Elizabeth: February 1588, 16-20

Pages 93-117

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, 16–20

Feb. 16. Lord Willoughby to Burghley.
Stating that the treasurer's man has already paid out so much of the money he brought, that there is hardly enough for a week more; forsees “the extremity of a mischief.”
To prevent which (since, by the course that is held, neither merchant nor citizen, knowing his authority is not to answer them, will give him credit), he who has the disposing of the treasure or somebody for him must come in person; who may give his word for victuals, munitions etc., without which a soldier cannot serve or live, nor a captain get credit. For himself, he is “further in” than he ought to be, or is able to endure, and if some better means be not used, “all will be nought” in that country, and those who still hold to them will grow weary of them as others have done, and wish their overthrow.
“Young Sherley's company of horse hath of late been overthrown … through the negligence of the officers; there remains not of them scarce twenty horse (God knows how and when they will be re-inforced); the meanwhile, the company standing … a charge to her Majesty without service.” There is another company that has, long before his time, been at the same point and not yet re-inforced.
“It were better for her Majesty to turn bad captains of horse into good captains of foot. There be many worthy, experienced gentlemen—as the serjeant-major of the field—who could far better, with less charge, govern double bands of 200 and 300 than some of [the] later choice single bands; as the Muster-Master General can more at large inform his lordship.—Utrecht, 16 February, stilo veteri.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 157.]
Feb. 16. H. Killigrew to Walsingham.
“I am now in such a maze among these men as I neither know what to say or write…. The mutinies of their soldiers are dangerous in many places, yet as if the Queen of England were a greater enemy to them than the Duke of Parma, into whose hands the mutinied towns are likelier to fall, they bend their chiefest forces against Colonel Sonoie, having sent for horse and foot, and purpose to compass him in with men of war by sea and by land, [and] to block him with two forts upon the dyke that he gather no money from the boors to content his soldiers. A matter expressly repugnant to the treaty; that any forces should be levied without the privity and consent of the Council of State, whom the Count Maurice hath not made acquainted with any of these matters; and therefore they have thought good to address their letters unto him as by the copy thereof hereinclosed.
“But Sonoie remaineth steadfast at her Majesty's devotion, as I hear, and the Count Maurice (that he may not seem to return without some effect) hath cast a company of Sonoye's out of Horne, and hath an eye to Narden, another place which standeth for her Majesty …
“In the mean time, the mutinies at Huisden, upon whom the rest of Gertruidenbergh and Worcum do depend, are unappeased still, as we understand, although it was reported they had compounded for four months' pay, three in money and one in cloth, and received in hand already 120,000 guilders imprest. Now on the contrary it is said they are in uproar again, and demand eight months' pay. But we have no certainty, neither one way nor other, for so little regard is taken of the Council of State, as neither the Count Hohenlo hath advertised them anything of the mutinies, nor the Count Maurice of his proceedings in North Holland.” [Concerning the mission of himself (and Mr. Bardese) to the States General to solicit their resolution touching the government and their reply etc., the need to send a man of quality and to give encouragement to the loyal garrisons as in his letter to Burghley.]
The Council being now in a manner resolved, and myself so unpleasing to these men for my lord of Leicester's sake, I beseech your honour to solicit my revocation, “that I may be rid from hence, as they would be glad to be rid of me.
“For Mr. Jerome Horsie, of whom your honour together with some other of my lords wrote unto me, I took order accordingly in Middelbourg, Amsterdam, Enchuisen Emden and Stadt, but I hear not from any of these places since. There is a bruit … that Sir Francis Drake hath received a mighty overthrow upon the coast of Spain, which I hope is untrue, and imagine rather it is feigned by some fine heads here for no good purpose.
I send this “by the way of ‘Skevering,’ this being the last boat that passeth from hence into England … My letters must hereafter take a long course by the way of Vlishing,”—The Haghe, 16 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 159.]
“Copy of the Council's act to move the States for their resolution touching the government.”—22 February [n.s.] 1588. (fn. 1)
Endd. French.pp. [Ibid. f. 161.]
Feb. 16. Sir William Russell to H. Killigrew.
Concerning the resolve of those of Camphere to hold the town for her Majesty, and their fears of the “ill-meaning” of Counts Maurice and Hohenlo and the States.
Desired him “in the same letter” to acquaint the Lords therewith. Prays him to persuade my lord of Leicester to send someone to assure her Majesty of the place. Those of ‘Armu’ rest very well affected to her.
Is advertised by divers (as well as by Killigrew himself) “that they have some practice in hand against this plot.” Prays him, in his next packet for England to remind their lordships “how needful it is for her Majesty to assure herself of Camphere, which will be also the assurance of the whole island, or otherwise, one of these days” they will be put in hazard of their lives and of the loss of the town, which much more grieves him than the other, as the Lord knoweth.
Her Majesty may secure both this island and North Holland “with cashiering some of her foot companies and some of her horse; and she at no more charge than she is now at, being such captains as never come at their companies.”
Endd. “Notes drawn out of Sir William Russell's letter to Mr. Killigrew. 16 February, 1588.” 1 p. [Ibid. f. 163.] [In the handwriting of Killigrew's clerk.]
[Feb. 16.] Note from [Killigrew to Walsingham?]
Praying his honour to acquaint my lord of Leicester and the Lord Treasurer with the copies he has sent enclosed, as he has made some reference thereto in his letters to them. Also [to speak to them] for his servant, that he may have some consideration for his journey. Has not been very chargeable to her Majesty “that way” while in these countries.
No indorsement or address, but in the handwriting of Killigrew's clerk. 7 lines. [Ibid. f. 164.]
Feb. 16. H. Killigrew to Walsingham.
Since closing my packet, some few advertisements are come to my knowledge. I pray you impart them to my lord of Leicester.
“There came from the States to the Council certain intercepted letters to peruse, some of the Prince of ‘Cymays’ to the Duke of Parma, complaining of the want wherein his soldiers stand (for he was sent with forces towards Bonne to besiege it) and craving supply of money, for that his men are constrained for need to commit such spoils upon the countries they pass by as all the boors fly away before them.”
Other letters advertise that Maximilian is taken prisoner in Silesia, and carried away into Poland by the Chancellor. Colonel Sonoy and his soldiers “remain steadfast at her Majesty's devotion etc., as it is said have shot out of the town against those who came near to annoy them; so that M. Famas, who was in good hope to have succeeded Sonoy in the government of that place, and for the purpose accompanied the Count Maurice in this journey, hath written home to his wife they are as near now as the first day they set forth … The Count Maurice hath sent both for horse and foot to block him in, which, by reason of their slow march … are very grievous to the boors. As I hear, he hath sent for a company from Doticum, which I think he is not likely to have; and another from ‘Maslandsluce.’
[In the margin, in Killigrew's own hand.] “It may please your honour to put my lord of Leicester in remembrance of Maslandsluce, that it is now in case to receive a company; which being well guided by a discreet leader and well paid (that the boors feel no smart) may serve to very good purpose, as his honour knoweth.”
