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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June 1588, 11–15
Lord Wylloughby to the Lords of the Council.
“According [to] such, danger as was presented whilst I was in Ostend, I sent for five companies of foot which, upon further consideration of no such present necessity, and for the small means I found to accommodate them there, I since revoked thence. Yet upon other letters from the governor (renewing some former doubts) I have directed [thither] two companies from Berges, according to your lordships' order, and have sent your letters by Mr. Killigrew to the Lord Governor of Vlushing, to appoint three companies from that place.”
I have this day received the following intelligences.
“It is most certainly informed that Count Mansfild is made governor of the Low Countries, and his son Charles Marshal in the Duke of Parma's absence. The Duke hath removed all his stuff and baggage from Antwerp and other places, to take the same with him; whereby it seemeth his purpose is to settle where he goeth. Upon Thursday last, 40 ensigns were met by ‘Mackline’ marching with great diligence towards Flanders; and it was voiced they were for England. Further, the Scots companies here have prayed to be discharged, and for licence to return to their country. I pray your lordships to say whether their discharge and passage are to be hindered. Other matters I leave to the bearer's report.”—Mydellbroughe, 11 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 85.]
Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
Perceives that “matters have been carried with more show” than he meant betwixt Sir William Russell and himself, his purpose being to bear more than reason required rather than that there should be an unkindness between them. How much he desires to smother all up, and what untrue reports have been given concerning him, he leaves to Mr. Killigrew to advertise. For the speeches he is said to have made to the captains of Camphere—supposed to be the ground of Sir William's dislike to him—he leaves it to the testimony he sends, signed by the captains themselves; while the course he took with them before he was commanded to meddle is shown by his letter to them, of which he sends a copy. But since it was her Majesty's pleasure for him to deal therein, he has brought the captains to take the oath, whereof also a copy is enclosed….—Middleborough, 11 June, 1588.
Copy. 2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 87.]
a. Copy of his letter to the captains of La Vere [or Camphere], Van den Ende; Le Ducq; Pallant and Coster.
Has received their letter, with copy of the oath therein mentioned; but as regards this letter, does not find himself competent [to judge] not being a man of law or provided with any counsellor of her Majesty; Mr. Killigrew having gone to the Hague. Touching Mr. Walsingham's second point, he can assure them that her Majesty is very well affected towards them, but as to her express charge concerning the said matter, it may well be that the despatches are on the way; but he has not yet received any such charge. Having received it, however, he will not fail so to act in all things as shall be for her service and the good of the country.—Middelberg, 29 May, 1588, new style.
½ p. [Ibid. f. 88.]
b. Copy of their oath.
½ p. [Ibid. f. 89.]
c. Copy (by himself) of his orders to Hofflin to demand of the four captains of Camphere if they have made any such report of him; and if so, where and in whose presence he has done so; for good proof can be made quite to the contrary: i.e. that at that time he had no commission from her Majesty, and did not wish to meddle in what had been begun by others.
Signed. ½ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 90.]
d. Certificate signed by the said 4 captains that they had never stated that his lordship had said that the captains ought to address themselves to him and not to M. de Russell concerning the “mal-entendu de Camphere.” 21 June, 1588.
French. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 91.]
Sir William Russell to Leicester.
I have received your lordship's letter by your servant, Mr. Fulford, whom I have always favoured; being bound to your lordship for your many favours; “and amongst the rest for the great care it has pleased you to take of my credit; the which of late the Lord Willoughby hath sought some way to impeach; being moved thereunto rather by M. Vilyers and some of the Estates than of himself, or any just cause given him by me. Having not, in my opinion, held the best course which the Estates, either for those that have depended on her Majesty or your lordship; wherein he and myself have held some ‘whoth’ [hot] words; as also about those of Camphyer; wherein he hath not held so great a regard to your lordship's honour and her Majesty's letters as I could have wished…. And yet such is the affection of the soldiers and common burghers unto your lordship, as notwithstanding that their captains and officers for the most part have taken the oath … [they] will not by any means be persuaded to take it, neither to the Estates nor Count Morris; but if the humour of the Estates be followed as it is begun, I am afraid the town of Flushing will not long be English; myself find[ing] the very best affected greatly altered by the evil handling of this matter of Camphyer.” Wherefore I pray you to persuade her Majesty to strengthen rather than diminish her garrison; and “to remember my return when as it shall be seen what will become of the Duke of Parma's forces….”—Flushing, June 11.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. [Ibid. f. 93.]
