Elizabeth: June 1588, 21-25

Pages 504-517

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, 21–25

June 21. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
We send your lp. the writings that have passed between us that H.M. may perceive in what terms we stand, and for direction. One thing there is that I doubt how the last treaty arctioris amicitiae doth agree with the state of religion at this time. We have forborne to make mention of the matter of Inquisition in Spain and the usage of H.M.'s subjects there until we come to consider the renewing of the treaty itself, to the intent to clear first the hard point of difficulty.
They rig out at Dunkirk and at Newport. I hope in God with more haste than good speed. If H.M.'s navy in the narrow seas may be at their coming out they may easily be scattered, being no better furnished than they are, and most of their men not to abide the seas at the first. The danger is if they should steal out. I have written a letter apart to show to her Majesty if it may seem convenient, that she may perceive the humours of them with whom we deal.—Bourborough, 21 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders IV. f. 126.]
June 21. The Same to the Same.
The K.'s commissioners' joy when they hear of the K. of Spain's fleet. If it pleases God to dispose that by tempest, H.M.'s forces or otherwise the course of these things which are by them intended be stayed or that they be well matched by H.M.'s navy in the narrow seas, so that they shall not be able to look out of their ports in this country, as yet they are not for doubt of H.M.'s navy, there is no doubt but they will be calm enough.
Hopes the queen will find that her honour has been maintained, and that her commissioners compare favourably with the king's, except in subtlety and impudence.—Bourborough, 21 June, 1588. (fn. 1)
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 128.]
June 21. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
Upon the 18th the K.'s commissioners gave their answer in writing, enclosed. After the delivery thereof they brake out into some impatient and unseemly words, specially touching the removing of strangers and generally that our demands were over hard and that they looked for far other. We desired them to rest upon that that should be given in writing, saving that where we did perceive, either by negligence or malice they had misinterpreted our demands, we told them of it roundly. Afterwards, examining her Majesty's instructions and perceiving her desire resolutely to know what they mean, we devised a reply which we delivered upon the 20th (sent herewith), wherein we have maintained our former demands, added reasons thereto, showed the imperfection of their answer and further proposed those things contained in the letters of the 14th, required them directly to answer, specially of renewing the treaties, removing of strangers and of the payment of H.M.'s money, and to make offer of what they will be contented to do, so that H.M. may know what to resolve; and specially we charged them sharply with their unseemly words in their answer, that they might understand that they have not to do with such manner of persons as Richardot hath been accustomed to deal withall here in this country, but with a prince that doth justify the honour of her actions openly…. When they had read our reply … they said not one word, but that they would confer among themselves, saving that Richardot said we had spoken somewhat more clearly than heretofore and desired us to offer further. We answered that we came to demand and not to offer and that they should offer on their side. And so we departed for that time more friendly than we did the time before and they excused themselves of their former speeches in a mild, merry manner.—Bourborough, 21 June, 1588.
Signed by all five. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders IV. f. 134.]
Copy of the Same.
pp. [Ibid. f. 130.]
The reply of the King's Commissioners to the demands of her Majesty's Commissioners, 18 June, 1588, stilo veteri.
Expected something more just. No great difficulty about renewing old treaties. The second is not the concern of foreign princes, especially as concessions already made show the king's paternal love for his subjects. Margin. The point of toleration of religion not answered.
Foreign troops only retained out of necessity; that way no doubt his Majesty would do what befits a wise and prudent prince. They would wish equal conditions for the cities taken from the king and they do not see why, with so much show of good will to the king's affairs they should not, with disarmament, venture to offer the restitution of all that has hitherto been so unrighteously witheld from him.
As regards repayment, his Majesty might with equal justice claim the same for which he has spent on the war from the time the queen took under her protection those who deserted their obedience. A means may be found for safeguards and securities satisfactory to both parties, but, as has been often repeated, it is better to proceed to the principal business and offer more just conditions than to insist on what cannot be granted and so may easily give rise to trouble.
