Elizabeth: February 1588, 1-5

Pages 49-61

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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February 1588, 1–5

Feb. 1. The Queen to Henry Killigrew.
Having long expected the return of Mr. Herbert with answer from the States touching their joining in the intended treaty of peace with the King of Spain's commissioners, she has been forced (seeing that the Duke of Parma had “entered into a conceipt” that her delay in sending her commissioners arose from lack of sincerity in the matter) to send the said commissioners to Ostend, and there proceed in the treaty.
But being informed that strange bruits are given out in those countries of her being “already grown to a secret accord with the said Duke.” and that amongst other things it was agreed that she should deliver the towns of which she is possessed into his hands, she desires him to let the States understand how greatly she is wronged, “both that such false and malicious bruits should be given out, as also that the spreaders of the same should not be severely punished.” And further, that though their ingratitude to her—shown in many ways, and particularly by their delay in answering her proposition—might move her to forbear any further dealing with them in that matter, yet believing that this delay came from the practice only of a few, and not by the liking of the generalty, who, she hopes, stand well affected towards her, she wishes to leave nothing undone which may tend to their good, and therefore desires him to let the States General and Council of State know that having waited more than seven months, and receiving neither answer nor excuse, she has thought good to send over her commissioners to Ostend, who are to embark at Dover on the 11th of this month, as she could not make any longer stay, having long since promised the Duke to send them, which being put off from time to time he was like to have broken off the treaty. Therefore if, during the time of the treaty, upon better consideration they determine to send any commissioner, Killigrew shall let them know that she has given special directions to her own, “to advance anything that may tend to the restoring of those countries to that happy peace and quietness that heretofore they have enjoyed, by removing of foreign forces from thence and the establishment of such a kind of government there as may stand with their ancient liberties and privileges”; which indeed from her desire for their good, she has given her commissioners charge to procure, even if they do not send any commissioner and notwithstanding their unkind usage towards her; whereby she shall remain justified both before God and the world, though sorry to see those of whose safety she has had such extraordinary care so obstinately bent to refuse what tends to their own benefit. And doubting that this notification, if imparted only to the States General and the Council of State may be smothered and kept secret, she desires that it be imparted also to the Pensioners of the provinces and chief towns, and that he shall require an act to be registered of her offer and their answers, which he shall earnestly press for, for his own discharge. (fn. 1)
Furthermore, as by an article in his Instructions, he was to let the States General know her great misliking of their hard dealings towards Sonoy and some others who have been always well-affected to herself and her principal ministers there, which being done,” they continue still their hard usage in a kind of eager sort,” he shall now again plainly declare to them that if they do not desist from these their proceedings against Sonoy and the rest, and use them from henceforth with all good favour, she will be forced wholly to withdraw her favours and supports.—Manor of Greenwich, 1 February, 1587.
Draft. Endd. with heads of subjects treated of.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 1.]
Feb. 1. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Is greatly bound to his lordship for his furtherance of the sending over such things as they greatly need and also for his good opinion of himself. Has been very desirous to be rid of this troublesome and dangerous place, but hearing that it is her Majesty's pleasure for him to stay, will endeavour to do his best.
Hopes that presently their poor men will have their pay and weekly lendings, “which breedeth such good liking between them and the burghers” that they are willing to do anything he requires at their hands. Therefore he beseeches that the pay may be in money, not in commodities, as their debts are great and the time dangerous.
The victuals best for the place are such as are best cheapt in the country, as butter and cheese and some quantity of bread corn, and as for beer, they will rather drink water than abandon the place.
Has always thought that one of the best means to assure it to her Majesty was to bring her merchants thither from Middelbourg, which he believes would well content them and greatly increase the affection and good will of the people.
Is certainly advertized that the Duke of Parma will attempt this island, and hath some practice with some of this town. [Need of ships and victuals reiterated.]—Flushing, 1 February.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 5.]
Feb. 1. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
In favour of Mr. Blavoet, “a very honest, peaceful man” and well affected to their nation.—Flushing, 1 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 7.]
Feb. 1/11. The Council of the States of Zeeland to Mr. Ortel.
A long letter of complaints against Sir William Russell, the chief points of which are given in the following memorandum.—Middelbourg, 11 February, 1588 stilo novo.
Endd. French. 6 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 9.]