H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
Acknowledging receipt of letters. The matters of Camphere, notwithstanding some tumult among the soldiers, are at the point of compounding; but not yet ripe for me to deal in the reconciling of Count Maurice and the Governor of Flushing. For the difference between his lordship and the Lord General, I find no difficulty, the little jar about Capt. Sherley's regiment being sufficiently cleared by your honour's letter to the Lord General. I know of no cause of mislike between their lordships; but if there be, I will do my best endeavour for the ending thereof. “Gertruidenberg standeth in desperate terms, and I am in great fear will fall into the enemy's hands; for they have sent unto my Lord General expressly, if within five days they be not satisfied, they know what course to take for themselves; and their demand is so great and so unreasonable, as the money will hardly be levied to content them.” Nor can any assurance be had that they will not yield the place to the enemy notwithstanding the money paid.
My Lord General goes to Dordrecht to-morrow, and I with him, to endeavour “to recover the town and hold them from so desperate a course.”
The enemy grows very strong about Dunkirk and is conveying his ‘plates’ from Sluis thither, where no doubt he means to embark his men for England. Forty ensigns have been seen marching as from Antwerp with all speed towards Dunkirk where it is thought there will be thirty or forty thousand men.
My Lord General and I are urging Count Maurice that such of their fleet as are ready should be sent to join her Majesty's navy until the others are also ready.
Eight companies of Scots serving in these countries are said to be cast, and have desired passport to go home, “which gives great cause of suspicion all is not sound on that side” … We are in hand to devise how to hold them with delays, till their companies “may be fain to dissolve themselves.”
As the Duke of Parma's forces are undoubtedly bound for England, I pray you consider if it were not meet to give direction for some of her Majesty's ships, with those of this country to ride befor Dunkirk or some other place convenient “to have intelligence of the enemy's putting to sea, who may escape them if they lie continually at the Foreland or on this coast …”—Middelburgh, 11 June, '88.
Postscript. News is come that Count Mansfelt is made governor of these countries in the Duke of Parma's stead, and his son marshal of the field; “which showeth manifestly the Duke's forces are bent another where.” Mr. Villiers gave me the enclosed to send to your honour, “touching Simple, who was sent out of Spain into Scotland,” as he wrote to your before.
Further postscript in his own hand. “It were good the King of Scots were persuaded that all this preparation against England is to invest the Duke of Parma of the crown by the Pope's gift and consent of the King of Spain and Catholics.”
I pray you remember Mr. ‘Guylpin's warrant; “for he is brought to a very low ebb, and her Majesty's service here requireth greatly he should be relieved.”
Add. Endd. with note of contents. 3 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 95.]
Merchant Adventurers' answer [to Burghley] that for the 10,000l. his lordship moved to have at Middelborough within fourteen days, they have sent to their Company there to proceed to make provision to the uttermost that may be had; and doubt not, by the end of 28 days at the furthest to perform payment.
But they pray that in like case hereafter his lordship will give them a longer time and for a less sum at once.
Endd. with date. ⅓ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 97.]
Advertisements from Bruges, 21 June, 1588.
Yesterday there dined at our lodgings Charles Daefdoncq who arrived the day before yesterday from Portugal by sea, going from thence with our armada, which he says is terrible and marvellous. He left it on the way, having come on with Capt. Moresini, who is come hither in a flyboat, and skirmished with enemy en route, of whom he killed several.
His Highness will certainly depart within four or five days. Jehan de Mont, captain of the guides, and also quartermaster, is now going, as he has told me to start the gendarmes on their march. His Highness will go to Dunkirk and from thence to St. Omer's.
No signature. French. ¼ p. [Newsletters I. f. 155.]
A memorial of sundry degrees of Conditions to be considered in the matter of the treaty of peace betwixt the Q. Maj. and the K. of Spain.
Ancient treaties renewed. Pacification of Ghent. Exercise of Religion. Money due to the Q. to be paid or the 2 towns detained.
In Burghley's hand. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Treaty Papers V. f. 84.]
Quest. What shall the Q. do if she cannot have the conditions of the Pacification of Gaunt?
Ans. She must protest that the breach proceedeth not of her. The reasons why she requireth this are many, viz: By former experience the K. was advised to confirm the pacification, and if Don John of Austria had not violated the observation in many points, peace had probably followed: (a) he would not dismiss the German soldiers, (b) he refused to restore to divers towns their privileges, (c) he refused to restore many that were banished, (d) he would not have the Count of Buren brought out of Spain, (e) he departed to Machlyn and there made a new pact to renew the war.
