Elizabeth: January 1589, 1-5

Pages 1-18

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 23, January-July 1589. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1950.

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January 1589, 1–5

Jan. 1/11. The Princess of Orange to Walsingham.
Thanks him for his letter. Had already heard rumours of God's vengeance upon those who had massacred His people.— Middelburg, 11 January.
Postscript. Commends the bearer, whose services have received little recognition here since the death of the Prince, her husband.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXX. f. 1]
Jan. 1. G. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Has received his honour's of Nov. 25 and Dec. 21. Will do all he can to assist Mr. Bodly.
The news from France is most welcome. Some think the States may send or write to congratulate the King.
The commissioners returned from Denmark and Germany have made their report. (fn. 1) They had “no answer than compliments and German entertainment” from Duke Casimir, the Duke of Deux-Ponts, the Landgrave, the administrator of Maghden-borgh, the Duke of Saxony, and others. In Denmark they obtained the repeal of the extra Sound duty, of 3 thallers upon every last of grain, which the late King imposed.
Schenck is still at Schgravenweert, discontented. Count Moeurs and Marshal Villiers, with 15 or 1600 horse and foot, have gone to victual Berck and the frontiers of Gelderland; there is already a sufficient garrison. The Count is to seek an agreement with Schenck. An agreement has been made with the Amptman of Thiel. He is to receive a new commission from the States; to take the oath as others do; to receive a month's pay from the receiver of Dordrecht; and to have his arrearages settled in the usual manner. He is not to interfere with convoys or contributions; and, finally, he is to acknowledge such government as the States shall set up. The fort on the river near Ameronghen is to be rased.
Two companies have been put into Berck, but without any supplies. The enemy has done nothing since he took Wachten-doncq. His men have been placed in the villages “without respect whose subjects they live on.” Cleves pays for them. Some of them are near Beke fort (on the Rhine towards Berck), which Schenck took last summer. News from Berghes that the enemy withdraws from those parts towards Bruxells.
Leaves Mr. Bodly's proceedings to his own letters.—The Haghe, 1th [sic] January, 1589, o.s.
Signed. Add. Endd. “10 Jan., 1588.” Seal of arms. 1 ½ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 2.]
[? Jan. 1.] “A Brief Note of The Ruling and Government of Friesland After The Old Manner and Custom.”
About 80 years ago it was “a free land and a free folk,” acknowledging obedience only to the Romish Empire. Successful wars with Holland, etc. In times of peace they quarrelled among themselves, e.g. the great dissension between ‘Skeeringer’ and ‘Fetkoepers,’ at the same time that the ‘Hukes’ and ‘Kabelewes’ were in Holland. The weaker faction called in the Duke of Saxony, whereupon the others called in Duke Charles of Gelders. The Duke of Saxony was successful, but abused his victory, so that the Frisians went over to Duke Charles and expelled the Saxons. The Duke of Saxony sold his claim to the Emperor Charles V for 100,000 guldens (10,000l. sterling). The Emperor sent an army under George Skenke, Baron of Touting-borche, which expelled Duke Charles. (fn. 2) The Emperor was then accepted as sovereign by the Frisians: he made laws, and established a President and Provincial Council to assist Skenke, his Governor. The next Governor, the Earl of Bueren (father of the Prince of Orange's first wife) secured the acknowledgment of Philip II in those lands. Under Buren's successor, the Earl of Arenburgh, the present dissension began, and it continued during the governorships of Gaspar de Robles and George, lord of Lalayne. The latter betrayed Groninghen to the enemy, and was expelled by the Frisians. The Prince of Orange was then chosen in his stead, with the lord of Meroda as his deputy. The present Governor is Earl William of Nassau. On Lalayne's expulsion, the provincial States began to assume the sovereignty.
The present government of Friesland. In the time of the Emperor and of Philip II the Governor and Provincial Council had all authority, but were watched by five or six deputies appointed by the States. At the Pacification of Gaunt, the States of Friesland, as of other provinces, made new orders for the government.
Friesland is divided into three parts, Ostergo, Westergo, and the Seven Woelden. It contains 11 towns, 29 ‘greeteneyes’ or bailiwicks, and the ‘bylde’ or lord's demesnes. The States meet yearly, in April. Each town sends two burgomasters and each ‘greeteney’ one gentleman and one freeholder, fully empowered. The States,—72 [sic] deputies in all,—make laws, hear and determine complaints, and appoint officers. The deputies of the quarters meet separately for the causes of their quarter, but all meet together for general causes. “In the time of the papistry” the towns assembled under the quarters they were in, and the clergy met where the towns now meet; “and forasmuch as those persons be gone, so is it now agreed upon that the towns shall have the place and voice of the spirituality.”