“Extract” from the above letter.
“Sir William Russell, contrary to the words of the treaty, and without cause of service, sought to bring his cornet of horse into Walcheren.
“They took order that he should presently countermand them.
“Afterwards, being thought necessary to have some horsemen in the Island for the defence of the same, M. de Villiers’ cornet was sent thither.
“Sir William, upon knowledge thereof, was so moved with the matter as he sent direction mixed with threats and promises to impeach the receiving of them in places where they should have been lodged in the said Isle.
“They of the garrison of Camphere show direction in writing from the Earl of Leicester, by the which they are commanded to continue in the said town and not to receive any other garrison, whatsoever the Governor of Zeeland shall direct to the contrary.
“Sir William Russell repaireth himself to Camphere, delivereth her Majesty's letters, assureth them of pay from her (and of her protection) in case the States allow them none; by means whereof that town and other places are divided from the generality, to the danger and weakening of the State.
“The garrisons of Ramekins go in their watch as far as Middelburgh; have broken and carried away a salt pan.
“They desire that her Majesty should send over some well chosen person, by whom she may be throughly advertised.”
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 13.]
Feb. 1. William Borlas to Walsingham.
I am requested by the Burgomasters and ‘Magistrate’ of this town to put you in remembrance of the coming of our Merchant Venturers to this town; a thing greatly desired here, and promised by my lord of Leicester. They shall have as great privileges here as they have at ‘Mydelboro,’ and it would make this town mere English; besides the great help the poor shall have here, which now are not able to live; and her Majesty might keep a great deal less garrison here.
“Jacques Gelle, one of our burgomasters had sent over unto him in my lord Governor's name 200 angels, the which are ‘exsepted’ by some of the captains of the Queen's ships. He prays your favour that he may have his money again. He shows himself very forward in her Majesty's service here. Mr. Harbord and my lord governor will both move your honour in his behalf.
There is another very honest buyer here named John Marten, who lent Sir Philip Sidney a hundred and fifty pounds flemish.
He had a hundred again by Madox, but there remains fifty to pay, and he prays you to be a means to Sir Robert Sidney or the executors, that he may have it. Madox “put him over to the States” but there is no reason, for the money was paid out of his purse.—Flushing, 1 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 15.]
Feb. 1. Thomas Brune to Burghley.
Since writing on the 28th of the last month, I have met with Captain Edward Cromwell's clerk, who coming over from England to account with the Treasurer and Auditor for his said Captain's entertainment and company, would willingly have satisfied the four hundred and odd pounds owed me for victuals and other necessary reliefs for his company; but Mr. Huddilston's deputies “have so overcharged the said Captain's account with other debts, as there remained nothing good to me the victualler, who ought to be one of the first paid,” according to a proviso set down in each captain's warrants for his pay. The debts charged “are such as the parties demanding the same offered to sell their whole interest therein for half the value, and yet the whole is charged upon the captain's account, and no money paid for the same to the creditors.” And the Auditor Mr. Hunt, having received the account from Mr. Huddilston's deputies, said he could not alter it, whereby the debt due to me is like to be wholly lost, if their unorderly dealings be not looked into and redressed.
They have likewise overcharged Captain John Wotton's account, from whom I should have had 149l., like to be lost also, with 700l. defalked of Capt. John Scott's and Capt. Richard Hart's accounts, keeping the money in their own hands these fifteen months. I have complained to Mr. Huddilston, but can have no redress thereof, nor of many other wrongs done to me “wherein if I should stir, Mr. Lester would think to answer it superficially enough, yet not so substantially but that I can show his own handwriting to condemn him of undutiful dealing towards her Majesty, all which causes I would have prosecuted myself in person, but being here much indebted by means of slack pay, am constrained to give contentment to my creditors.”—Mydelbrough, 1 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 17.]
Feb. 1. Thomas Brune to Walsingham.
To the same effect, and almost in the same words as the preceding.—Mydelbrough, 1 February 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 19.]
Feb. 2. “The answer of the Deputies of Richard Huddilston esquire late Treasurer at Wars unto the letter of Thomas Brune, victualler, dated the first of February, anno 1587.