“Mustart, Sonoy's agent (of whom I wrote to his Excellency that he desired Mr. Bardeze to repair to Alcmaer, for the stay of some inconveniences that might arise) … is gone for England. By letters from the Count Maurice, the Council have been advertised that he is informed Captain ‘Sarisburie’ hath some intelligence with the enemy to deliver up the town of Bergues, whereof he desired them to give my Lord Willoughby and Sir William Reade to understand.“—The Haghe, 16 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 165.]
Feb. 16. Abstracts from Killigrew's letters of this date.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 167 and f. 168.]
Feb. 16. Sir James Croft to the Queen.
I have thought good to enlarge the contents of mine of the 15th, and principally as to the matter of Sir Fras Drake. The party who presents the matter will not be known to deal openly therein, but only to such as your Majesty shall depute; “being terrified by some, and (as it were) forbidden to deal in the matter; by whom, and for what end, resteth in himself to declare; but this I see; that the dispersing of jewels and precious things hath gotten him many friends, according to the wisdom of this world.“
Returning to the business in hand, I shall be more able to present it when I receive your warrant for the certainty of your message delivered to my son. If my Lord Buckhurst had been so in your princely favour as I might have had conference with him, I believe “that before this time, the peace had been concluded….”
I speak of your subjects “for that they bear the most heavy burdens and exactions that ever subjects bare in a monarchy under a Prince meaning so justly and uprightly as your Majesty doth. And all this is done under pretence of good service to your Majesty … but God send peace, and that speedily, lest the disease (likened in a commonwealth to a fever hectic) … premonish us to consider our estate….
“If your Majesty's subjects should be driven to mutiny; or to follow any papist or other capital enemy of your realm, what peril would ensue to the State, or fear to your Majesty's person, God knoweth.
“I mean therefore, so far as in me lieth, to have this colloquy hastened, and … if possible to be divided into two parties:—
“The first and principal, to enter into the treaty for renewing the ancient amity between your Majesty's crown of England and the King of Spain, with his Low Countries and other dominions wheresoever, and also between the King and his subjects, if they will thereunto assent.
“The other part, concerning merchants, reprisages and depredations on either side committed, [is] to be afterwards treated of in England, which I doubt not but by your Majesty's good favour and authority to bring to good pass.
“As for cessation of arms, I know not what it importeth in law, and therein I refer myself to the opinion of the civilians. But in experience I find that the peace which we now have, or heretofore have had, with Scotland, is none other than cessation of arms; not permitting any traffic to be had between the subjects on either side, but that all persons going from one realm to another, without special licence, may lawfully be made prisoners.
“Many things are doubted of, and much care is taken for the preservation of your Majesty's person and realm … but surely under pretence thereof, many unnecessary charges are taken in hand … and so for lack of experience and judgment … much treasure is needless bestowed, the want whereof will be found when time … shall require the same.”
“And many times, upon bruits uncertain, proceeding from mariners, merchants, written pamphlets and vain books … [there] suddenly breedeth a fear, and inforceth hasty preparations, to the great charge of your realm; without any cause…. But it being too late to speak of things past, I will set down infallible rules in martial causes; which are that there be times of the year to winter or lie in garrison; and times of the year for an army to repair to the field; which reasons being not deeply considered, shall waste people and treasure without cause.
“And to come to our time, considering that Scots and Spaniards are suspected to be our enemies, it is without all question that the Scots cannot take the field with an army before August, neither the Spaniards before July. I speak this to the intent your Majesty should not doubt the entry of an army before that time; which needless doubts have caused great charges very lately.
“All this I speak to the intent your Majesty may in the meantime throughly discover what is to be expected by this treaty, and how to proceed for your defence, if it be requisite.
“And seeing we have not yet heard from Andreas de Loo (towards whom the messenger was sent the 4th of this month) I doubt whether the Duke of Parma will yield, or dare consent, that the commissioners for that side shall come to Ostend without the privity of the King of Spain; for it seemeth it is a thing that the Duke looked not for, considering that when the meeting was appointed at Barges ap Zome, it should have been near the town, but not within the town; and yet I am throughly persuaded that he greatly desireth peace.
“Which appearing by the whole course of his actions, heretofore, I could wish that for so small a matter a work so charitable should not be omitted; and that it may please your Majesty to signify unto the Commissioners here what standeth with your princely pleasure in that behalf; to the end they may take resolution accordingly….—Dover, 16 February, 1587[–8].
Copy. Endd. by Burghley.closely written pp. [Flanders II. f. 84.]
Feb. 16. Dr. Valentine Dale to Burghley.
“We have examined and re-examined our instructions, and have made as much doubt upon them as we could devise; and yet can we not advise upon any one point material unsatisfied, as things do yet stand. And truly, my lord, I have not seen anything at any time in such a matter so amply and so plainly and circumspectly penned; considering the intricate circumstances of the cause, and the uncertain knowledge of the determination of these. They may remain a memory to posterity. There want but persons to express them and to maintain the points [to] them with good, sound and discreet arguments. Sed quod dee[st] intelligentiœ supplebitur, quoad fieri potest diligentia? And things meanly done, well taken, will be borne withal. If it may please her Majesty and other there to have now and then in remembrance Quam egre et difficulter ut levissime dicam bellum geritur, et quales sint, quas tuemur, it will be the easier for my lords to do good here—Non est autem medici, to hugiainein alla ta hugiena poiein. Et deus dabit incrementum.…—Dover, 16 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 86.]
Feb. 16. Dr. Dale to Burghley.
“We find one difficulty: how the King's Commissioners will be induced to come to Ostend; and how they can conveniently do that, Newport being ten miles from thence, and Bruges fifteen; except they may prepare themselves a lodging at Odenburg, which is almost all spoiled. And well can there not be a cessation of arms accorded without a meeting, all the circumstances of our Instructions for the cessation of arms considered; and we being charged to remain at Ostend until the cessation of arms be concluded. If they should refuse utterly to come to Ostend, and we persist not to depart from thence before the cessation, it may breed an offence. We look [for] some satisfaction upon this point by answer from Andreas de Loo unto our last letters, whereby we willed him to advertise the King's Commissioners of our coming to Ostend; which letters went hence the 4th of this present. Mr. Comptroller, who hath very great care of this case, is cumbered with this point, and I can neither resolve him nor myself well therein.—Dover, 16 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Flanders II. f. 87.]
Feb. 16. Sir James Croft to Burghley.
Having written by the bearer, his servant, two letters to her Majesty, to advertise her of some things more plainly than heretofore; although he doubts not of her gracious acceptance thereof, yet he beseeches his lordship “to understand in what sort the same is liked of her” and of their Lordships: that he may either “continue or leave of the same accordingly.” Touching the matter in which she has employed them, he cannot but let his lordship understand that he finds the Lords in consultation more full of needless doubts than he expected, and, in respect of their greatness, will hardly be able to bring them to understand him unless it will please his lordship to write a word to Dr. Dale to stand with him (as already he doth) for the furthering thereof; and if it so like his lordship to write to Lord Cobham to the same effect, it will not a little further the proceedings of the cause. Has besought her Majesty to acquaint his lordship with the contents of his letters; to the end that it will please his lordship to advise him therein.—Dover, 16 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 89.]