H.M. may renew her protest how she hath been provoked to arm for defence and to aid the people of the Low Countries from conquest, and that she never showed her disposition to take from the K. any country or town, whereas he attempted the conquest of Ireland and hath now obtained from the pope authority to attempt to conquer all the Q's. dominions.
And speedily H.M. must encourage the States to unite themselves for their defence and specially to have a strong navy on the narrow seas. And likewise all good means must be used in England to be ready by land and sea to the defence; and to provide means.
Quest. How far the Q. shall press the cause of religion for the people of Holl., Zell., etc.?
Ans. To have free exercise of their religion for [blank] years, without impeaching of any professing the Roman, and afterward to continue as the States General shall ordain it. To have in every walled town one church for their exercise.
Quest. What shall H.M. do if the K. accepts and the States will not?
Ans. That peace be concluded betwixt the K. and Q. and that until the stranger forces be removed, some assurance by hostages of Spaniards may be given for observation of the peace.
In Burghley's hand. Endd. with date. 1½ pp. [Treaty Papers V. f. 82.]
Dr. Paul Knibbe to Walsingham.
Asks for his favour with the English Merchant Adventurers, who for the safety of their trade have withdrawn from hence to Stade and have need of some literary man, who knows the German language to do their business there, (as he believes Dr. Lobetius does in some of the towns of Upper Germany) and to notify their reply to his father-in-law, M. de Meetkerke. [Private affairs.]
Finds affairs in this island marvellously troubled; the captains holding garrison in Camp-Vere having treated by her Majesty's command with the deputies of the States of Zeeland by the intervention of Lord Willoughby, three days ago set about bringing their companies out of the town, giving order that they should go out by one gate while the deputies left by the other; but the men, in disgust that their captains had made the capitulation without saying a sort to them of it, instead of going out, gathered at the gate where the deputies were doing so, laid hands on one of them, named Vosberge, formerly bailiff of the place, and (it is said) wounded him; but he escaped from them, as did also Lord Willoughby. The treasurer Manmaker, who had remained in the town, was kept prisoner until released by the captains; who, seeing the fury of the soldiers against them, escaped to the great bake-house of the town (a very strong place) where they still are, no one knowing what will happen to them. It seems that the soldiers—not being satisfied with the appointment of the captains, and fearing to fall into the hands of the States (from whom they expect nothing but cruel vengeance) demand to have passport; as did those of Gertruydenberg; who are still in the same state as they were three months ago.
There is here a persistent report that the peace is already made, which keeps merchants in such suspense that all trade is at a standstill, and will be so while this report continues, which comes more positively every day from Ostend, as also from Antwerp and other towns held by the enemy.—Flissinghes, 12 June, English style, 1588.
Add. Endd. French. 2 pp. closely written. [Holland XXIV. f. 115.]
Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Entreats his honour's favourable assistance for Capt. Littleton, now going into England about business of his own; which he will esteem as a favour done to himself.—Vlisshing, 12 June, 1588.
Add. Endd. ½ p. Seal of arms. [Holland XXIV. f. 99.]
Sir Thos. Morgan to the Same.
Has presented her Majesty's and his honour's letters to Lord Willoughby at Middelburgh, who, reading them presently, answered “that concerning the placing of Sir William Drury at Bergen-up-Zome, it was not his doing but the States; and as touching the Lieutenant-colonelship, he had granted it away afore I came; and further says he will stand upon his Commission.” Next day his answer was the same, and in further conference, he said he would deliver over his baton to me. I answered that I came not for that intent, but only to do any service that I could. I believe he will do me all the disgrace he may; “for there is never a captain that dare speak to me, for [fear of] losing his favour.” I pray you let me not be disgraced for my long and true service.
My lord governor and Mr. Killigrew counsel me to write to your honour “to have a letter from her Majesty that Sir William Drury might be removed out of Bergen up Zom, or else my Lord Willowby will hinder me in making delay of it.—Mydelbrow, 12 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 101.]
H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
In behalf of Mr. Thos. Bruin, the Victualler, who has had no entertainment since December '85; nor pay since April, '86; nor any advancement save 400l. in April '87; procured by his honour's means; yet he has been employed continually for victualling Bergen and Ostend, whereby he is so deeply indebted, that he cannot either maintain his credit, bear the ordinary charge of housekeeping, or go into England for the clearing of his accounts. Prays his honour, that as he heretofore relieved him by an imprest of 400l.; so “he may be remembered again in the next list of treasure that shall come out of England with 100l.; whereby he may be able to hold his credit … and avoid his utter undoing….”—Midleburgh, 12 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 103.]
