mark as some of the copies.] [Treaty Papers V. f. 69.]
June 3. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
We have brought these men out of their French… Richardot putteth the matter into French and Dr. Maes turneth it into Latin [on their title]. I trust their unreasonable dealing in the cessation is plainly expressed [shows its onesidedness]. They were labourers to have a treaty and they require the Q. to propound what she will ask of them, whereas … it behoveth them to begin with their demands.
It may please your lp. to consider whether the cessation be a matter to be stood in, things being as they be, as they revoke it at their pleasure within 20 days by breaking up the treaty, and it will discourage friends and might do harm if the peace should not be concluded, and if they mean to invade England, the only way to stay them is, if they may, to have their towns or at the least, if the towns might be rendered to the States, without which they will have no satisfaction.
We do send the whole proceedings in writing touching the cessation, to declare that we have not been idle … and I hope … to the honour of her Majesty.—Bourborough, 3 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Flanders IV. f. 3.]
June 3. Cobham to Walsingham.
Nothing of moment, but they insist much to proceed to the principal matter, while the English urge a longer time for the cessation. Hopes the sight of the queen's ships has done good, for it breedeth some speech and the commissioners went to see them, and heard the discharge at the setting of the watch. Sent the cipher by Spritwold. Sends occurrences enclosed.—Burborow, 3 June, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd.p. [Ibid. f. 7.]
June 4. Lord Willoughby to the Privy Council.
Knowing the enemy's designs on the town, he last night sent out Lieut. Thompson on horseback to learn some news of them. He went almost to Newport, but returned without any certain knowledge. But as they might be encamped about the sandhills, out of sight, he sent a ship of Zeeland to learn something further who, upon return advertised that they are risen and that he was certainly informed by some fishermen they met at sea “that they were gathered to head for France, and some other said for the Islands and those parts.” For myself, “being called hence upon urgent occasions … for the affairs of Gertruydenbergh and Camphire, whereunto I am with great instance earnestly solicited, both by the Count, the States, and those of the towns themselves, I am now—in respect of the imminent danger—upon my departure hence; having first taken order for the extablishment of some orders for fortification and better assurance of the place … and re-inforced the same with some more men, and done my best … for the supply of other needful wants.” I will not fail to advertise your lordships of all that happens.—Ostend, 4 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 49.]
June 4. Sir William Borlas to Walsingham.
This bearer is one of the ministers of this town; a very honest and virtuous man, and now being deputed, with two others, by the consent of the churches in these provinces to come over to her Majesty about some suit they have to her, they have asked my lord governor and myself to write to your honour to favour them, both to her Majesty and the Council.
Lord Willoghby is at Ostend, and has sent hither for 200 men for that town, as also to Bergen for three companies; “all little enough, for the place is great. It had need have three thousand to defend it.” He writes that the enemy means to besiege it. The States and Count Maurice have been dealt with by Master Killigrew to send both men and munition, but they say they have none to spare. “It were better to abandon the place and to drown the town than her Majesty to lose so many men and so much ordinance and munition as is there; for I fear me they will deal with us as they did at the Sluce, if it come to be besieged.
“The controversies between ‘Camfear’ and ‘Hermewe’ doth so trouble them as they know not what to do. And ‘Gettryngbergh,’ I fear me will be delivered over to the enemy, if it be not helped out of hand from England, for they will not any ways hear of the States, nor yet of the Count Morres.”—Flushing, 4 June, 1588.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 51.]
June 4. Dale to Walsingham.
You see to what a scholar's shift we have been driven for lack of resolution. If we should linger here until there be broken heads on the sea or some other great accident in what case we should be, God knoweth; for I can trust Champaigny and Richardot no further than I can see them. If her Majesty wish to break she may now do it upon their denial of a cessation, which Richardot promised and is now denied to be ever spoken or performed, or otherwise to consider of the delivery of the 4 towns, without which there will be no conclusion. We send the proceedings touching the cessation, to be thoroughly considered, which you could not do so well at the writing of your letters of the 1st June.—Bourborough, 4th June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Flanders IV. f. 9.]
June 4. To consider what advice were meet to be given touching the Cessation of Arms.