His allegation that the 400l. due to him by Captain Cromwell is not defalked because the deputies for their particular gain have overcharged the Captain's account with other debts is most untrue, for it cannot be proved that they ever received any consideration “for defalking of money allowed by any captain to his creditor.” It appears by Capt. Cromwell's account that there is but 84l. charged to the use of any creditor, which was for victuals delivered by one Martin Frowlicke, and was granted in May last by Lord Buckhurst and the other commissioners. “But Brune seeking to eat up both captain and company by overcharging them with cloth and other things at extreme prices, gave larger credit than the captain and company's pay would bear, which was subject to great ‘cheques’ whereof Brune seemed to be careless, and by that means falleth too short.” Yet between April and October there was defalked to him 145l., which, with what was delivered by Frowlicke, “may seem a reasonable proportion of victuals in six months, considering the large imprests of money made unto the said captain and company by the Treasurer for that time”; so as your lordship may see that malice moves him to forget his duty to you.
The account of Capt. Wotton is not yet perfected, but Brune's bills were entered upon it (as were the bills due by Capt. Cromwell upon his) yet as he could not have his money at once he desired to have his bills back again (thinking to get the money from Sir Thos. Sherley) which were given to him at his importunate request. The money defalked from Capt. Harte and Capt. Scott by Brune's bills remains in her Majesty's hands “as parcel of Mr. Huddilston's surplusage,” but when cleared little or nothing will be found due to him.
In May last Brune presented all his griefs to the Lord Buckhurst and the Commissioners appointed to hear all causes concerning Mr. Huddilston's accounts in Holland, and the latter's deputies answered them in writing to his lordship's good liking, and (as was supposed) to Brune's contentment, as he never replied, yet now, as he charges them with injurious and deceitful dealing, his Lordship is prayed to call him over to make proof of what he has so slanderously written.
“In the mean time Lecester for his part affirmeth” that what Brune urges against him is most untrue and that upon examination it will appear that he has abused his place, to the great prejudice of her Majesty's forces.
Signed, G. Lecester, Benedict Grove.
Endd.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 21.]
Feb. 2. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
I find by your honour's letters that her Majesty will not consent to my removal from this place, “wherein I neither reap profit, honour nor content, but rather bring myself behind hand”; having small hope, if not by your good means, to obtain anything at her hands. The enemy daily worketh with some of this town, but if the garrison were paid twice in the year, and their weekly lendings continued, I doubt not but to prevent all their practices.
“I find the burgers and captains of Terveer very well affected towards her Majesty, so as with some small charges, that town may be made as assured as this. It is thought that all the captains of this country shall take a new oath to the Count Maurice, and as it should seem, they will make him their governor, who is not the best affected towards our nation, being altogether ruled by Count Hollock.”
I send you hereinclosed certain advertisements from Gaunt, “wherein it should seem that the King of Scots is something to be doubted, and likewise Count Maurice, … This much I can assure your honour: that Colonel Steward hath and doth practise with divers Scottish captains to serve the Duke of Parma, and hath promised them large offers.”
I hear this morning from Mr. Killigrew that Count Hollock's soldiers are in a mutiny, and as it is feared, with his consent. Also warning me to look well to this place, as he hears there is something pretended against me or the town; “the which I shall well enough prevent if pay may come in any time.”—Flushing, 2 February.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 23.]
Feb. 2. Thomas Brune to Walsingham.
Had, upon his own credit ‘made’ a proportion of victuals by commission of Lord Willoughbye, to be paid for out of the first treasure to come over after the 16th of last month; but it now lies on his hands, as he cannot “perform the pay.” Has managed to defer the payment until the coming of the next Treasurer, when he trusts to have it, as he did it by order for the relief of the garrisons of Bergen and Ostend, “who since receiving money weekly, will not nor have not cause to receive it.” Prays that it may be paid for and laid up at Flushing, for part of a store for the garrison there, and in the Rammekins, which he hears is to be victualled for three months. Its value, as provided by himself, is 700l. sterling, which, being unpaid, constrains him to stay where he is; wherefore he has entreated the bearer, his friend Mr. Walker, merchant, to solicit his causes in England and humbly beseeches his honour to obtain order to Sir Thos. Sherley to pay him all such money as he shall present bills for, “defalkable out of captains’ entertainments in her Majesty's pay.”—Myddelbroughe, 2 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 25.]
Feb. 2. “The examination of William Dudley, taken by Mr. Ward.”