George Gilpin to Walsingham.
Is hoping by the next post to receive “her Majesty's gracious resolution, with the warrant of her grant”; and that some money may be paid him towards his maintenance, in hope whereof, “being presently come hither to serve in the causes of Camphere and Armewe” he has not only assured the friends of whom he has borrowed of repayment, but has charged them further; and if he should fail to give them their due, it would not only impair his credit, but prevent him from getting help at another time; so that he looks for nothing but utter ruin unless his honour procures him relief, and licence from her Majesty to employ himself where he may find means to give and maintain his charge suitably to one of his profession …
He will not boast of what he has done, but refer it still to her Majesty's Governor and Counsellor, who have not written or commended him for anything done for them in private; but only that for her Majesty's service.—Middelborowe, 12 June, 1588, stilo angliae.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXIV. f. 105.]
Lord Wyllughby to Sir John Conway.
“I have given forth ‘potents’ for the companies of my Lord Audley and Capt. Anthony Wingfeild to address themselves presently unto you; and if necessity require, you shall be supplied with the rest from Vlishing. And doubt you not but that I will (God willing) have care upon all occasions to give you the best address that time and means will permit me.
“I send you herewith the copy of a letter lately sent me from my Lord Steward to confirm that which before I delivered you. And so, with my hearty commendations, I leave you to God.”—Middelburgh, 12 June, 1588.
[Ibid. f. 107.]
Enclosing: The Earl of Leicester to Lord Willughby.
“My good lord and son,” I thank you for your favour shown to my friends there, and especially to my servant, Captain Blunt; and assure you “that longer than they shall behave themselves to you in all commandments and duty … I will neither speak to your lordship for them, nor think well of any of them.”
As to the displacing of the Serjeant Major of Ostend, I always referred the same to the discretion of the governor of any town, and when advertised of the said Serjeant's imperfection and moved to displace him, I wrote to Sir John Conway to remove him if he saw just cause to do it. “And I acknowledge that I had authority to do therein what I would, as now your lordship hath … and I do marvel that Sir John Conway would withstand your lordship's commandment therein; as I will make him fully acquainted therewithal by my letters; as your lordship may assure yourself that I will further, either there or here, anything that shall be for the furtherance of that service or your honour….”—At the Court, xxxij. [sic qy. 22] May, 1588.
Postscript. “Your lordship's letters touching this matter … came but this day to my hands; being dated in April.”
Copy. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 108.]
Capt. Francis Vere to Walsingham.
I humbly thank your honour for your two last letters, comforting me by the assurance of your favour, by the former that it pleased you to deal with Mr. Treasurer in my behalf touching the imprest, which has been sent me by the Lords of the Council; by the latter, for your care to reconcile me to Col. Morgan, whom, whatever causes I have for dislike, I will forget them (your pleasure being such) “assuring you that no man shall obey him more willingly than I, when he shall have authority to command me.” Your honour will hear the news from more sufficient reporters. “If those of the Spanish fleet continue, it will be very necessary to draw some companies from hence; in which matter I hope by your honour's favour to be one. I could set down a young soldier's opinion as one that some time thinketh of those matters, but I dare not presume so far … [but] no man shall enter more willingly into that action than myself …”—Middleburg, 13 June.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 111.]
Edward Dyer to Walsingham.
Has finished the business with his brother for which he came over, and will be able to see something of the countries before his “time of licence” is expired.—Utrecht, 13 June, 1588.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 113.]
The English Commissioners to [Sir John Conway] Governor of Ostend.
This day the king's commissioners have found themselves aggrieved that some twelve soldiers (as they say) of that town, have been and are abroad,” and have committed sundry outrages against the king's subjects; “which they take in worse part inasmuch as they have proffered no hostility to that town, or any other in her Majesty's hands.” Pray his honour to inform them how this incursion has fallen out; for, as they formerly wrote to him to take care that no such parts should be committed, they doubt not but that he has had regard accordingly.—Bourborough, 13 June, 1588.
Signed by all five commissioners. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 117.]
A note of the ships and their furniture at Dunkirk, 13 June, 1588.
Great ships: 12 of 700 or 800 tons, three of which have 20 pieces of cast ordnance, the rest but three a side and a fowler.