Endd. with date and the letter B. Marginal notes of contents. Latin from the French. 1 p. [Treaty Papers V. f. 96.]
Enclosure. The answer of the King's commissioners to the reply of the Queen's commissioners in the principal matter.—28 June, 1588, [N.S.]
(1) The treaties can be renewed by mutual consent, rescinding what is prejudicial thereto.
(2) Nothing can please the king more than the good of his subjects, but as Belgium does not belong to the queen it is not equitable for her to meddle in these things and the king has not meddled with those of England or other neighbours. In the mean time no one doubts that any change will be made with the English of those things which have been anciently granted by definite agreements.
(3) In the matter of religion, do not think the queen would suggest anything which would offend the king's honour or conscience. At the queen's suit will not refuse, in his name, toleration for two years, which was granted to some cities of Belgium. Margin. What cities and when.
(4) The king is sorry to retain the foreign forces, at immense cost, but it is easy to see what this would mean during this disastrous war, both domestic and with neighbours. They desire a more lucid explanation of the fourth article.
(6) The king knows nothing of the money given by the queen to the Belgian provinces. They have nothing to answer except that if the queen's commissioners will declare it, then it will be considered who ought to have payment.
(7) The principal affair they consider to deal with peace as soon as possible so that what justly belongs to the king may be restored to him. They never meant to speak other than honourably of the queen and did not think to have given any cause of offence, in speaking of cities unjustly taken and the intention to restore them.
Endd. as heading. Latin 2 pp., with marginal notes by Burghley. [Treaty Papers V. f. 94.]
Enclosure. Reply of the Queen's Commissioners to the answer made by the King's Commissioners, to their demands.—Bourbourg, 20 June, 1588, stilo veteri.
[To the effect stated in the despatch above.]
Endd. Latin.pp. [Ibid. f. 92.]
June 21. Earl of Derby to Burghley.
My debts, and my son Straunge's especially, being great … I have sent over the bearer, my servant, to enter into the consideration of them and calling the creditors together, to see what days of payment they will offer. I have moved your lp. my lord chancellor, steward and Mr. Secretary to be a mean to qualify what extremity my son's creditors shall offer, who I doubt not but your lps. consider have made him hard pennyworths so I am bold to entreat your lp. to afford the bearer your reasonable assistance. For mine own debts I think your lp. conceives that they have specially grown (as indeed they have) by means of my chargeable employments, the which as (according to my duty) I have most willingly undertaken, so (although it be to my great hindrance) will I with all my heart continue my diligence and travail in this or any other wherein it shall please her Majesty to use me.—Bourborough, 21 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Flanders IV. f. 132.]
June 21. Earl of Derby to Walsingham.
The like, in the same words.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. f. 136.]
June 21. Dale to Walsingham.
[To the same effect as to Burghley on the effect of the Armada on the king's commissioners, their barbarous Latin and trickiness.] If I had known what a commission bastantissimo had been I think we should have seen Easter day over our head before our coming over. But I pray you let us hear some arguments from my Lord Harry out of her Majesty's navy now and then. I think they will do more good than any bolt that we can shoot here. If they be met at their going out there is no possibility for them to make any resistance, namely having so few men that can abide the sea; the rest must be sea sick at the first. We find them much milder in speech than they were at the first time.—Bourborough, 21 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders IV. f. 141.]
June 21. Cobham to Walsingham.
Afore my coming into these parts I said unto you what I thought touching the peace, I think you now find it by their actions and preparations. If there be any that think that a chief of a league can or will without consent of his associates conclude a peace with her Majesty, who is of a contrary religion, in my poor opinion it is against all reason; but if the treaty were for causes mal intendu between the two princes it would be easily compounded, for both their estates do require it.
The strangeness of the holy league is such, bound by oaths and words, the contributions of money great gathered of all the clergy that profess that religion in Europe. The leaders of the enterprise resolute to execute. Their enterprises divulged by printed books and letters. The soldiers' minds prepared partly for their religion but specially in hope of a great prey of gold and silver they expect. God of his goodness take pity of his church and people. There is no way but by dint of swords to defend the religion, their malicious, resolute mind is such.