Feb. 17. The Deputies from the States General to Walsingham.
Praying for his aid in procuring their speedy dispatch, and assuring him that, having received the reply which it shall please her Majesty to give them, they will with all diligence report it to their principals, and do all good duty for her service and the common benefit of their afflicted country.—London, 17 February, 1588.
Signed by all three. Add. Endd. French, ¾ p. [Holland XXI. f. 169.]
Feb. 17. Ortell to Walsingham.
Praying his Honour to call to mind the memories and instructions with which he was especially charged by the States General, Council of State and Council of Zeeland, lately given into his honour's hands; that they may be carefully considered and such favourable answer sent as they expect and as her Majesty's service and the present necessity of the cause demands.
And as to the last memorial given to his honour, in the form of a discourse, if her Majesty should be anyway pleased therewith, he will employ himself personally so effectually, that he doubts not but that all may be arranged to her Majesty's satisfaction and far less charge, seeing that the United Provinces will be altogether and for ever indissolubly bound to her crown.—London, 17 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXI. f. 171.]
Feb. 17. P[hilip] d'Asseliers to Walsingham.
Hopes that he has learned from the deputies of the States the condition of the country since his Excellency's departure.
They promised her Majesty's ambassador and the governor of this town that no horsemen should come into this Isle until those of Sir William Russell had entered; yet these, being before Rammekins, were refused, although the magistrates and boors of the department of Flushing were quite willing, and had consented to assure the place against all practices; which they still carry on against the town, in order to frustrate her Majesty of the pledge given from the captains, burghers and inhabitants of the said town of Ter Vere, knowing the practices of the States, and that they thought to change the garrison; having to this end brought hither two captains of horse and a number of musketeers to be lodged in the said town of Veer, but which those of the town have absolutely refused, in the presence of the Count of Solms and M. [Justin] de Nassau, Admiral; shewing themselves entirely loyal and constant to her Majesty, his Excellency and the country; openly declaring that they had taken oath to these and to the country, and they understood that no garrisons were to enter save with patent from her Majesty and his Excellency.
This happened on the 15th and 16th of the present month. On the 17th, there came into this town some captains of the burghers of the said town; declaring that all the captains, soldiers and officers, nay even the magistrates, burghers and inhabitants had taken the same oath, and sworn together to be faithful to her Majesty, his Excellency and the country; and in union with those of Flushing.
Besides which, your lordship will remember the faithful services I have always rendered to her Majesty and the country, as Colonel Morgan, Williams and [blank] can sufficiently testify; considering that I have entirely spent the small means which I had; and further, that I was promised by his Excellency the first office vacant in this country.
Asks his aid for the place of master of the Artillery now vacant, which office he has occupied both in Holland and Zeeland; or a company in her Majesty's pay.—Flushing, 17 February, 1588.
Add. Endd. French. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 173.]
Feb. 17. The Commissioners to Burghley.
Enclose a letter just received from Andreas de Loo; desiring that after he has perused it, and imparted it to her Majesty, he will return it, together with her Highness' good pleasure touching the same.—Dover, 17 February, 1587.
Signed by all five Commissioners. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders II. f. 91.]
Feb. 17. Andrea de Loo to the Commissioners.
Sends to inform them of his arrival at this place. Prays God to give them a good passage. Is vexed to see what great discomfort they will find here.
Believes that the Duke of Parma is at Ghent, and his deputies at Bruges; and that his Highness desires them to have all honour, and good cheer; being very well inclined to make a good agreement with them.—Ostend, 17 February, 1587, stilo Anglico.
Add. Endd. Italian. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 95.]
Feb. 17. Andrea de Loo to Burghley.
The Duke of Parma is very eager to see the Commissioners but this place is wretched; so that they will be very uncomfortable. The Duke was much pleased to hear that they were coming, and would be glad if they were in some place where they might be well and honourably treated. These deputies should by this time be all at Bruges, and the Duke at Ghent; very well disposed to make a good agreement.—Ostend, February 17, 1587, stilo Anglico.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. ½ p. [Ibid. f. 93.]
Feb. 17. The Commissioners to the Privy Council.
Note that their commission is to treat at some place near Bergen op Zoom, or some other place in the Low Countries, to be agreed upon between themselves and the Commissioners of the King of Spain, and that they are not to go beyond Ostend until “the sufficiency of the King's commission be examined, and cessation of arms be granted; whereby it followeth that if the King of Spain's commissioners do not intend to enter into treaty at Ostend, and there to conclude a cessation of arms, there cannot be anything done”; although indeed there be no reason why they should refuse to treat there, since her Majesty's commissioners have come so far to them. They wrote to Andrea de Loo that they meant to embark on the 11th if the wind served, and that he should inform those commissioners thereof, so that upon answer from him this point may be resolved.—Dover, 17 February, 1587.
Signed by Lord Derby, Croft, Cobham and Dale. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 97.]
Feb. 17. Lord Cobham to Burghley.
Though for urgent causes of my estate I would have stayed longer at home, yet it being thought fit for us to be at Dover on a day prefixed, I took my journey accordingly; having embarked some of my servants and stuff at Gravesend; but cannot depart while this easterly wind is blowing. I hope her Majesty will not look for our departure before our said servants be arrived there with necessaries for the comfort of our sick bodies, for at Ostend there is no relief to be had, if that which is reported speaks truly, of treason within the town and attempt to assail or besiege it. We have sent you the letter brought by Pappot the post from André de Loo, “full of courtesy and show of good entertainment.” I assure you that I think all I can do for Mr. Robert Cecil is all too little. This easterly wind is very piercing but thank God he is well. Fears Ostend will be no place for his long abode, for he hears the air “is more subtle.”—Dover, 17 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders II. f. 99.]
Feb. 18. Thomas Wylsford to Burghley.
You will be advertised by my lord General of Count Morys' proceedings in North Holland “as well in taking upon him the absolute name of governor general, as also in receiving an oath unto himself, not only of the burgomasters and burghers, but also of the captains and soldiers in every town; cassing and banishing such as either do or have depended upon my lord of Leicester, pronouncing general pardon to all such as have so erred and shall reconcile themselves again in dutiful obedience to him; persuading them that it is better for them to have a governor of their own nation than to be governed by strangers …
“Colonel ‘Snewe’ still stands firm with his men. What Naerden and Utrecht may do is doubtful; they having had no comfort from his Excellency since his departure, and my Lord General here being forbidden to intermeddle in their government. It is easily to be judged that they intend either to shake off her Majesty or make their own peace. To meet with this fraud in time were good, so it may be done in honourable sort by making her Majesty's peace first …”
Her Majesty may I think both avoid this danger and ease her charges in this way:—
First by converting her horse companies into foot and giving them to such Walloon captains as have stood for her and been cassed by the States. To deliver Ostend and Bergues Sur le Zoom into the States' hands to place their garrisons in them, thus withdrawing all her forces into Walcheren, and put a garrison into Camfire. To build up the sconce at Middelborough Heed and garrison it, and so command Middelborough and defend the entrance. This done she may impose on every sail passing either by Flushing, Camphere or the Brill a sum according to the burden of the vessel, which may defray the charges of her garrisons, and bring forty or fifty thousand pounds into her coffers yearly, and so make an end of her charges, whether they have peace or wars. And without this course, no end of her Highness' charges or assurance by any peace can be looked for.—Utrecht, 18 February.