“They have also four voices, as, Ostergoe the first and principal voice, Westergo the second, the Seven Woelden the third, and the towns have the fourth voice, and nothing can be concluded without all four voices.”
Upon breaking up, the States appoint nine persons as their deputies, to govern during the next year, giving them a limited commission. If any great cause arises, the nine must call a special meeting of the States. Of the nine, two are chosen from Ostergo, two from Westergo, two from the Seven Woelden, and three from the towns. Each has 60l. sterling yearly, with 6l. for his house. There is also a secretary. These deputies by force and friendship keep themselves in power year after year, and, with the Governor, greatly oppress all her Majesty's friends, fearing lest they should restore the old order of government by her aid.
The President and Provincial Council are also given their commission by the States, but theirs is for life.
The Governor has weakened his authority by leaning upon these nine deputies rather than upon the Provincial Council.
The order for choosing a Governor is that the States assemble and nominate three persons, of other provinces, from whom their lord and sovereign selects one as Governor.
In the same hand as the next two papers. Undated. Endd. 3 ¼ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 5.]
[Jan. 1.] Christopher Perseval's Discourse of the Dissensions in Friesland from 1585 Onwards.
Friesland was greatly alarmed by Parma's successes in Brabant and Flanders after the Prince of Orange's death. Their president, Dr. Hessel Aysma, and Jelger Feytsma sent to France, but could obtain no aid of Henry III. Siege of Antwerpe by Parma. In April, 1585, the States met at Franyker and commissioned Dr. Hessel Aysma, Feytsma, and Loys Yongama, to offer the sovereignty (as Charles V held it) to the Queen of England: if she refused, they were to ask that she would at least send assistance under some man of quality, as governor-general of the Provinces. The Earl of Leicester and his forces arrived. Count William of Nassau was very glad thereof, and went to Zeeland to meet the Earl. Big raid by the enemy into Friesland during the Count's absence. New contract between the States and Leicester.
The Count on his return blamed the States for allowing the enemy to invade the country. Karel Roerda, Witch Camynga, Abelis Frankana, Ekoe Isbrandia, and others, intrigued against the Treaties and the Count, and stirred up quarrels with Holland. The Count reported this to the Earl and the Council of State, who sent Noel de Caron and William Bordewes to pacify all things. Owing to the intrigues of Roerda, etc., the States of Friesland were unable to agree upon any settlement, but the intriguers were discovered and arrested. The Count, assisted by Lucas Englestede and others, then persuaded the States to confirm the Treaties with England. Caron, who is now in London, can witness at large to all this. The general contribution was thereupon voted for the first time. Englestede became very unpopular with the anti-English faction, but, by the goodwill of Count William and the Provincial Council, the Council of State was led to appoint him Receiver-General for all Friesland. Great opposition to this, at length overcome. A special assembly of the States resolved to confirm the former resolutions. Wilbrand Aylva sent to inform Leicester, who replied through Secretary Gilpin. His answer reported to the States, who resolved, as the Earl had gone to England, to send Wilbrand Aylva and Dr. Richeues Appostell thither, though some of the States approved but coldly of their decision. The envoys had audience with her Majesty, who wrote into Friesland.
Buckhurst's mission to Low Countries. Count William had now become anti-English, and he and the others forbad the envoys to make any report to the States, and he even put them in prison, together with all those who favoured her Majesty. Also arrested the President, a thing which even the Emperor and Philip II never attempted. Buckhurst was informed, but he was preoccupied by troubles in Holland. On Leicester's return to Holland, the English party invited him to come to Friesland to receive all those powers to which the Contract, etc., entitled him. This the Earl promised to do, but Count William and the others wrote to him threatening a fierce resistance, and so the Earl came no farther than Horne and Medenblick in North Holland. The commons would have protected him from all danger had he come on into Friesland. His return encouraged Count William. The President and Englested more straitly imprisoned, but not brought to any trial.
Then Daniel Rogers came from her Majesty on his way to Denmark. The Count and States were afraid he came to deal in these causes, and therefore released Englested, though the President remained a prisoner in his house. Englested informed Rogers of all matters. The States, seeing Rogers had no commission to interfere with them, again arrested Englested, but still refused to bring him to trial. Finally, they released him, charging him only with too great an inclination to her Majesty, Leicester, and the English. He went into England, 22 March, 1588. The English party thereupon sent Duke Aysma to her Majesty, who wrote urging the States to better unity and commanding Lord Willobe and Kellegree to endeavour to accomplish it. Willobe and Kellegree sent letters into Friesland by Christopher Peersevall, sergeant-major of Harlingen, but to no effect, some even saying that “letters were well to get in England for money and also that paper made no bloody wounds.”