If these actions and preparations … will not move an impression in my lords that their intention is against us, then may it be said that Objecat animos Deus cum vim suam ingruentem obtrudi non vult.
Daily the Spanish commissioners do discover themselves. A. [Count Arembergh] is the disciple or rather echo of the Richardot Champignycolorik”; a secret show he maketh to desire peace but treads no other path than Richardot. He is impatient and thinketh to deal with us as he hath with burghers and townsmen but he is often put from that course. He will charge us to have said which was never spoken. He maketh report of our writings otherwise than they be, which showeth either a great malice or a great ignorance. Maes a good patriot as they say, Granier only writes in some sort; they speak of Sir James Croft's articles but we follow her Majesty's instructions in our demands and in our reply to theirs for maintenance of our demands. We set down that her Majesty hath willed in her letter of the 14th, and we desire to be answered cathegorice. I hope our courses will bring forth such a resolution as will be a means either to draw us home or to proceed roundly.
There are two ships ready to go for Scotland well appointed but to what place I cannot learn. It is said for mariners. Another goes presently for Spain with a gentleman from the D.
The archduke Fernando's son is come with a regiment of foot and 3500 horses. He lieth at Mor. De Neulayndes houses, who now is here with us. There is a ship of Encheyseyn come from Spain to Callys, the captain went presently to the D. There came a Scot that dwelleth at Camphyer out of England and he went presently to the D., a tall man with a red face. There came also a Frenchman at that passage out of England that went to the D. They speak of the Holy Island and of a town called Belford where they mean to land and fortify and where their flat bottomed boats may come to the shore and so enough.
Harlam is thought to be in practis with the duke of Parma, Justinus must be looked unto; Holloc is looked to come to the Duke of Parma.
The ships that be making ready at Dunkirk are made musket free; the small battery to fire their great while they are in fight. I heartily pray you that in the answer of this I may know what to do in that point which I sent in my last letter, this mark [symbol] and if Barney's discharge be not sent let it be sent hither by the next that come, for it will do good or that it will not be granted.
The “byllayndes” that now are coming from St. Thomas by commandment are laden full with flint stones. The diversity of these occurrences transport me many ways.—Burborow, 21 June, 1588.
Holograph. The words in italics deciphered, in part from a contemporary decipher. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders IV. f. 139.]
Decipherment of a portion of the above.
1 p. [Ibid. f. 138.]
June 21. Andrea di Loo to Burghley.
Writes to forward the enclosed from M. de Champagney, whose zeal for these affairs has impelled him to write and state freely what should be done, believing that if matters proceeded differently there would be hope of a better end with more expedition. It is of great importance to begin well, and feels hopeful of their arriving soon at an agreement, since they have entered upon the principal matter. Learns that Lord Cobham now shows much more good will than he did at first to come to an honourable accord. But could wish they were given some more incitement for abbreviating the treaty. This side makes manifest its original desposition, especially the duke who, de Loo firmly believes, wishes that the accommodation were already made. The deputies have sent to Bruges to know his mind upon the last points and they are awaiting his letters. Begs his lp. to continue to use his influence with the queen, as will be done with the duke and by him with the king, to perfect this divine action.—Bourborgh, 21 June, 1588, stilo vechio.
Postscript. M. de Champagney asks me if Mr. Robert Cecil is not returning, having conceived the highest opinion of him. He would be welcome for his good judgment, but he should come soon because it would help the business and he would advise you of what is passing with us. The letter for her Majesty is a private matter of M. de Champagney, for the release of his nephew.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Flanders IV. f. 124.]
June 22. Lord Wyllughby to the Lords of the Council.
Has this morning received their letters of the 14th inst., and immediately repaired to the States in Council, to whom he delivered her Majesty's pleasure for the furnishing of Ostend and Berghen op Zoom with men, munitions, victuals and other things needful for defence; “for that her Majesty thought it not convenient to yield to cessation of arms for those places,” laying before them such reasons as he thought would induce them to the same. They desired to have the sense thereof delivered to them in writing, which he has promised to do at their next assembly; the success whereof, he will advertise to his lordship “with the first.”—The Hague, 22 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 159.]