Holograph.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 175.]
Feb. 18. Notes by Burghley of “Points to be considered in conference with, the States' Commissioners.”
If the States will not assent to the treaty, with all conditions heretofore agreed.
“The Conditions:—Toleration for certain years. Free exercise, either for years or for ever. To ‘avoid’ the strangers. To deliver the two cautionary towns. To require payment of her money spent.”
In Burghley's handwriting. Endd. ¼ p. [Holland XXI. f. 177.]
Feb. 18. Thomas Lovell to Walsingham.
I last wrote last on the 8th of this present. “Grave Mauris is still in North Holland, and makes preparation to besiege Mr. Sonoy in Medenblique, or at the least makes three or four scances that he nor his soldiers may come out; and to that end hath sent for hither the company of Barson's horsemen, and four companies of Scots footmen and one company of Dutches that lay in Dordrecht and a company from Maesland Sluse and out of other towns here in Holland, to the number of twelve companies; so at this present the provinces [are] in great distress by means of the division here among them … I cannot understand how that Snoye should defend himself any time except he receive comfort from her Majesty, which I pray God that he may do….”
I think it might not be amiss to place a company of her troops at Maesland Sluse while the others are absent; for it is a place of great importance and would be a great safeguard to the Brill, and might keep Delft and all South Holland in obedience. There are too few soldiers in the Brill, and more should be sent thither. The enemy has gathered by the town of Lere in Brabant, in a village of Doffeld to the number of twenty-seven foot companies and it is supposed their enterprise is against Bergen up Zome.
There is news from Dantzig that Maximilian, the Emperor's brother, is overthrown in Poland by the great Chancellor of Cracow and taken prisoner, where he had ‘scansed’ himself in a village with six or seven thousand men. Hearing of the coming of the Chancellor he went out against him, but the chancellor being stronger, put him to retire, and following up the victory, has overthrown him and taken him prisoner.
If it please her Majesty and the Council to employ me in any service, I am ready.—From my house in Gravenhaghe, 18 February, 1588.
Add. Endd. 18 Feb., 1587 corrected to 88 stilo novo, probably referring to the year only. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 76.]
Feb. 18. Sir Jamys Croft to Burghley.
By de Loo's letter, I conceive he will himself be at Ostend, but he does not say whether the Duke will send his commissioners thither; wherefore we pray to know what we are to do. Methinks it would suffice if on either side two civilians were sent to collate the Commissions, and then, after cessation of arms agreed upon, “to retire ourselves to Bruges, where the Duke in person will see things orderly disposed; or to any other place convenient for that purpose.
And whereas the Duke takes it unkindly that her Majesty has written no answer to his letters; I refer it to you whether it might now be convenient for her Majesty to write to him, to thank him for his desire to have a peace with her, and to pray him “that the conditions on her part to be observed be such as with honour she may accept, and such security given her as that “there may arise no diffidence but that the peace to be agreed upon may have perfect continuance …”—Dover, 18 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Flanders II. f. 100.]
Feb. 18. “A Directory for the execution of her Majesty's Instructions.”
Giving details of the course to be pursued as to sending their commission and asking for the Duke's; suggesting that one of the Duke's Commissioners should bring His commission and make collation of theirs; etc., etc.
To prepare a place at Ostend convenient to meet in, “with a table fit for to avoid controversies of precedency”; to consider which party should be there first and who should first begin; and (if they are to do so) whether Lord Derby should not “make the entrance” by signifying how they had come at the motion of the Duke of Parma; and to make excuse of their long tarrying … upon the preparation of war made both by the King of Spain and the Duke.” Item, what language Lord Derby shall use? After compliments who shall either make or answer any exceptions to the commissions; or concerning the cessation of arms.—18 February, 1587.
Draft. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. f. 102.]
Feb. 18. The Lords of the Council to the Commissioners.
Perceiving by their letters of the 17th inst. that some doubt has arisen on the point, they are to understand that her Majesty continueth in the same resolution which is contained in their Instructions; that they do not stir from Ostend until the two points shall be accorded. And as she perceives by letters from Andreas de Loo that the Duke of Parma hath given order to his Commissioners to be ready to meet them, it is not doubted but that they will repair to Ostend.
Yet in case they shall refuse to do so, their lordships are to advertise her Majesty thereof, and expect her further orders.
And whereas they desire direction whether, in case by wind or tempest they are so compelled, they may take land at Dunkirk or Newport or wherever they be driven; forasmuch as their safe-conduct is large and general, the opinion is that they may without danger, land in any of the ports within the province of Flanders.—Court at Greenwich, 19 February, 1587.
Draft. Signed, Fra. W. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. f. 103.]
Feb. 18. Copy of the proceeding letter.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 104.]
Feb. 19. Lord Willoughby to Walsingham.
“I send you by this bearer the present estate of these parts of North Holland and Utrecht, where I now remain, by which you may conjecture what is likely to be the event …
“For the first evils, they are specially derived from the childish ambition of the young Count, from the covetous and furious counsel of the proud Hollanders, now the chief of the Estates General, and (with pardon if it may be said) from our slackness and coldness to entertain those friends that willingly would give their lives to preserve our safeties … The provident and wisest sort weighing what a slender ground the appetite of a young man is, unfurnished of sinews of war, to manage so great a cause—for a good space after my lord General's departure gave him afar off the looking on, to see him play his single part on the stage; but as the skittish horse is assured of that he feared by little and little, perceiving the harmlessness thereof, so they, finding no safety of neutrality (in so great practices), and no overturning nor barricade to stop his rash ‘wilded’ chariot, followed without fear; and when some of the first had passed the bog, the rest (as the fashion is) never started after.
“The variable democracy, embracing novelty, began to ‘applause’ their prosperity; the base and lewdest sorts of men took present hold thereof. Hereby, Paul ‘Buse,’ Barneveld and divers others, who were before mantled with a colourable affection, though seasoned with a poisoned intention, caught the occasion, and made themselves the Beelzebubs of all these mischiefs, and for want of better angels spared not to let fly our golden winged ones, in names of guilders, to prepare their hearts and hands that hold money more dearer than honesty. Of which sort these country troubles and the Spanish practices having sucked up many, they found enough to serve their purpose; and as the breach is safely saultable where no defence is made, so they finding no head, but those scattered arms that were disavowed, drew the sword with Peter, and gave pardon with the Pope, as you shall plainly perceive by his proceedings at Horne.