Asked why he remained in Deventer said that he and his fellow, Thomas Syse, had passport to depart, “but Captain Crosby in the market place, taking off the colours from his staff broke the same, saying he did it in honour of the Queen of England; whereupon Thomas Syse did likewise break his pike, running against the wall. Sir William [Stanley] being not far off caused Syse to be put in prison, and examinate was stayed by the Serjeant Major Owyn, as he was going forth of the gate.
Further he says that in his other confessions he has set down the truth, and that he repaired hither “only to return to his native country and for his conscience’ sake. Desires that Captains Crosby and Woodhouse may be called on his behalf.
Unsigned. Endd. 2 Feb. 1587. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 27.]
Feb. 3. The Commissioners of the States to Walsingham.
Praying him (as they have also done the Earl of Leicester) to inform her Majesty of their arrival and beg her to appoint a time when they may kiss her hands. Having letters for his honour, they also wish to know at what time they may wait upon him.—London, 3 February, 1588. (fn. 2)
Signed, S. van Loozen; Leon: Casembroot; J. Ortell.
Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 29.]
Feb. 4. The Lords of the Council to Lord Willoughby.
The Commissioners for the treaty of peace are to embark about the 11th of this month and the first thing treated of will be the cessation of arms, which, if the States would have joined with her might have been general, but as their doing so is now doubtful, it is to be considered whether the said cessation should comprehend the towns her Majesty is possessed of, as Flushing, Brill, Bergen-up-Zome and Ostend or only the town of Ostend, where the treaty is to begin. Wherein it is thought meet to give no absolute direction, but that your lordship's opinion, upon conference with the two governors and the rest of your lordship's assistants should be first had therein, after which conference you shall advertise the Commissioners what you think meet to be done, and your reasons for it, sending your letters to the Governor of Ostend to be given to them on their arrival, and using all expedition, as the treaty cannot be proceeded in until the cessation of arms be accorded.
Copy. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 31.]
Draft of the above, corrected by Walsingham.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 33.]
Feb. 4. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley.
The mutinies at Gertruydenbergh are appeased. Those of Gorcum and Worcum say they will submit to any agreement made with Hoesden, but till then, will not lay down their arms. “They of Hoesden on the other hand say that though they might have 8 months’ pay of the enemy, yet had they rather come to composition for 5 months with the States.
“Thus your lordship seeth how either by cunning or else plain treachery the government of Count Hollock bransle. As God would have it, I sent in good time for the saving of the Fare much to the comfort of them of ‘Utricth,’ which had else certainly been seized on. There is Colonel Morgan and his company added to their ‘renforcement,’ and my company gone to Utricht, all under colour of my guard, and they to give place to mine, so as no discontent was taken. They are now no more afraid of the Scots their neighbours at Viana. They have also … incantoned to themselves 2000 boors more of Gosland and Overissel, well armed, so that they begin to hold up their heads. They are careful of nothing but to assure ‘Narden.’ The practices of Holland droop. They had speeches in their Council against Snee touching the taking away his head and his government. He had advertisement thereof by letters, the States seeking to divide his companies, and with promise of pay having severed them, make their purpose more easy. He urged this their plot against them, expostulated his endeavours in the recovery of that country, and long faithful service done to the country and the late Prince of Orange; said if he were discharged of his oath to her Majesty he would rather quit all then be judged a man that would stir against the State and Count Maurice, but he thought them both bound in the same oath he was, to run the same course he did.
“But the soldiers there being in mutiny for their pay would not surfer this commissary of the States to abide long there, but sent him home with this message, that they would account for eighty months, and be paid for eighteen, otherwise they would pay themselves of the contribution of North Holland, and burn their salt houses even to Amsterdam, and stop their passages to the sea. And whereas Count Hollock had given out he would come and besiege them, they wished he would do so, that he might see how they would entertain him.
“All this they sent under their hands to the States General, and added that they would not alter their oath to her Majesty till their lives. All these parts of North Holland, West Frise, Gelders, Utrick and the rest stand much firmly affected to her Majesty.
“Count William in West Frise must have his leg cut off, for he cannot else live with his wife. It is thought he will hardly escape.