June 22. Sir William Russell to Walsingham.
Renewing his request for pay for his garrison, and provisions. It is so long since the companies received any pay that this bearer, Captain Hinder, is driven to go to your honour to beseech your furtherance therein, or else good consideration had of the great debts' which he and his company owe, being not able to provide for them any longer…. Touching the companies at Camphere, the soldiers showed themselves very well affected, for that most part of them discharged themselves, and are gone some one way some another. The captains are also removed from thence by the States unto other places, and neither of them have scarce seven soldiers left. Designs to bestow Captain Antony Shirley's company upon Richard Fulforde, but would gladly hear from his honour first….—Vlishing, 22 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 161.]
June 22. “A note of Sir John Conway's requests.”
For 200 men to be sent over; the Master gunner to be returned and with him, match, lead, etc.
Endd. as in headline. ¼ p. [Ibid. f. 163.]
June 22. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
Justifies supposed credulity. One of the king's commissioners assured him recently that the treaty would fall out as her Majesty wished. The questions of toleration and the queen's security and the rest would be easily agreed to, to which end he wished him to deal with Dr. Dale to get him to urge what the commissioners would advise, as they required, for their better justification to be pressed to what they themselves much desire. (fn. 2)
Asks for advice what is to be done and that means may be taken to draw conformity from Zeeland and Holland wherein consists a great part of the success of these proceedings. The K.'s commissioners have sent the pieces submitted to them for his approval and upon his answer it is thought progress, will be speedy.—Burbouroughe, 22 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Flanders IV. f. 143.]
June 22. Advertisements.
The Duke of Parma, being at Dunkirk on June 16 ordered all men to be shipped by the 24 of this month, to attend M. Monti[g]ni, upon pain of death.
His shipping does not exceed 30 sails of flyboats; and but reasonably appointed; but he has 240 billanders and flat bottomed boats in great forwardness to join them.
“Much ado he hath to retain mariners for his ships, though he use very sharp means to punish them.
His having already in Dunkirk great store of meal and timber “may argue some determination to make sconces and bulwarks for strength upon his present landing; and thereafter to be victualled.
“His flat bottomed boats are not to be adventured upon the seas, but in the shortest places of passages, and in fair weather, and therefore most likely for Kent; where nature of itself hath planted a most strong situation, Sandwich town.
“Likewise the weakest parts to win at the first; the three castles of the Downs, which are unfurnished of men, munition and powder.
“By further examining the party, the King of Spain's fleet exceeds not 120 sails, and are thought to be at the Groine. Some treasure is to be looked for out of Spain out of hand, to convey along the coasts of France, to land there of they should happen to descry any pinnaces to lie in wait for them.”
Endd. “Advertisements on shipboard, taken the 22 of June, 1588, in the Road of Graveline.” 1¼ pp. [Newsletters I. f. 156.]
June 23. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
At my being at Ostend, I took the examination of one Piggott, an Englishman who is prisoner there and intended to have sent it to you, but being mixed with other papers, it was forgotten. But now remembering it, “upon advertisement of the over-well entreating of one Barney (who is likewise prisoner there) far above his desert, whose wife also hath continual access unto him from Bridges, I thought good to recommend the same unto you, and hold it not amiss that Barney were sent for over into England … for what colour soever may be given to the contrary, he is known to be as great an enemy to her Majesty as may be.
“It pleased you by your last to advertise me of some intention to have 2000 of her Majesty's soldiers here called home…. If it may stand with her Majesty's pleasure that I may return with them, I should herein hold myself much bounden, as desirous rather to be employed in action under my first honourable General, my Lord Steward, or else whomsoever it shall please her Majesty to appoint, than to be tied to a needless charge; where the rest of her Majesty's forces will be few enough to be ranged under the cautionary towns.