“Thus their force, fair words or corruption prevailing, every where it grew to this conclusion, that the worst were encouraged with their good success, and the best sort assured of no fortune or favour. For after my lord of Leicester's departure, who had left them assurances of their course, or at least, good hope thereof; when now some months had passed, and they all that while that they saw their contraries so increasing, and attending with great constancy and hazard of their lives some answer and resolution from his lordship; which seeing themselves frustrated of, either by the troubles or great affairs that occupied them otherwise in England, or else by the contrariety of the weather, or whether the thwart course run here by the States General made a longer resolution upon their ambassadors' answer … sure I am they suffered wonderfully, and our slackness wanted not to be blamed on all hands, as well parties as lookers on:—at the last they repaired unto me, desiring to know what direction I had, or else could give them in so declining and desperate a cause. Well nigh a month I nourished them with compliments and good words, assuring them I had none, but that there could not be better advice given them than that they had under the Earl's own hand, which I doubted not his diligence and care of them was such as would be confirmed with the first wind; colouring as well as I could and concealing the ‘courtold’ authority and credit, together with the manifold prohibitions I had, by my Instructions, not to intermeddle with their causes, nay rather the express command I had to be under the General of this country, their general enemy; what manifest diffidences this might have wrought in them, as also some conceit of dishonour to her Majesty, to have her Lieutenant ranged under theirs; or lastly how much the good cause hath been hindered or weakened thereby … I leave to your further consideration and judgment …
“But when they saw no help, they called me unto a Council, and there, after many expostulations … they concluded: They required a thorough and speedy resolution; for their own small means, their great enemies and their slow friends, drew them to that extremity that either they must join with them of Holland, and make their peace with those, or else compound with the enemy, which they instantly required me to impart unto you, to acquaint her Majesty, on whom they rely to relieve their miseries.
“I replied, her Majesty's affection and care had been throughly signified …, having sent more men and money this summer than was conditioned, and also the second time so special a man as my lord of Leicester; and if any slackness grew, there was occasion enough ministered from the States General, whose untoward proceedings and dilatory resolutions when her Majesty's ambassador was here, caused a great deal of opportunity to be lost, and that since, no weather had served; that my lord of Leicester (in my simple conceit) could not well resolve before their message was heard and debated on, and that since, the north-east winds and frosts had stopped all messengers. That they might be well assured that neither her Majesty nor my lord of Leicester would conclude so honourable an action, wherein so much had been hazarded and engaged, so rawly or tragically for their servants and followers; but that their constancies would be considered accordingly, and that their endurings hitherto, for want of a little patience in the end, might not make void to them so good a purpose of her Majesty for them. That if they did join with Holland, they might remember that it would neither ease nor help them but draw them into a more dishonourable loss of their liberties; for those that before Antwerp was lost were fain to seek so humbly held not sufficient with a ‘weening’ pride to defend themselves, being in worse estate many ways than at that time, especially by giving offence to a Queen of England, are now much less able to patronize others. And that it could grow to no other end but having wound them in, would make their own peace with the enemy better with their hard conditions.
“With this they seemed somewhat satisfied, but still they urged a resolution, which I commend unto you. And truly, Sir, herein you shall do a most godly and honourable service to her Majesty and your country, to recommend these faithful men's cause; whose loss will highly touch us.—Utrecht, 19 February.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. close writing. [Holland XXI. f. 179.]
Relation of the state of affairs in those parts.
“The 9th of February, about eleven of the clock, there was proclaimed out of the townhouse of Horne these three articles following: viz.: that Count Maurice, as Governor-General of Holland, Zeeland and West Frizeland, did release and discharge the town of Horne with all the magistrates, of their oath made unto my lord of Leicester. Secondly, they discharged Captain Droninge with his whole company. Thirdly, that they should swear and acknowledge Count Maurice to be their absolute governor; the which the town of Horne hath done, with the Captain, his lieutenant, two serjeants, the corporal, with eleven or twelve soldiers. The rest will not as yet.
“This Captain Droninge is nephew unto Colonel Snoey and hath his commission, granted from Count Maurice, to be of his regiment.
“Upon the 14th day there was proclaimed from the Townhouse, about eleven of the clock a general pardon and remission of all such offences as had been committed against Count Maurice and the States since Easter last anno 1587; and the magistrates with the rest, or most part, were sworn. Also upon the 15th day, the Scoutes of all the villages about Horne and Meydenblick were at Horne, where by report they were sworn. The Count granted authority under his hand and seal unto two or three of the chiefest boors to resist Snoey with his confederates, so as he is like to have no succour from the villages.
“There lieth at a village called Spanbroke, thirty seven horsemen. It is about an hour's going from Horne. Captain Roderbrok of Amsterdam lyeth at Oesterhoue with a hundred foot. Capt. Necke lieth upon another passage with 100 foot. It was reported that Count Maurice went to besiege Medenblick, but his intent was to lie at a dorp called Warmeose. There remained at Horne, Paul Buse, Barnefild, Doctor Frances, Doublett, which is treasurer unto the States, Moerkerk, borow-master of Delphe, two of ‘Mydleborow’ magistrates, the borow-master of Alkmaer, two borow-masters of Enchüsen and one borow-master of Amsterdam.
“Colonel Snoey went about the walls of Meydenblick upon the 13th of this month, with one Captain Krystall and divers others, to give order lest the burghers should mutiny. He hath in the town 600 soldiers, and for their relief, he hath appointed 1700 gilders every week, which is a great impoverishing to the commonalty. For his own person, he requireth nothing. It was given out he would sack the country villages to make payment unto his soldiers, which caused the Boors to fall from him to Count Maurice.
“The 14th of this month, travelling to Amsterdam upon some private occasion, I passed by Narden, where I found, discoursing at supper with the Burgomasters, that by the practices of Paul Buse, they were wonderfully alienated from us, conceiving very badly of her Majesty's most honourable proceedings and my lord of Leicester's.
“There have been very bad speeches given out by him … to make us odious to this country; Colonel Dorp speaking openly that it was a shame the country should refuse their own natural born Count for us strangers, swearing: I will sing his song whose bread I have eaten etc. Both he and Paul Buse hath given out that ere long the Count Maurice would publicly and openly protest war against us. It was likewise said openly to Maurice at his table: Sir, if the Prince your father had been ‘offrend’ the third part (by the enemy) which you have been, he would have accepted it; and is it not a good occasion that you may article what you will, and have whatsoever you demand?
“Soyssons, a fat captain of Narden, fed for their tooth, confessed to me they had practised with the enemy … Much ado I had to persuade the Borowmaster of the honourable course her Majesty had and would hold; and no less had I to assure the poor unfortunate captains, whose head I fear will pay for all. Further I intermeddled not being forbidden by my Instructions, only promising them to procure my Lord of Leicester his resolution, exhorting them to carry themselves to both parties as might best agree with their oath and faith. But, say they: How if they war upon us? I answered, if they do so, or use any violent course, it is very like you shall have her Majesty moved by such bad proceedings, and then you [who] with constancy continue to the end shall be rewarded accordingly.
Further, I said that it was sure that the States General who had sent their commissioners, the Council of Estate, into England, with whom I was somewhat acquainted, nor the two Counts, who had feasted us and drank to the health of my lord of Leicester, meant but all well to our nation. Well (said the old borowmaster), but that I hear you say so I would scarcely believe it, for my ears have often borne witness to the contrary.