Small flyboats: 8 and a pinnace of 8 tons. 5 of the flyboats have 3 cast ordnance on a side, the rest only 2 chasing pieces right forward; the pinnace only small shot.
Greater flyboats: 12 of 80 tons apiece, 8 with 3 cast ordnance on a side, the rest none, being taken out.
Small ships: 70 of merchants, which they have stayed to carry provision; of Briteyne, Dieppe, Bolleine, Calais, etc., which they call victuallers. They are 60 or 50 tons, all ready and most are laden with victual.
Ordnance upon the quay: 12 culverins and 12 sakers. Margin. They are for land and not for the ships, besides two heaps of shot pertaining to them, estimated about 2000.
It is not apparent there should be half enough men to man these ships.
These ships be open and have no defence when they be boarded.
They of Dunkirk look for 5 men of war to come from Hamborough.
Endd. with date and Induere. 2 pp. [Flanders IV. f. 69.]
Another copy of the Same.
Endd. 18 June. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. f. 81.]
Instructions given by the States General for the Sieurs Jehan de Duvenwoord, Sieur de Warmondt; Floris de Brederode, and the Doctors of Law, Nicasius de Sille, Counsellor, of Amsterdam, and Lubertus Hoenvard, of what by the advice of Philip, Count of Hohenlo, Lieut. General of Holland and Zeeland they are to put before the King of Denmark and the Princes, lords and republics of Germany; to whom they are sent with letters of credence. (fn. 1)
They desire the Conte de Hohenloe to give all possible assistance to the said deputies with the King of Denmark and the Dukes of Saxony and Brandenbourg in the matters following:—
1. To make known to them the honour, respect and affection felt towards them by the said States.
2. Asking his Majesty of Denmark to confirm the ancient amity etc. between the Kings of Denmark and the Provinces, towns etc. of the Low Countries; and that he and the other Princes of the Holy Empire will continue their affection and favour towards them.
Also they shall maintain good correspondence, with the ambassadors of the Queen of England, and the King of Navarre, who shall be there, and shall urge the King of Denmark etc. to an alliance with the said Queen and King.
Also they shall ask the said King and other potentates to assist the King of Navarre in the erection and maintaining of a camp against the Duke of Guise and other their common enemies.
And in case the said Sieur de Hohenloe thinks good to leave the deputies for a time to go to his said Majesty or any other of the said Princes etc.: the said deputies shall (by the advice of the Sieur de Hohenloe), go and labour with the other Princes etc., according to this Instruction. And from time to time shall advertise the Estates of all occurences.—The Hague, 24 June, 1588.
Endd. French. 3½ pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 119.]
Captain Guillaume Sudermann to Walsingham.
… One part of the camp of the enemy remains in the environs of this town. My Lord Willoby has left us a re-inforcement of some 130 men, chosen from the companies of Flushing and Rammekins; and now two more companies have arrived, viz. those of Lord Audley and Captain Anthony Wingfeild, there being now eleven companies. Since the arrival of Mr. Norritz we have begun to fortify the town more diligently; which it was more than time to do, as I doubt not your honour has been already informed.—Ostend, 24 June, 1588, new style.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. closely written. [Holland XXIV. f. 122.]
Captain Nicholas Erington to Burghley.
Having borrowed 120l. of the Merchant Adventurers' Company in Flushing, to imprest to the companies of Capts. Winckfeild and Randall, then in the States' pay, and so not included in her Majesty's warrant,—failing which they must have been dismissed from the garrison of Flushing, which he had no commission to do, being only deputy governor of the place, Sir Philip Sidney being dead, and Sir William Russell not yet appointed—the said Merchants, “lying forth of their money so long and paying interest for the same,” have earnestly requested a letter to his lordship for payment, which he could not refuse them, “in consideration of their honest and willing minds to disburse their money … for her highness' service …”—Ramykins, 14 June, 1588.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 124.]
P. Ortell to Burghley.
In behalf of Michael Leeman, who has sustained many losses at sea, and thought to relieve himself by certain of his ships coming from the Straits; but about the English coasts they fell into the hands of Sir Francis Drake, who took most of his goods and disposed them in her Majesty's ships, for the necessary victualling thereof, as may appear by his enclosed request [wanting].
Has lately sent letters from those of the Brill to his lordship and her Majesty, which he prays may be favourably considered, and answer sent to him to be forwarded.—London, 14 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 126.]
The Queen to the Commissioners.