“And if it shall be thought convenient, I dare undertake (without lessening any of her Majesty's troops), to bring over with one a troop of 300 horsemen, well mounted and as brave soldiers … as any prince in the world may have …”—The Hague, 23 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. [Holland XXIV. f. 164.]
June 23./July 3. Leonard de Tassis to M. Damant chancellor of Brabant and President of Flanders.
[Private affairs.] We are here in daily expectation of the arrival of the naval force, the hope of which is greatly increased by the news that it has put to sea. I assure you that it is very necessary for us here to abate the authority of the deputies of England, who seem to be only dragging matters out to leave them unsettled. The chief thing is that we shall have no answer but to see it victorious for which his Highness holds himself in readiness to second it on the report of its arrival, with a good number of boats well equipped. May God give us strength and disperse the enemy since it is for the increase of His glory and the advancement of our liberties. We shall see some result in a few days.—Brussels, 3 July, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 July stilo novo from Brussels. Fr. 1 p. [Flanders IV. f. 145.]
June 23./July 3. Memorial of the Armada of Spain.
24 galleons, 46 heavy ships, 25 urcas, 8 cabras, (fn. 3) 20 pataches, 4 galeasses, 4 galleys, 20 caravels, total, 151.
In addition 10 feluccas for the service of the Armada.
31,200 soldiers, mariners etc.
Notice of the Armada preparing in Spain in which there are Levantine ships and Spanish, and Flemish ureas, to the number of 60 ships.
From Italy 20 galleys are expected to go with this Armada. I do not know about the men on board this armada but I hear that they will be the tercios of Italy and the men they are hurriedly raising in Spain are to be sent to Italy.
Endd. with date. Spanish. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 74.]
June 24. The Queen to Lord Willoughby and Mr. Killigrew.
Whereas the gentlemen and others of the best sort of Ostergo and Friesland, have by their deputies declared to us the troubled state of their province; “which they say cannot long withstand the common enemy, by reason of the open and great intelligence that he hath within the towns and abroad also in the boroughs and villages, with sundry persons … which disorders proceed of the partial dealings and passionate government of the chief magistrates, whom they call deputies of the States … Forasmuch as we conceive that by reason of our affairs and service falling out in other parts, you yourselves cannot conveniently, nor, with such speed as were requisite, repair to the places for redressing of these disorders”; we desire you to deal with the deputies of Friesland “who attend there upon the States General, that they will procure the complaints and griefs of both the parties to be sent unto you by some … not carried away with passion, or otherwise to be delivered unto you in writing; for which purpose you shall require and press them that such persons whom you shall understand they have banished may have free liberty to return … to the end they may safely deliver their griefs and allegations. And upon your consideration of the same … that you shall travail by all the best means you can to bring them to a good and speedy agreement and re-union. Whereupon, the rather to induce them, you shall lay before them the danger of their utter ruin by their partialities and divisions: the small encouragement also they give us to continue our favours and support, by their ill intreating of such as have showed themselves most devote to us, and so to the country, and such other reasons as you can best devise for this purpose; which if you perceive you cannot bring to pass, you shall then let it be known unto them that you will send over to us their said several griefs and allegations, to the end that we may take order to compound the same; and the blame and fault to lie upon these that shall be found the chiefest authors of maintaining these divisions among them … whom we judge are worthy to be punished.
“And we will you to require them in our name to cause the President, Dr. Hessell Dilsma and the rest, who yet remain as banished, and whom they have lately removed from their offices to be restored … which we look they will do, and will take it as a testimony of a conformable disposition in them to come to a re-union.”
Copy. Endd.pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 166.]
June 24. The Queen to Deputy des Gritenies, representing the Estates of the Province of Friesland.