Three ways to be stood on (1) to be general including Scotland. (2) particular; nothing attempted by the forces in the Low Countries. (3) Nothing attempted against the 4 towns. If (1) and (2) not allowed the queen also must be at liberty. If they consent only to the latter, as the towns are sufficiently provided and Ostend and Berghen may be relieved by sea, it might be more honourable, as they think the pressing of the cessation comes from fear, to agree to proceed with the treaty, and discover their intent.
How the commissioners shall be directed to proceed:
Only two ways to make peace: (1) jointly with the States. (2) without them. Little hope of the first. Yet the commissioners must urge, as there can be no sound peace which is not general for the whole Low Countries, the setting down of articles containing such points as have been yielded in previous treaties between the king and his subjects, and if the States refuse to accept these the queen may with more honour leave them to their own defence. If they agree about the articles the duke of Parma should be urged to give the States a year to yield their assent, on condition of being received into the king's grace if they accept the articles within that period. Mean time the queen may urge the king to leave the cautionary towns in her hands. The commissioners are to be directed which articles to select.
To conclude peace without the States there are but 3 ways:
(1) to recall the forces, give up the towns and stand upon guard. (2) Recall the forces and deliver the towns to the States. (3) Recall the forces but retain the towns until the foreign troops are withdrawn. It is necessary to consider which contains least peril. (1) will be both dangerous and dishonourable, for if the king had the 4 towns he could easily conquer those Countries that now hold out and grow so strong, France also being likely to be drawn in, that the queen's forces should hardly be able to withstand him. It would be dishonourable to deliver towns held in trust. (2) To withdraw the forces would be less dangerous, as though the king would probably reduce the States in time, the goodness of God might bring new remedies in the mean time. (3) The towns would be costly to keep, and in danger from surprise by the States or Spaniards, and when the king had conquered Holland and Zeeland he would become so strong at sea that the queen would be forced to render him the towns upon his own terms. It is doubtful which of the two latter ways is least dangerous, and whether the king would agree to either. For the first, considering the danger and charge of keeping the towns, it carrieth some appearance that it were better they were delivered to the States, so as they would make present payment for the sums disbursed by the queen or give assurance for repayment. If the king will not agree to either of the other two ways it is meet to consider whether it were better to yield to the first way of peace or to continue the war, and if so it will be necessary to consider the means to do so with least grief to the subject.
Endd. with date.pp. [Flanders IV. f. 17.]
June 4. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
[Acknowledges letter of 30 May.] I am in a query who shall make the first demand in the principal … for therein lyeth a point of honour… It seemeth the Q. hath nothing to demand of them but her security and satisfaction. They have to demand of the Q., and her demands will come in by way of exception to theirs. I have read it to be matter much stood upon in honour who shall make the first demand between equal princes. I moved it before our coming over.
The principal your lp's. letter doth open about removing their forces, it is hard to judge and how to deliver them the towns to give them such an entry to Holland and Zeeland and with what honour her Majesty can deliver towns given her in deposit…. The cleanliest way to be rid of that chargeable action is to deliver the towns where we had them … which it may be thought will be contented to pay to be rid of the Q's. forces and so leave the matter in statu quo prius. Restitue in quem me accepisti locum, ut ait comicus. Sed ne sutor ultra crepidam.—Bourborough, 4 June, 1588.
Postscript. I devised the best way I could for Mr. Controller and pemied the word ‘languishing’ by which I hoped her Majesty would be moved to pity; and yet men that are sick are offended with every place they sit in finding no ease of their disease.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders IV. f. 23.]
June 5. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
I learn from Sir William Reade that her Majesty and their lordships are displeased with me for the absence of the captains hence, and marvel that I do not discharge them. But if you will be pleased to examine my letters I hope you will see that I have complained of the wants of them; and having threatened to cashier them, they defend themselves under the protection of your lordships, that they are for special occasions detained.