In answer to the two points raised in their letters of the 3rd and 7th. (1) For the cessation, if they cannot get it extended that nothing shall be attempted during the treaty by the forces in the Low Countries against England or Scotland, tending to the annoyance of the realm by way of Scotland, then (order having been given for furnishing Ostend and Berghen), they shall not stand upon the cessation but proceed to the treaty, for she would be loath they should think that the urging of the cessation proceeded from fear for those towns or that she did not think it as profitable for them as for her. She wishes them to let the K.'s commissioners know as much, as in the conference they do in a kind of sort threaten that if a speedy accord is not reached delay may ensue that may prove dangerous to her. She observes they have not let this pass without answer and wishes them to hold that course during the treaty. They should also take occasion to say that the world finds it strange she should continue the treaty seeing the great preparations for invasion, and that she only does so to show the world her reluctance to omit any occasion of peace, though she has small cause to think it will come to pass, when she considers the course held since they went over, the absence of a commission, the difficulties about the place and lastly about the cessation.
With regard to the treaty they should begin with the points concerning the United Provinces, as urging them to yield to some such conditions as may lead to a pacification, without which she does not see any sound peace likely to issue between herself and the K. If they are asked whether the States seek any reconciliation with the K., they shall answer, that although the Provinces, from former experience, do despair beforehand that the king will grant conditions which they believe may stand with their safety, she is in good hope that the K. will yield to such reasonable conditions as they may see shall bring them surety to continue in peace, to reduce the Provinces to require and accept of the same with all humility.
That the commissioners may see how necessarily she is drawn to urge them to take some course for the compounding of the differences between the K. and his subjects, they shall let them understand (1) that she can never feel sure of a sound peace between her and the K. so long as the foreign forces remain in the Low Countries, with intention to make a conquest of them, the same being the principal cause that moved her to yield assistance to save them from conquest. Seeing the K.'s disposition towards her shown by his making himself a party to the Scottish Queen's practices, his attempt in Ireland, and his maintaining of rebels, how can she look to live at peace and good neighbourhood with those countries so long as the foreign forces remain there, with no intention to recover them by reasonable conditions, but by conquest.
(2) If she should enter into a particular treaty with the K. without provision for the States, she would, they may say, be moved for her own safety to demand some things that might be alleged to be dishonourable and unreasonable for the K. to yield to.
(3) Lastly she daily discovers what plots are laid between the Pope and the K. to deprive her of her crown, which she doubts not, through the goodness of God and the forces he hath blessed her withal, to preserve against them or any other prince that shall attempt anything against her and her realm, the same being replenished with such faithful and natural people as against all tyrannical invasions will be most ready to spend their lives and blood. So without the retiring of those forces by a general pacification she does not see how she can have any peace or surety, and therefore has just cause to urge them to yield to some reasonable conditions to be by her propounded for the United Provinces.
For the conditions, if they may be drawn to two principal ones, it may suffice (1) toleration of religion in the United Provinces for 2 years (very few to demand); the further permission to be referred to the States General, (2) the removing of strangers, the particulars thereof to be treated on between the K. and his subjects to be referred to the Pacification of Gaunt.
The greatest difficulty will be the point of religion, on which they will urge the following reasons; (1) the K. heretofore assented to toleration for a time as appears by the treaty at Gaunt, which was done by the assent of the ecclesiastics of the Low Countries, the theologians of Loveine and by the advice of the K.'s Council of State. (2) Most of the people have not been born or brought up in the Romish religion and to urge them to a present change of religion without giving them time to inform their consciences were a mere impiety and a direct murdering of their souls. (3) Divers Catholic princes, as Charles his father, Ferdinand, his uncle, the French K. and the K. of Polonia, have yielded to like toleration upon less causes for the pacification of their countries. (4) The ill success of himself and the French K., the one by standing so peremptorily on the point of religion, the other by revoking the edicts by him and his predecessors granted, whereby the dominions of both, having been the most nourishing countries of all Europe are now grown by the long continuance of civil wars to extreme misery, ought to move them to think that God is not pleased with such a violent course as by the space of these 20 years has been held by them. Lastly the consideration of the K.'s present state, in regard of his own years, the youth of his son and how his dominions rest disposed, which without settling some peace in his own day are like after his death to become a prey to some of those princes that perhaps do now speak him fair, ought to move him … to some good accord with his subjects, whereby those poor afflicted countries may be restored to quietness and wealth by reviving of intercourse with their neighbours and himself strengthened with the friendship of those princes with whom his progenitors did always maintain good correspondence, with increase of revenues and saving of his inestimable charges spent now in wars and shedding of Christian blood, which should be spent in shedding the blood of Turks and infidels.