“The Estates General have mortgaged their common means to the towns for present money to appease these mutinies, so that their soldiers are like to eat all their white bread at once now, and to starve hereafter. It is thought, and I heard one of the best credit amongst them swear it, that if a peace were concluded, they would hardly be out of debt in seven or eight years, continually travailing the country with contributions.
“Our peoples’ lendings are well spent. When that is out there is no more hope to feed them of the States’ magazine or of my credit, for the matter is so used that they persuade themselves by these proceedings that I, having nothing to do with the treasure, shall never be able to pay them again, and in good truth I am out for 800l. Our horsemen at Utrick will all starve unless I interpose my credit, which I am unable to do by the hard course that is held, and this imparing of my credit and ill payment will prove prejudicial to her Majesty's service, as it is dishonourable to me … I beseech you send over in time, while you have winds, for if the like extremities happen as have been of late, I protest … I am altogether unable to relieve them….
“I would your lordship would advise of some such honourable and worthy person, that might not only have the name and place, but credit and authority of a General with these countrymen, amongst whom great occasions may be taken to do her Majesty special service in advancing most safely peace or war as should like her best”; those provinces before mentioned being ready to embrace either as directed by her. I know my own insufficiency and pray you that it may be no hindrance to the good effects which the worthiness and good abilities of others might bring forth.
“My lord Steward is much wished for here, as the only man whose authority may sway these causes. But if it please him not to return, I would there were some other … instructed by him to wade happily through these actions …” I pray you pardon my not writing with my own hand, “for I was let blood.”—The Hage, 4 February.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 35.]
Feb. 4. George Gilpin to Walsingham.
After Mr. Harbart left, the General States, Council of State and governors of provinces went from Delft to the Hague, “where they have since set down a certain state of the wars, reducing their numbers of men to the proportion of their means, with intent to make due and good order in payments, and provide for all other necessaries to maintain a war defensive, and for a need to draw some small force into the field. The number is set down of 17,000 footmen and 1500 horsemen, above her Majesty's forces, and of them may be employed abroad 2000 horse and 6000 footmen, leaving the frontiers sufficiently provided against the enemy's attempts.
“This State is not thought sufficient, especially by them of Geldres, Uytrecht and Overyssel, which shall by these means serve only for defences to the other provinces and not be able to recover their country nor the use thereof. As yet the said States have not set down any platt for the order of government, being busied thereabouts; and have been very earnest that the Council of State would continue in government three weeks or a month longer; but it is not assented unto, so as this day being the expiration of their authority, are resolved not to meet to-morrow, but the secretaries to be there to receive letters and requests and send them to the General States if the occasion so require. But if they insist for the Counsellors to continue for the aforesaid time, it seemeth they will yield, with declaration that after the said term expired, some other order [be taken] and their authority to be set down and enlarged, or else they will give over all and return to their provinces.”
They of Holland have been devising some extraordinary contribution for their navy; the part discharged being in haste again appointed on news that the enemy prepared his snipping in Flanders.
We hear that Colonel Sonoy's soldiers are in mutiny for their pay, having lodged themselves in the burghers’ houses, on whose charges they live; also that he has disarmed the townsmen. “The mean time he is ill thought of and his doings disliked, saying that there was no cause to do such disorder, his said men not being behindhand one month of their pay.
The soldiers at Heusden are also in mutiny and have seized all the magistrates, who have been forced to make composition with them, allowing every horseman twelve stivers and every footman eight till they be pacified.
Iselstein is escaped into the castle and dare not stir forth. The soldiers every day make a new “electo,” and demand eight months’ pay.
Since, those of Geertruydeberge, Worcum and Gorcum have followed like steps, and it is looked for that other garrisons in the frontiers will do the same. Small provision is made here to content them, “the armado having cost much money, which also they do now reinforce … and no money can be found almost at any interest.”
Gentlemen are sent from the Counts to Heusden and Geertruydeberghe to content the soldiers, and Count Hollock is gone as near to those places as he dare, to treat with them, but we hear of no good done, the soldiers objecting that the Count has long promised them to be a mean for their payment.
Count Philip came to Gorcum, but they would not let him come nearer than the reach of their small shot, which they discharged upon him. The soldiers in Biervliet and Axell have almost no provision left.
“The frontiers in Gelderland are in great necessity and ‘Lochum,’ with the house of Dorte, likely to be abandoned, with other places, whereby Deventer and Zutphen have been and can be kept so straight as none should enter without danger, or must have a great convoy.