We are advertised to our great regret of the difficulties and dissensions between you and your new deputies on the one part, and the nobles and inhabitants of Ostergho and their associates on the other, which cannot but bring out the total ruin and confusion of your Province, by the advantage which will be taken thereof by the common enemy, who has already (as we understand) laid it under contribution. It seems to us very strange that you should be so blind or obstinate as to let yourselves willingly be flung into ruin by your private quarrels and passions amongst yourselves; wherefore, for the care we have for your welfare and safety we have commanded our Lieutenant General, Lord Willoughby, and Mr. Killigrew, one of the Council of State, there, to endeavour by all means in their power to restore you to good agreement and union. And to this end we desire you to send them the particulars and origins of the differences between you and the said nobles and inhabitants of Ostergho by some indifferent persons; that such order may be taken that they may be ended, and as quickly as possible; so that you may all join together to appose the attempts of the common enemy. And we also pray you to restore to their offices and estates the President, Dr. Hessell Aysma and the others who have been removed in like sort, and to give security to those who have withdrawn, as banished men, to return and dwell in in safety. And in future to show better treatment to the said President and the others, who have shown themselves well-affectioned to our service and therefore to the welfare of you all; which we shall accept as a presage of your good wills and conformity to good harmony.—24 June.
Copy. Endd. French. 1 p. closely written. [Holland XXIV. f. 168.]
Same date. Draft for the above letter.
[Ibid. f. 170.]
June 24. The States General of Ostergoo and Westergoo in Frize to Mr. Killigrew.
We thank you heartily for communicating to us the Queen of England's desire to procure for us a peace with the King of Spain for which care we can only evermore be thankful to her.
And (not wishing to let such an opportunity be lost) we have commissioned Messieurs Dr. Sixtus a Dehema and Godtschalcq Hiddema, to take part in the conference for the said peace.
But as our delegates may not be able to attend the conference we have despatched an express to her Majesty to assure her of this our resolution.—Leeuwarden, June 24, 1588, o.s.
Seven signatures. Add. French.pp. [Ibid. f. 172.]
June 24. Lord Cobham to Burghley.
… By our letters of the 21 your lp. may perceive how we have proceeded in the principal points. The 22nd we were all day together and late at night de Loo brought word that they have sent to the Duke at Bruges to acquaint him with our writing, so that until his answer comes we are not like to proceed any further. By these courses there may grow from suspicion of delay until they may have certain news of the Spanish army whereof there are many speeches. In these parts they prepare still those boats that have lain all this winter between St. Omer and Graveling. Yesterday was commanded to be brought with all haste to Dunkirk. Some are to transport horses the other laden with flint stones. All their forces are drawn to these parts.
The Lord Paget with three more in his company are gone to the Duke of Parma.
Letters came from Paris that the French King and Guise were agreed.
The lack of secrecy hath hindered much our negotiation for neither have we received orders from England or resolved among ourselves but that it was discovered.—Burborow, 24 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. The words in italics deciphered. ½ p. [Flanders IV. f. 147.]
Lord Cobham to Walsingham.
[About their proceedings as to Burghley.] The Marquis of Renty is at Dunkirk hastening the preparation of the ships; they work day and night. [Assembling of boats at Dunkirk; Lord Paget gone to Parma.]
The 2 Scots ships I wrote of are gone to Lyeth. The 22nd at night Gordayn sent out [of] Calles 120 of his best soldiers either to enter the high town of Bulleyn or for some enterprise in Bulloynayes. The night before he sent four special persons to Bullyn who were taken by ropes in.
I have send this much that her Highness may know in what terms we stand. We have been here 5 months and every one desires to return home. If upon the duke's answer there are more delays there is small hope to do any good. Wishing myself with you at Barnelmes.—Burborow, 24 June.
Signed. Add. Endd. The passage in italics deciphered. Ibid. f. 149.]
June 25. P. Ortell to Walsingham.
Informing him that the ships promised by them of Holland and Zeeland are already about Dover Road, and sending his honour enclosed [wanting] the certain advertisement, come to him this morning from Zeeland.
“For the matter of Colston, order is given that the Advocate of Zeeland, Mr. John Van Wercke, shall be here with the first, with direction that he and I shall take up the same matter in best sort. In the mean time, I beseech your honour that direction may be given, for any further troubling of our inhabitants….”—London, 25 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXIV. f. 174.]
June 25./July 5. Justinus de Nassau to Walsingham.