Conceives there will be no great difficulty about referring all other occasion of difference to the Pacification of Gaunt, and so need not furnish any arguments thereupon. If they ask, in case the Provinces reject the articles propounded to them, whether she will abandon them in respect of their obstinacy, they may give assurance that if the Provinces so far forget their duty to the K. and her, she will utterly forsake them and leave them to their own defence.
They are to confer with the commissioners on the points thus set forth and advise touching their inclination in that behalf, and receive further direction touching their further proceeding in the treaty. In any case it is her pleasure that they shall press for a speedy answer, for that there be many reasons that lead her to think that the treaty first propounded was not meant sincerely. Therefore if they refuse to yield the things propounded, her meaning is, after learning of their proceedings to revoke them, unless there fall out some cause, as yet unlooked for, for their further employment there. In any case, before proceeding to propound the conditions concerning the Provinces she wishes them to dilate at large upon the great wrongs she has received from the K. and his ministers; that they may see what good and sufficient reasons she has to justify her proceedings with the K. and how greatly she has been wronged by the malicious reports given out against her touching the same.
Copy. Endd. with date and short abstract of contents. 8½ pp. [Flanders IV. f. 83.]
|A draft for the same letter, with corrections by Burghley. 14½ pp. [Ibid. f. 89.]|
A copy of the last paragraph from the instruction to press for a speedy answer.
Endd. a clause added to her Majesty's letter of the 14th June to the Commissioners. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 97.]
Sir John Conway, to Burghley.
Concerning a boat alleged to have been sold to Sir Walter Waller; it was lent to Sir Walter Waller to go for England to fetch necessary lading, but on learning that the men appointed to go in her intended not to return, but so soon as she should be at sea would betake themselves to piracy, acquainted Sir Walter with this, and dissuaded his use of her. Sir Walter seeing that he could not have the boat until he could provide better men, procured Sir James Croft, his son, to press her for his service; at which time she did take away fifty soldiers of Sir Walter's company and divers soldiers and arms of the garrison besides; which is a great hindrance of her Majesty's service… asks for a command either my Lady Waller go as safeguard against the seamen and the burgher, and have the tackle delivered him unspoiled, or to deliver the boat to the burger with a safeguard against the seamen.
Also asking his favour in respect of his answer to Mrs. B.'s causes. Promises to send it soon as once he has put this place in some security against the enemy.
“I may ill afford a week's respite from her Majesty's service at this time. It behoves me rather work day and night than to lose a part of a day. This place was never so straitly besieged as now. The Prince's camp lies from sea-coast to sea-coast, all along the land from Bredges to Newport, and from Newport to Ostend; within a mile. Their court of guard, both horse and foot, keep their watch within the view of the town; and their horse and foot are every night about the ramparts; and their camp every day encroaches upon us.
“This 13 and 14 day of June being their midsummer nights; did show us all the proportion of their camp and their quarters by their triumphant fires; besides that our scouts have gone through them. Monday last, at twelve o'clock in the night was let into Bridges Signor Pedro Cayetano, which came post from Spain, with news that the King of Spain's armado would presently arrive in the coast of France, and so with all the King's forces that are here to take the journey for England.
“The Count of Westmorland and other refugees from France are come to Bridges, and they all, with the rest of all other refugees of these parts, are commanded to put themselves in a readiness to go against England.
“Within these three days are passed by Bridges 200 boats for carriages towards Dunkirk, out of the upland country. There is very lately arrived at the Prince's court a great man of France, who is come in very secret manner from the King, to treat of very particular matters, and by some it is understood for certain that the Duke of Guyse, the King of France and Spain run one course, for all their dissemblings.
“The peace will certainly turn to nothing. The Prince is very well contented it should linger out awhile till his whole approaches be made.
“Cardinal Allen cometh presently to Bridges. He hath sent many letters of encouragement and counsel to his familiars to hearten them upon this voyage for England, and hath penned and imprinted an unlawful, traitorous book to be sent and spread in England, to sow sedition before hand at the first landing.
There is one very lately come out of England to Sir Wm. Stanley, and two at this present gone from him into England.
“They have sure intelligence of her Majesty's great forces in a readiness, and yet they hope to have a strong party in England.
“The Archduke of Austria was looked for at Bridges within three days, with 7000 reiters. His officers were come before.
“The Turk hath entered into a very straight league with the King of Spain for certain years; and the Venetians are to furnish the Turk with certain gallies at what time he shall demand them.