“This night or tomorrow, Count Maurice is looked for there. They promise to behave themselves alike to both parties, and as they would not suffer any but my private followers to enter into the town, the same measure, they say, they will mete to the Count also.
“If her Majesty be not the better persuaded, it will be a great loss to lose so many affections in such sort; but a greater if they possess all the towns, and joining with the enemy, both war against her; which with a small charge and but a gracious countenancing their cause … she may avoid, and to the wonderful interessing of her honour be stronger both at home and abroad by such servants. For … the soldiers having once approved the honour of my lord of Leicester, do depend upon him, and rather wish to be a horsekeeper under the Earl than a captain under Paul Buse or Barnevelt; subvertors of their country and seducers of the two Counts.
“On the other side, the Count seeks nothing but either manifest usurpation or else a treacherous conclusion with the enemy.
“It were very necessary some good order were taken for Capt. Jaques Rauncey, for although the town like [him] well, they will give him no maintenance since [Buse] and Barnevelt have cashiered him. They of Utrecht dare not show themselves. I am by my Instructions forbidden, and unable if I were not. In like manner the Secretary of the town, depending only upon my Lord of Leicester his resolution, would not be forgotten; and if there be no means to help them, it were good some honourable reward were given and they called out.”
One that came from Tergow told me that all who favour her Majesty are forbidden the town, and he saw a gentleman of Antwerp, depending upon my lord of Leicester, turned out of it.
Upon the 18th of this month (being the Dutchmen's Bacchanalia), the corps de garde and sentinels being placed, Captain ‘Champerney's’ company being upon the Gatehouse, and the burghers holding the guard beneath, these, being well ‘wittled’ [victualled] with beer, began throwing stones at each other, and one threw a stone at the sentinel. He complained to the Corporal, who bid the burghers to be quiet, and when they gave him hard words, threatened to complain to the Borowmaster and Serjeant-major. [Defiance by the burghers and their attempted entrance into the corps de garde, the sequel being that two or three of them were imprisoned by “the captain” when he came his round, as mutineers].
I was urged to provide our men with powder and other necessaries for defence against the malcontented burghers, but having no authority over her Majesty's treasure, and the Treasurer having written to his man to make no payments, whoever ordered them, I am disabled from fulfilling their request or assuring ourselves. Therefore the Treasurer, or some other better trusted than myself should be sent over, to supply such wants and prevent danger.
I have letters this day “that fifty of Count Maurice's men were carried unto Horne, being hurt in the trenches before Meydenblick; M. Famas commanding on the one side and Marshal Vylliers on the other.”
Endd.pp. very close writing. [Holland XXI. f. 181.]
Feb. Copy of the Same.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. f. 183.]
Another copy, with the following addition:
On the 19th inst. I received letters from the Council of State, with a copy of Berdesen's letters to them, which I send to your lordship; “whereby you may be more plainly informed of their humours and proceedings.”
Endd. Martii, 1587. Advices out of the Low Countries,” by Burghley's clerk. 3½ pp. [Newsletters XLV. f. 16.]
Lord Willoughby to—.
“Your news was good and most welcome. For exchange, you shall understand I have been at Narden, purposing to have gone to Amsterdam, but upon your letters … with some other considerations, I returned.
[Concerning the practices and speeches of Paul Buys, Col. Dorp and Capt. Soissons; his assurances to the Captains and conversation with the Burgomaster; the course to be taken with Count Maurice's followers etc., as in the preceeding narrative, but Dorp's saying and the speech to Count Maurice given in French.]
“The Count has cashiered Sonoy's nephew because he would not swear to him but hold his first oath, and sent to fetch the colours away. But the soldiers met them in the street and took them again, so that there was much stir in the town of Horn, and as some say, they are still in arms, but the issue thereof is unknown. It is very certain that they have refused those companies [which] were brought from Amsterdam, and it was hoped by them would have been easily received.”
[The danger to her Majesty “if she be not better persuaded,” and the difficulties as to victualling the soldiers (of Col. Rauncey) as in preceeding narrative.]
Undated. Holograph. 2 pp. Covering sheet wanting. [Holland XXI. f. 185.]
Feb. 19/29. The Council of State to Lord Willoughby.
Have been grieved to hear by his lordship's letter, as also by those of the States of Utrecht and Count Neuenaar, of Count Hohenlo's attempt upon the house of Brakel, fearing that it will cause further troubles, of which there are already too many, they have written seriously to the said Count, who they hope does not desire to do anything prejudicial to the peace and welfare of the United Provinces, for the maintenance of which they will do all that their present authority permits them.
As to the mutiny at Medenblicq, they enclose the copy of a letter just received from Counsellor Bardesen, from which he will be able to judge of the true state of affairs.—The Hague, last of February, 1588. Signed by J. Valcke, president, and countersigned by Chr. Huygens.
Copy. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 186.]
Guillaume Bardesen to the Council of State.
On my arrival yesterday at Horne, I went at once to his Excellency of Nassau and the States of Holland; who were much pleased at my coming; and—having heard of the obstinacy of those of Medenblicq, to whom there has twice been given a month's pay and discounts; to those who wished still to serve another month, and to those who excepted against the service a month's pay, discounts and passport, with oblivion for the past, but without gaining anything—his Excellency and the said States desired me for the third time to repair thither, which I have this day done, but after ample remonstrance to the Circle, in presence of Governor Senoy and all the commanders and soldiers, I have been able to gain nothing, and have no hope, for the time being, of any remedy; as I will tomorrow write you more at large, in case I cannot obtain leave to return to you.
The town will this night be closed on all sides. Immediately after I left, the townspeople burnt a lynbaen [rope-yard] before the town, item the salthouses.—Verwaertshove, near Medenblicq, 27 February, 1588, stilo novo.
Postscript. His Excellency of Nassau has taken three soldiers coming from Harderwyck, with a letter from Capt. Jehan Anthoinssen of the 22nd stating that in accordance with Col. Senoy's request by his letter of the 16th, he and his soldiers will demand payment of all their arrears (as those of Medenblicq are doing) and are determined to hold out to the last man, provided it may be done without injury to the country.
Afterwards, three others were taken, coming from Campen without letters, but confessing that the captain there has received the like letters from Senoy, signed (as were the others) by himself, Cristal and Wolffwinckel, and that they expected this night to be in Medenblicq, and to declare to the mutineers that the garrison of Campen accords with their resolution and will persist to the end.
Behold this evil treason stirred up in all places where Senoy, has his garrisons!
This night we have made trenches on both sides of the town; those within have fired hotly, especially on the west side, where M. de Fama commands, but have only killed one pioneer, and so far have made no sally. I have visited the east trench with his Excellency and M. de Villiers, who commands there. There is no reason for dissembling further with these rebels but attempts should be made, by letters or agents to hold Campen and Harderwyck to their duty.—Fort before Medenblicq, 28 February.
Copy. French.pp. [Holland XXI. 187.]
Feb. 19/29. Another copy of the letter of the Council of State, and enclosed letter from Bardesen.