Those well affectioned to her Majesty have now sent the said Peersevall, an Englishman born, to beg her to send commissioners to examine and settle all things.
Endd. “18 March, 1588, received by me. The report of the state of West Friesland … set down by Christopher Perseval, 1 Jan., '88, and delivered to my master.” 5 pp. and 2 U. [Holland XXX. f. 8.]
Full abstract of the above. Against the final paragraph is the date 28 February, 1588. A note added that Bodleigh's instructions did not touch this matter, although D. Aysma's request to her Majesty was given him, whereof no copies can be found here. “I find nothing done, by his report, touching Aysma, but only this, that he ‘wrate’ unto him to know what he would direct him to do for him.—In his letter to yourself, 31 December, 1588.”
Endd. 2 ¼ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 12.]
[? Jan. 1.] Request of the Well Affected of Ostergo to the Queen. (fn. 3)
Their persecution by the States of Friesland. Encouragement given to slanderers of the English and to friends of the King of Spain. These people scornher Majesty's andher Secretary's letters, “saying that it is but a matter of course to get her Majesty's letters, and who that is acquainted with her Majesty's secretaries may have as many letters for a crown apiece as he will desire.”
The gentlemen and freeholders of Ostergo appeal to her Majesty to defend them and God's word and the privileges of the country. Gentle and friendly measures useless. Refer to their remonstrance of last May, and desire to know if her Majesty means to act upon it or not.
Friesland, like its neighbour Groningen, is a sovereign land, not owing obedience to any of the other provinces. Demesnes greater than those of any other province; the excise and the mint attached to them bring in large revenues, which in peace time belong to the lord. The cloisters and abbey lands have not yet been sold, as they have been elsewhere; they bring in yearly 8,500l. sterling. Ordinary monthly contribution 2,700l.; extraordinary contributions sometimes four times as much. The licences and the customs bring in large sums. The enemy takes a monthly contribution of 2,200l. The land is about 21 English miles in length and breadth, “the most fruitful and pleasantest piece of ground in Europia for corn, butter, cheese, and flesh.” Has many ships. Able to victual itself. Eleven fair towns, three of them open. [Margin: Harlingen, Franiger, Lewerden, Doccum, Sneake, Bolseworth, Sloten, Stavern; and Worcum, Henlopen, and Drylst.]
They desire her Majesty to accept the sovereignty from the commons of the land, “which are the true and right States.” Would hand over Harlingen to her Majesty: it commands Friesland and Holland. Would cost her nothing. Groningen, town and province, would soon submit to her, though they will never yield to the States. Direct sea communication of Friesland with England. If Groningen resisted, her Majesty could easily compel its submission: her charges would soon be reimbursed and she would gain an additional revenue. The enemy would then be unable to keep any garrison east of the Mase, or to hold Deventer, Sutphen, etc. In this way her Majesty might save the Provinces from falling back into the hands of her Spanish enemy, or into the power of France, “the which the house of Nassau doth only labour for, rather than to come under England.”
If her Majesty will intervene no further than she has done hitherto, she should at least aid her well-wishers and “make friendship and unity amongst them,” in the following manner. Two commissioners, acquainted with the province, one an Englishman, one a Netherlander, should be sent to examine the causes and to determine them either by friendship or by justice, and to restore deposed officers. Any who resist such an agreement should be punished. M. Noel de Caron can inform her Majesty fully of the situation; he would be a suitable commissioner. Her Majesty should keep a permanent representative in Friesland, so as to give her friends there “a back to lean unto.” The capture of Groningen would force the enemy to evacuate all his possessions east of the Mase.
Endd. as above. Undated. 3 ½ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 15.]
Jan. 2. Buzanval to Burghley.
Encloses the instruction which the Governor of Dieppe brought from the Court on the morrow of the Duke of Guise's execution. It amply declares the King's intention. Yesterday's news from Dieppe was that Orleans had thought better of its mutiny and had sent the keys of the town to the King: that the King goes to Chartres to settle the affairs of Paris, which go from bad to worse thanks to the trouble stirred up by the Duke d'Aumâle. They also speak of the death of the Queen Mother.