“Yorke was of late a-hawking, and those of Dort laid an ambuscade which lit on him, but being well horsed did escape with a hurt in the thigh.
Leoninus and Valcke are to procure a reconciliation at Utrecht and the return of those expelled, but it is thought will be able to effect nothing. Count Meurs and those of the town now protest all good correspondence on both sides.
Tiel and Bommel are discontented, and will let no ships pass unless matters between them and Holland be ended, and order taken to answer their pretences.
“The Count Maurice is here, delighting in riding, hunting and hawking, and appeareth seldom in Council, but dealeth most with those of Holland; and whatsoever is sought or desired of him, he commonly referreth the causes either to the General States, those of Holland, or to his lieutenant.”
My Lord Willoughby cannot yet leave his chamber.—The Haghe, 4 February, 1588.
Postscript. “The mutiny is thought to be practised of purpose to bring the soldiers to some other oath. Those of Holland have granted a collection by the poll to pay the soldiers.
“The men of best judgment do greatly fear this state, seeing how troublesome it is, and in what dangerous terms it stands …”
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 37.]
Feb. 4. Andrea De Loo to Burghley.
They are waiting to hear whither the commissioners intend to go. The safe-conduct speaks of Bourbourg or Antwerp as seeming a suitable place to Mr. Pyn to whom he says the deputies left it; but this notwithstanding, he made us also put aut quemlibet alium locum, leaving the way open for Berghes op Zoom or anywhere else. The Duke said to Pyn in my presence: God bring them soon for a most blessed salvation. He remains at Brussels, and the Deputies at Antwerp, all earnestly desiring to come together, though the Duke is tired of the continual delay, not knowing well how to justify the keeping of the soldiers so long idle. Has let him know that my Lord Derby is ready to depart, which he will be very pleased to hear. It is to be hoped that no great difficulty will be made as to the place; the Duke undertaking the business as a neutral person, and the friend of both parties.—Ghent, Feb. 4, stilo veteri.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 56.]
Feb. 4. “Memories of certain points whereupon it is to be considered concerning the treaty of peace with the King of Spain or Duke of Parma.”
Endd. [4?] February, 1587. (fn. 3) “Points to be considered in the Treaty of Peace with the Spanish King's Commissioners.” And by Burghley. “A writing delivered by Messrs. de Loos and Cazembrot to the Lords of the Council.” 2¾ pp. [Ibid. f. 54.]
Feb. 5/15. The Estates of Friesland to the Queen.
1. They are bold, upon her Majesty's letters to the deputies representing the Estates of Friesland, touching the restoring of certain banished gentlemen of Oostergoo; as also of Dr. Hesselus Aisma, sometime president of the Council Provincial, to show to her Majesty the true causes of their offences; although they doubt not but the Lord Willoughby has reported their declaration made to him; “marvelling much of the boldness of the said persons in the insinuating of themselves in the favour of her Majesty's Lieutenants and captains, as also in their coming to her Majesty's court, with a false show of affection to her service; thereby the better to colour their practices with the enemy.”
Their complaints of Dr. Aysma.
2. That in 1581, when the States renounced their obedience to the Spanish King, he ordered those of the Provincial Councils to take a new oath to the States General and particular, and gave new commissions to the Counsellors, taking away their ancient authority to govern the provinces in the King's name, and limiting them to the administration of justice only:—the said Dr. Aysma, discontented to be so limited, hath sought ever since to cast off those bonds, and to bring himself to his former authority, serving himself therein with one Francis Baudemont, then clerk of the Council, as well towards the Duke of Alençon … as towards the deceased Prince of Orange; as also in the time of the Archduke Mathias etc.”
3. Seeing he could not thus attain his purpose, he sowed dissensions in the country, hoping thereby to be maintained in his authority, and being raised above his merits, was employed in legations etc., with permission of the States, but always sought to subvert their authority, “as appeared by his dealings with the Baron of Merode and Rummen in the years 1581, 1582, 1583, who was constrained to forsake the country.”
4. His bad practices towards Count William of Nassau, “to persuade the people that he held intelligence with the enemy, the dangerous fruit whereof appeared in 1587, when a false alarm was by his means given before the port of that town” [sic] and he persuaded the people that the said Count had placed soldiers there “of purpose to open the gates to the enemy” and would have stirred them up had they not been satisfied by some discreet persons.