In expection of an answer from your lordships, I have deferred to take any other course therein, but the end will be “that her Majesty shall be unserved, the bands run to ruin and the whole inconvenience light upon her Majesty; for that the States do openly protest that they will never remburse nor yield any allowance but to such only as shall be here resident. There be here gentlemen of good worth and descent, as Mr. Wilford, the serjeant-major, and Captain Price, that be without companies; if your lordships would favour either of them with the charge of a captain who will not continue here, it would be to the advancement of her Majesty's service.—Middelbergh, 5 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 53.]
June 5. Sir William Russell to the Privy Council.
I am given to understand that the Duke of Parma has drawn his forces near to Ostend, with pretence to besiege it; “which place is of so small strength and defence, that it will be very hardly held.” The General writes to me to send some of this garrison thither. But “as the treaty of peace hath caused great alteration and dislike amongst the best affected, I have sent [only] ten out of every company, not being so many as his lordship required. And seeing that by orders from your honours, there hath been very lately eight discharged out of every company, to make the just number of 150 … by which means also the garrison is greatly weakened, I beseech your lordships to strengthen this place with some companies from England … especially to prevent the tumult and inconvenience which I know will grow amongst us if Ostend be not defended.
“The States' forces lie in this island very strongly; and how ready they will be upon any occasion to annoy us, I refer it unto your honours' good judgments. And forasmuch as her Majesty is not assured of this island… I see no means how it may be defended without her Majesty's infinite charges. I am earnestly to entreat your honours to take order for the present sending away of the proportion of victuals. I perceive the burgesses to be so greatly discontented by forbearing the soldiers' debts, that they grow weary of us, and unless there be order taken for their satisfaction by sending away pay, I greatly fear they will yield unto any practice to be freed from us.” I pray your honours to strengthen this place with more forces, or that those sent to Ostend may be presently returned. Vlisshing, June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. “5 June, 1588.” 1 p. [Holland XXIV. f. 54.]
June 5. The Same to Burghley.
Concerning the need of strengthening the troops at Ostend, as in the above letter.
“And seeing that the treaty of peace hath greatly troubled and disquieted the well-affected generally, and for that also, if the town of Ostend shall miscarry (the which I fear one will be greatly hazarded) there would presently arise a great tumult and revolt among these people,“ I pray you to send some companies from England, or I shall not be able to hold the town in any security. Also to hasten over victuals and pay for the soldiers, that the burghers, their creditors, may be satisfied, ”which grow weary of us, for the long forbearing of their money.“—Vlisshing, 5 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 56.]
June 5. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
To the same effect as his two former letters.
Postscript in his own hand. Since writing the above, ”I have received intelligence that the enemy will not besiege Ostend yet; notwithstanding, I have sent the Lord General 150 out of this town, which might hardly be spared at this present; but if the Estates do no more than yet I see they do, it is impossible for us to keep it, for as yet they have not sent any, although we have sent from Utrick, Bergues and this place six companies; what their meaning is, I refer to your honour's judgment.“
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 58.]
June 5. Col. Back to Walsingham.
Although importunity is very distasteful to him, yet the fear of speedy ruin roused by letters from his brother and the Chevalier Drury forces him to tell his worship frankly that in the raising of his troop of horse and their entertainment he has consumed all his means and even pledged his wife's lands; while his soldiers have pawned everything, even to their shirts, to drive away hunger; and present remedy must be found if they are to be preserved. Wherefore, that he may not be quite in despair, he begs that her Majesty will have an order given him upon Brabant, and that Treasurer ‘Chiurle’ may advance him 200l. sterling on what the States owe him, in virtue of the commission from the Earl, her Majesty's Lieut. General, that the poor soldiers may be able to live. If it do not please her to do him this favour, even though in her service and that of the Earl he has lost his regiment and the towns he had in his charge, his regiment of horse will be undone, and he will return most wretched not so much for his means, so freely employed, as for the scorn which he must expect from her Majesty's enemies and his own.—London, 5 June, '88.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. French. 1 p. [Holland XXIV. f. 60.]


  • 1. The phrases in italics inserted by Burghley.
  • 2. The phrases in italics inserted by Burghley.
  • 3. The Dutch text in Bor.: Nederlantsche Oorlogen, Bk. xxiv., f. 105.
  • 4. Briefly noted Acts of the Privy Council, N.S., Vol. xvi., p. 107, under date 3 June.