Some days ago, he sent a despatch to Monsieur Seymour, Admiral of her Majesty's fleet in the Narrow Seas, giving him to know the designs of our enemy, and the means by which they may resist him. And he has also, by order of the Count of Nassau, sent twenty ships before Dunkirk, until the others, now making ready in Holland, can join her Majesty's fleet in the Narrow Sea, lest, in the mean time, the Prince of Parma may attempt to come out of Dunkirk, to endeavour to execute his enterprise. Hopes that, meanwhile, the ships of their country might be supported by some seven or eight of her Majesty's, and that they might have such means to attack the enemy that they should remain the victors.
He yesterday received an advertisement from a trustworthy man that the Prince of Parma is very diligently preparing to assemble his troops and embark them at Dunkirk, and it is said that he counts upon coming into England with 36,000 men, most of them old soldiers. Those who come from Brussels report that the captains and officers say freely that they are for England, and that all those in attendance on the Prince of Parma boast that great changes will shortly be seen there….—Middelburgh, 5 July, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 2 pp. [Holland XXIV. f. 176.]
June 25. Count Maurice of Nassau to the Queen.
Asking her to grant the request of the States of Zeeland to export from her kingdom 100 tons of ordnance for their ships of war without payment of duty or custom, by certain merchants whose names they have sent to their agent Ortel, so that no others may transport the like.—On his ship, 25 June, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 178.]
June 25./July 5. Don Pedro de Valdes to the King of Spain.
I received your Majesty's letter of the 28th ult. in answer to mine of the 21st and will do as commanded. I omitted to advertise the things which until that day offered because of the haste of the despatch. By what the duke sent your Majesty may have understood of the opinions which every one gave, and how different mine was from the rest, for that it seemed to me that this army … should proceed on, so that for not having conformed myself with them they have not beheld me with so friendly eyes as reason requires and have spoken words by which I find myself much harmed. But nothing shall excuse me from saying always that which I understand to be for your Majesty's service. Therefore I am grieved in my very soul to see myself thus alone in the matters of this army for the procuring that through negligence or oversight so good an occasion might not be lost as this is, which now is in hand; wherein the things which seemeth me most to hinder will be want of victuals if the fleet has to make any long stay here. I spake to the duke to command the allowance of biscuit to be shortened by one fourth, with a small pound of fresh flesh as this country is well stored therewith, so that the victuals aboard might not be spent, which would cost less and leave victuals for more than three months. Albeit yet he hath not done it, although it is 17 days since our being in this harbour.
Since the day of the duke's coming to Lisbon without any occasion at all, he did me a manifest wrong by using me differently from any of the other generals, as he has not allowed the payments and distributions for the squadron under my charge to go under my own warrants. I ask that my pre-eminence may be fulfilled to me as to the rest. Margin. The whole of this article stricken over.
This day the duke hath received advertisement that the Admiral of Jn. Martinez de Ricalde is arrived at Sanctona and two other ships a little further, and this evening arrived there the Capt. Jn. Gomes de Medina with his Admiral and another; and the galleon of Florence in which goeth Gaspar Alonso de Sosa, with the Portugalls and another ship of Venice, in which cometh the master of the camp, Don Alonso de Lucon with two other ships, one of the squadron of Diego Flores and the other of Ricalde's charge. Two other hulks and a Levant ship which they left behind are expected to-morrow. I leave the rest to the letter which the Duke writeth to your Majesty. The weather is settled and good for all the ships which are wanting to gather themselves together with brevity, so I trust in God we shall have them here within 3 or 4 days, and that there will be happy weather, whereby we may prosecute this journey with such felicity, victory and prosperity according as your Majesty do pretend it.—From the port of the Groyne, 5 July, 1588. Don Pedro de Baldes.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Flanders IV. f. 211.]


  • 1. The bulk of the letter printed by Motley: United Netherlands II, p. 378.
  • 2. Printed to this point by Motley: United Netherlands, Vol. II, p. 378n.
  • 3. Zabra: a small sailing vessel.