5. He afterwards accused the said Count and deputies to the Earl of Leicester at Utrecht “as ill patriots, favouring better the Spaniard than her Majesty,” and persuaded the said Earl to make a secret assembly in the house of Francker, to change the government, “whereof there was likely to have fallen out a most dangerous confession and horrible massacre,” but the said Count and deputies forbade the Assembly, committing the Doctor to prison and deposing him from his office.
6. Touching his accomplices, retired into England with the title of gentlemen possessioners of Oostergoo, their arrogancy is very strange, “for although that Wibrand Ailva is a gentleman and Doco Aysma, brother to the Doctor, owner of certain lands there, yet can neither of them prove to have any lawful procuration … to make such strange pursuits, and contrary to the treaty had with her Majesty … And whereas they pretend to have been banished for this difference, they know not one which hath absented himself but for his own lewd demeanours, … as the said Doco Aysma having badly demeaned himself was displaced of his office.
7. “Besides, one Dr. Richius, having consumed his substance in drunkeness and lewdness of life, departed to seek his fortune otherwhere.
8. “The third named John Petri Sannes … who fled in the year 1582, being indebted to the state, crying out slanderous pasquils against the States, and went to the enemies, holding their part in the towns of Gorminge and Stenwick.
These bad persons “go about to incense her Majesty against them who will ever continue constant in their service of God, her Majesty and their country.”
In conclusion, thanking her Majesty for imparting to them these complaints, and for excusing their long answer, they pray they may be acquainted with all such, and that Lord Willoughby may be commanded not to give ear to them, or if he hear them, will impart them to their governors or to them; “assuring her Majesty that they will never fail in all loyal service towards her, or good correspondency with her lieutenant and captains etc.”
Endd. with date by Burghley's clerk. English translation.pp. very close writing. [Holland XXI. f. 39.]
Feb. 5. Lord Wyllughby to Burghley.
These new accidents give new occasions for my letters.
“The good success wherewith our affairs were advanced in Utrecht, Gelders, Westfrise and North Holland are as it were overcast with a thick threatening cloud, wherewith all they are so amazed and distrustful as it is greatly to be feared every man will seek to shroud himself under some new shelter, because they are now twice experienced how the storm beats through this.
“I am certainly informed that Colonel Sonoy … is now taken and like to lose his life. To prosecute the cause the better, Count Maurice is departed towards Alckmar well accompanied, and for expedition, his band of foot follows in waggons.
“What discouragement may happen to ours, what hurt to them, what power to practise their own peace with the enemy … I leave to your judgment.
“I will not prophesy that I think the rest will fall to them and they to the enemy; but I pray God you resolve of some such course as may comfort them here and assure you at home from the bad consequences like to follow this evil. This I may say for mine own discharge, that all power is taken from me by my instructions to deal with those persons in any causes; and these be but beginnings of that which will follow …
“From the Dutch receiver at Berghen I am advertised that at Antwerp the peace is forbidden to be any more spoken of,” but those intelligences I doubt not are known to you.—The Hagh, 5 February.
Postcript. “Your lordship may assure yourself Berghen will be lost this spring that comes on, if order be not taken out of England to pay the magazine (which I think will be best cheap in specie of grain) which the States laid in and the soldiers have consumed, for certainly the States will not renew it. Your lordship may advise whether to relieve the garrison to them, revictual the town, or hazard the loss of such a town and so many men with dishonour.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 43.]
Act of the States General “for confirmation of the Council” of State.—Gravenhage, 5 February, 1588. (fn. 4)
Copy. Endd: as “in Low Dutch.” ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 45.]


  • 1. This last suggestion is added in Burghley's hand.
  • 2. They had audience on 12–22 Feb. Bor: Ned. Oorlogen, Bk. xxiv., f. 6.
  • 3. The date is torn, leaving only a ‘V’ clear. A French text of these points rather fuller, is printed by Meteren: Hist. des Pays Bas f. 294d. A duplicate of the paper, without the endorsement, is calendared in Pt. iii of this volume pp. 481–2, dated conjecturally in December, when the question was before the States General.
  • 4. See p. 33 above. The date is new style.