“A very huge number of bags for sand are brought to Bridges from all the upland towns, to make a present defence upon their landing in England. The fort of Odyngebourgh is now in present alteration. Where it hath always held 23 or 24 companies, it shall now be lessened to be defended with one or two at the most; and the fort of Plashendalle is in making to the like effect.
“These give some appearance that he means not to sit down nearer before Ostend, and so bind himself in honour to the place; but yet they make us not sure but that he may at his rising prove what he can do by sudden attempt. No doubt he will assure and means to make his retreat safe, and to have all the coast havens if he may.
“I beseech your lordship be a mean that her Majesty send us from England 200 native men to reinforce our ordinary garrison here. Every captain will give his allowance for so many as he receives, and I will undertake to place them all, if there were more.
“Of the five companies which her Majesty appointed hither, we have three; the Lord Audeley's and Mr. Anthony Winchfeld's from Bargen and some of a company from Vlyssinge. A whole company had been better. A captain and officers, the more they be, encourage men greatly when they come to fight.
“I have written several letters into Zeland, and to my Lord General for to supply our wants with lead and match and some increase of powder, but his lordship can obtain nothing of our wants. Amongst them, we are in great want of lead and match here. Our master-gunner, Thos. Wright, hath a long time attended to solicit our wants. I humbly beseech your lordship, give him dispatch and send the man away, for we shall specially want him.—Ostend, 15 June, 1588.
Holograph. 4 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 128.]
Extract of news from the above letter.
2⅓ pp. [Flanders IV. f. 98.]
Note by Mr. Digges, “Touching the companies of Flushing, the Rammekins and Brill in Sir John Norris time and at this present.”
In Sir John's time:—
Vlissinge. Captains Edward Norris, Richard Wingfield, Symes (since Randall), Hender, Rowles.
Rammekins. Capt. Robert Sydney, now Capt. Browne.
Briell. Captains Henry Norris, Roberts (now Anthony Shirley), Hill.
Each with 150 men. Total, 1350.
Presently in the towns.
Vlissing. Sir Wm. Russell, Capts. Browne, Dennis, R. Wingfield, Maria Wingfield, Sir Thos. Shirley, Capts. Ant. Shirley, Littleton, Hart, Darcey, Randall, Hender.
Rammekins. Capt. Erington.
Briel. Lord Borrough, Sir John Borrough, Sir Henry Norris, Capts. Hill, Brett, Vavasour. Total, 2950.
“So are there 1550 soldiers more in the cautionary towns than the 1400 (sic) first limited, and so consequently 1550 less in the army than the States by the contract claim; beside the soldiers wanting in the bands, which are grown extreme weak by reason there is now no discipline, order or obedience in the office of musters; all his Excellency's [i.e. Leicester's] laws and ordinances being now abrogated, and no new established; whereby her Majesty shall not only be deceived of a great part of her treasure, but the bands so feeble as we shall take shame and loss whensoever we shall be seriously by the enemy attempted, if in time it be not prevented.
Signed, Tho. Digges.
Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 131.]
Richard Scofield to Walsingham.
In my last of the 10th I wrote of the arrival of a flyboat here with a small barque from Lisbon bringing an express from the king and how the fleet was at sea. It is reported by certain Bretons who say they came in company and that they refresh themselves at Conquett or Brest and that there is 400 sail besides certain galleys that keep the coast. These Bretons are passed for Dunkirk, and it is reported to be marvellous strong. I thought it my duty to advertise you. They are for certain upon the French coast. The Duke of Parma with all expedition prepareth his flyboats and others at Dunkirk and taketh all mariners that can be had. This morning [it] is reported that those which have besieged Bollen are retired, which I fear is feigned. I fear all will fall out but treacheries against God, her Majesty and countries. In this country the same God converts the counsels as he did the counsel of that wicked Achitophel.—Calles, 15 June, 1588. Asks that 2 angels may be given to the bearer.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders IV. f. 100.]
Walsingham to Croft.
Her Majesty hath received your letters of the 7th, which she took in very gracious and thankful part and hath willed me to assure you that albeit your zeal to forward her service took not that good success which you desired, you should now nevertheless persuade yourself that she holdeth you in as high degree of favour and grace as ever she did heretofore, and therefore you should forbear to be sorrowful for any displeasure you may seem to conceive she had towards you in that behalf.—The Court at Grenewiche, 15 June, 1588.
Copy. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 119.]