Endd. French.pp. [Ibid. ff. 190, 191.]
Feb. 19. [The Privy Council] to Sir William Russell.
Directing him how the 600l. appointed for the captains Camphere and Armuyden is to be employed.
Draft, corrected by Burghley. Endd. with above date. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 194.]
Feb. 19. H. Killigrew to Burghley.
… “From Bergen up Zone, Sir William Reade writeth that those of his garrison going abroad to distress a convoy going towards Breda met with the company of horse of that town, whereof twelve were by ours taken prisoners and forty slain. Among the prisoners the Governor's son was one.
“For the mutinies, for anything I can learn, those of Husden do persist in their demand of eight months' pay, and yet it is said that Iselsteyn's wife, governor of Husden is come to the Count Hohenlo to Gorcum; which maketh me the more suspicious of the meanings of those mutinies …
“The Count Maurice persisteth against Sonoy at Medenblick, not by the allowance of the Council of State, as your honour [sic] may perceive by the copy of their letter; but by the advice of them of Holland and others, which is contrary to the contract that any forces should be levied other than by the direction of the Council of Estate and her Majesty's Lieutenant-General. Wise men marvel greatly at his doings, and surely the best sort do fear the sequel, … seeing the enemy hath of late mustered 36,000 men as we hear, and yet we war here one against another. And sure the divisions be great, yet if her Majesty be of meaning to continue her aid, then by sending over some man of credit it is thought it would be a means to reconcile these dissensions into unity. But they have wronged my Lord of Leicester so much as they will not hear of him. I mean those that be authors of these troubles. Chi offende, mai perdona.
“The Council have resolved them within these six days to withdraw but before they depart, they mean to admonish the provinces in particular of the dangers imminent by these manner of dealings, and also to put before them the particular causes why they refuse to continue. This was concluded yesterday. The great expectation men had of this year falleth out untowardly, for surely, my lord, the best experimented in this state do fear a sudden ruin without a speedy help, which God send them of his mercy. For mine own part, if my service be not as I wish, the fault must be upon my unability to deal in so weighty affairs … —The Haghe, 19 February.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 196.]
Feb. 19/29. Confession of Servaes Van Lint, written and taken by Mr. Willem Bardesen, Councillor of State with his Excellency, and Nicolas Bruyninck, Counsellor of his Excellency of Nassau, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and West Friesland, specially thereto commissioned by his said Excellency of Nassau, in the presence of the Bailiff [Schout] and échevins of Enchuysen, concerning the mutiny at Medemblick. (fn. 2)
Copy. Dutch. 2 pages. [Ibid. f. 198.]
Feb. 20. News from Brussels.
Abstract of news written to the magistrates of Yperen from Brussels, 20 February, 1587, stilo Anglie.
The Commissioners from England looked for very earnestly.
The Duke of Parma shortly going from Brussels to ‘Briges.’
Great levy of horses in Germany for the protestants.
The Archbishop of Triers also levying men.
It seems that the Duke of Brunswick will make war in Bremen, and in the sticht of Munster.
In Poland, matters not passed in favour of Archduke Maximilian as was hoped.
Some think “that the princess of Spain is looked for at Dunkirk to pass from Brussels to the Emperor.”
Report that the Scots have taken Berwick.
The differences between the English and the Hollanders daily increase.
Endd. ½ p. [Newsletters I. f. 149.]
Another copy of the same.
Endd. 1 p. [Flanders II. f. 106.]
Feb. 20. G. de Prounincq to Walsingham.
[Great need of his Excellency's return.]
We must know at once what aid we may expect from her Majesty, for they are openly attacking her most loyal servants.
Those of Hornes, Alcmar, Enckhuisen and other strong places join their companies, with the forces of Count Maurice, to block up Colonel Sinoy, whom, they will reward for his incomparable benefits in their greatest need by the punishment appointed for the most miserable traitors.
The same thing will happen to the Captains of Naerden, after which they will disgorge upon us the whole stock of their accumulated anger.
To prevent this, her Majesty ought to make up her mind, and declare herself openly and without delay, for even the most constant are shaken, not even knowing whether their fidelity is pleasing to her or not, seeing that for so long a time they have heard nothing. And this resolution should be accompanied by the return of his Excellency, for whatever there remains to be done depends upon an authority which none save himself will have in these provinces. They dismiss or gather together men at their pleasure, but let him return and provide against these things by placcard, according to the English treaty and his own commission. Do you know of a single honest man still among them who can vouch for their behaviour as he can, to whom alone they are bound by oath?
If her Majesty should resolve to raise here, in her pay, a regiment of three thousand footmen of the country (the one thing in all the world to confirm the devotion of its inhabitants and draw to her the affection of the soldiers) who could do it except the man who has alsolute power in military matters. And if she should think good to have Bergen guarded by fifteen or sixteen hundred men, drawn from the forces of the country under some experienced colonel; raising their pay from the land of Brabant, in order not to consume her Majesty's succour, who could put it into effect save his Excellency?
These are the principal points to be considered, in order to secure us, and that we do not lose our pains; otherwise it looks as if our affairs will never prosper, humanly speaking.
If I see any other issue, with less disturbance, may God confound me. And further, I am convinced that the greatest clamourers, seeing this good order, will be driven as much to speak well of her Majesty and his Excellency as now they abuse them.
In this way her Majesty's succours would be 7500 foot and 500 horse, all picked men, bravely armed and fit to perform incredible exploits.
Thus a good part of the English garrisons would not be wasted upon the frontier of Brabant as the States complain, and 8000 of such men so disposed would have more effect than half as many again, raised and disposed with less judgment.
Nor would it be needful to raise the prests, for you cannot give a soldier less than a dalre a week, nor a horseman less than three, including forage, repairs etc. Above, all if his Excellency returns (which he must do, if only for a few months) there must be, according to the treaty, a Council of War, composed of the chief commanders, both English and of the country, who shall have charge of the assembling thereof, and of their Registers.
This Council should meet every morning, not only for military affairs but to draw up matters for the Council of State, so that his Excellency may go thither well-informed. Only in this way did the Prince of Orange gain his great reputation for wisdom and foresight.
Of the fifteen English companies, Lord Willoughby might be made commander; of the ten companies of the country, M. de Sidney, and of the horsemen M. de Russell, and it would not be unfitting to leave the money for the prests, for three months at a time, with the chief magistrates of the provinces where her Majesty's men are in garrison, but secretly, to be distributed by them as if they were lending it, which would obviate many past abuses; yet the best remedy would be to give these companies to gentlemen of valour and authority.
Finally, I pray you to consider these points carefully, and to assist the bearer of this [Margin “comme dessus” in Prounincq's hand] to obtain a favourable reply to the same and all other matters wherewith he is charged, for we have already lost more than time enough for our own interests or the comfort of the people, seeing that his Excellency wrote that upon his first interview with the Queen he would let them know what they know not even yet, although he has been three months in England.—Utrecht, 20 February, 1588, stilo antiquo.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 4 closely written pp. [Holland XXI. f. 87.]
A “State” for the succours which her Majesty might entertain in the Low Countries during the war, giving numbers, disposition pay etc.
In Prounincq's own hand. French. 1 p. [Ibid. f. 89.]
Feb. 20./Mar. 1. The Council of State to the Earl of Leicester.
Extreme dangers constrain them to inform her Majesty of what passes in regard of Medenblicq. They humbly pray him to help them with her Majesty that some fitting remedy may be found for extinquishing the fire now kindled.
They hope he has received their last letters, his answer to which they are anxiously waiting.
Those of Heusden demand six months' wage, and assurance of payment; oblivion [of the past] and passport. Those of Worcum and Lovesteyn are already satisfied.
But they now hear that Count Hohenlo is making an attempt upon the house of the Sieur de Brakel, in Bommelweert, having received complaint thereof from her Majesty's Lieutenant-General, the States of Utrecht and the Comte de Meurs. They have written very seriously to Count Hohenlo urging him to withdraw and to leave the house as it has ever been until now, but do not know what he will do.
They had hopes of restoring amity between those of Utrecht, of Holland, and others, as they previously wrote; but now fear that these new accidents may delay it. His Excellency may do much herein, and they pray him to remedy the evil.—The Hague, 1 March, 1588. Signed, Teellinck, president; J. van Langen, greffier.
Add. Endd. French.pp. [Holland XXI. f. 199.]
Feb. 20./Mar. 1. The Council of State to the Queen.
[A long account of Sonoy's proceedings etc., of which the main points are noted in the margin by Laurence Tomson, as follows]:—
“Sonoy by indirect practice came to the government of North Holland at the Earl of Leicester's hands.
“His colour was a former patent thereof from the Prince of Orange. (fn. 3)
“The Earl promised redress, according to the States' request [by apostille signed with his hand, a copy of which is annexed].
“Sonoy refuseth conformity, upon pretence of his oath taken to her Majesty and the Earl.
“Assureth himself of the town of Medenblick.
“Exacteth upon the country to maintain his soldiers.
“Moveth the soldiers to mutiny.
“Count Maurice with certain deputies of the States go to appease those discontentments.
“He moveth the garrisons of other places to like mutinies. They humbly pray her Majesty not to allow him to go on to the ruin of the whole State, but to order him to desist from these factions and to let him know that she is a just and virtuous princess, and does not support such inquities.
There are other dissensions and dangerous divisions which they see little hope of being remedied unless she will interpose her authority, either by despatching some person of quality, or sending her letters exhorting them to union, especially needful at this time, when the common enemy is about to go into the field with more strength than ever before.—The Hague, March 1, 1588. Signed, Teelinck, president, J. van Langen, greffier.
4 pp. French. [Holland XXI. f. 202.]
Extracts, with Leicester's apostilles, mentioned above.
iv. Item. Seeing that by the 24th article of the treaty it is conditioned that upon the death of any governors of the provinces or frontier towns, there shall be nominated by the Estates there two or three persons for the vacant places, from whom one shall be deputed by the Governor General:—
If any governors be found to be appointed without previous nomination by the Estates, the remonstrants demand that such commissions may be revoked, and that henceforward no person may be deputed save in accordance with the contract made with her Majesty.
Apostile. His Excellency will give satisfaction and is willing to recall the commissions already given in error, and to confine them to the case of men of war and the assurance of places against the enemy. And in regard to Messrs. Senoy and Clerhagen, he has simply renewed the commission they held from the late Prince of Orange of happy memory and the States of Holland.
½ p. [Ibid. f. 204.]
As to iv., the States require clearer declaration that the Commissions of Colonel Senoy and Clerhagen will be also restricted only to be over the men of war.
Apostile. If the Estates shall find that the commission of Col. Sonoy is in any way prejudicial either to Count Maurice or to the privileges of the country his Excellency will agree to what the said Estates shall order therein.
¼ p. [Ibid. f. 205.]
Feb. 20./Mar. 1. Duplicate of the letter to the Queen.
Copy. Endd. French. 4 pp. [Holland XXI. f. 207.]
Feb. 20./Mar. 1. Count Hohenlo to Lord Willoughby.
In reply to his Lordship's letter, received yesterday he sends these few words to say that as regards the house of Brakel, he has done nothing that he cannot answer for to his masters and superiors; and should have hoped that his lordship would have had regard to the fact that the said house has always been and still is under his command. As to her Majesty, he holds himself to be as faithful a servant to her as any man in the world.— Gorchum, 1 March, 1588.
Copy. French. ¾ p. [Ibid. XXI. f. 209.]
Feb. 20. Sir James Croft to the Queen.
After the letters delivered to my Lord Treasurer by my servant on Saturday (the 17th) another post was dispatched to your Majesty with other letters; wherein “is a fuller explanation by what means Sir Francis Drake may be more deeply charged; whose pains I do presume to be so great, with others of his complices, as if the King of Spain's commissioners should require and your Majesty were willing to make restitution of that which he and other his complices have taken, there will remain a good portion over and above that which the discoverers look for in reward.
“I did also forbear to set down my opinion for Scotland, because the same requireth to be written at large … as also there will be leisure enough to do it, if your Majesty will consider the cause duly; as may be gathered where I say that Scotland will not be ready to bring an army to the field before August; neither the King of Spain's forces before July; whereby I did presume that our return should be very shortly, for the causes ensueing. For in one of my letters, I have made mention that it should do well … that the colloquy were divided into two parts; that is to say, the treaty betwixt your Majesty and the King of Spain, and between the said King and those of Holland and Zeeland; if they will thereto agree that part to be handled in Flanders.
“The other part, consisting of merchants' reprisals to be dealt withal in England.
“The first and chiefest in respect of a speech figuratively spoken by resemblance of a fever hectic.
“The next of some importance in respect your Majesty is at great charge with the Commissioners' diet and their extra-ordinaries, besides the monstrous charge of your navy … sufficiently known to my Lord Treasurer; but I do presume that it is more than the charge of ten thousand men by land, by a very great deal.
“Now on the other side, the Duke of Parma lieth at no charge, … but that which the season of the year compelleth … for wintering the men of war and keeping them in a readiness to take the field …
“If the Commissioners will agree that the second part of the colloquy shall be in England, then their presence, … shall bring security from the King of Spain's side; out of which must spring induciœ whereby any good subject may seek for that he wanteth, and unburden himself of that wherewith he is overcharged…. These induciœ would be for so long a time as were likely to put off the doubt of the Spanish forces for this year.
“If it should please your Majesty to like of my simple advice … it shall be fit that more merchants were hastened over, as well to demand as to answer objections; whereby matters may be so handled that the colloquy in England may seem rather to be desired by them than by us….—Dover, 21 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp closely written. [Flanders II. f. 107.]


  • 1. See Japikse: Resolutien der Staten Generaal, Vol. vi., p. 217.
  • 2. See Bor: Nedl. Oorlogen, Bk. xxiv., f. 37d.
  • 3. Note (also by Tomson) in the other copy of this document:—“The Prince of Orange's commission given to Sonoy did not give him authority in Civil causes.”