Had yesterday news from the King of Navarre of December 23, French style. He was leaving on the next day to meet M. d'Epernon, who was between Angoulesme and Pons. Then he will take some of the said Duke's cavalry and attack M. de Nevers, who has blockaded Beauvais-sur-mer and la Guernache. The affair of Blois will settle this conflict.
A great assembly of all the Churches held at la Rochelle throughout December. Turenne and Chatillon and deputies of Montmorenci were present. The Churches showed their readiness to aid the King of Navarre. Expects fuller details by the express whom the King of Navarre is sending to him. Will advertise his lordship thereof.—London, 2 January, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 1.]
Instruction from Henry III to the Sieur De Chaste, governor of Dieppe, upon the death of the Duke of Guise. Troubles stirred up by Guise since 1585 under pretext of religion. Real aim the usurpation of the crown. Heresy has waxed stronger and the King has been weakened, so that he has been unable to check its progress. Yet the King bore all patiently and did send armies against the heretics, despite practices to take from him all his strong places.
Seizure of Paris the final blow. Yet the King sought by great concessions to avoid Catholic disunion. Guise's ambition was insatiable: he still practised to win over the remaining loyal towns, and brought the Catholics to the verge of civil war. He encouraged and protected the licence of his followers, many of them guilty of capital offences. They menaced the King's faithful servants.
In the States they practised to deprive the King of all authority and to make him hated by his subjects. They presented extravagant demands in the hope that, if they were accepted, the royal power would be abased, or that, if they were refused, they would be able to break up the States and throw the blame on the King.
His Majesty's great patience. He was in danger of losing his crown and his life. His realm was equally in danger. The only remedy was the death of the author of all these ills. So the Duke of Guise was deprived of his life on 23 December, 1588.
Has made this brief discourse so that all may know the truth, and to prevent lying reports.
Assures his subjects of his continued resolution to extirpate heresy, a desire innate in him and not inspired only by Guise.
Desires also to solace his subjects in every way possible, as the States General have been informed.
Desires, however, that all factions, leagues, practices, etc., should cease, and that all should own allegiance, under God, only to the King, who has been given to them by the divine grace. Intends to make his authority respected and to punish severely any who forget their duty.
Copy, Endd. French. 4 ⅓ pp. [France XVIII. f. 366.]
8 Jan. 2/12. The States General to the Queen.
Rejoice to hear by Sir John Norreis of her Majesty's intention to attack the King of Spain in his own dominions. Pray for her success. Desire further information about her meaning to stay all traffic with the Spanish dominions. They should be advertised in good time, so that they may retain the goodwill of neighbouring kingdoms, countries, and towns, by giving a general warning of the prohibition. They also desire that their ships which, having due licence, were in Spain, etc., or were on the way thither, before the prohibition, may be permitted to return. The embargo will be of very little value if it is restricted to English and Netherlands ships, and not made general.—The Hague, 12 January, 1589.
Signed Wermelo; countersigned C. Aerssens. Add, Endd. French. 2 pp. [Holland XXX. f. 18.]
Jan. 2. Wyllughby to Burghley. (fn. 4)
Sends this bearer, Sir Thomas Wilford, to impart “many occasions of importance” to the Council, and especially to his lordship, whom he is to inform “of a short discourse, or rather a memorial, I made him … for matters in Flanders,” as well as of the state of these Provinces.—Myddleburgh, 2 January, stilo veteri, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXX. f. 20.]
Jan. 2. James Digges to Burghley.
Wrote lately how dangerous it would be to sign the warrants for the last year's pay before the States' consent had been obtained. They take exception to most of the late Earl of Leicester's proceedings in former payments. Sends a copy of his requests to the Council of State which are to be exhibited, by the Lord General and Mr. Killegree's direction, as soon as Mr. Bodiley sits in the Council. “They exclaim greatly of the weakness of her Majesty's forces” and may complain thereof to the Privy Council. To disprove this, has sent them “perfect abbreviates of most orderly musters taken for her Majesty, for that they have seldom mustered themselves.” Encloses brief thereof, with a particular list.—The Hagh, 2 January, 1588, sty. veteri.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. ¾ p. [Holland XXX. f. 22.]
(1) Requests of James Digges to the Council of State.
To appoint a ‘committee’ to settle the accounts.
To appoint commissaries for the garrisons, as was agreed with Leicester: her Majesty's commissaries have been there these three years. That these commissaries so appointed may take the musters presently.
That the 2000 foot and 600 horse, “destinate for foreign service,” be mustered before embarking, to avoid debate upon reimbursement.
That uniform directions be given to the mustering officers on both parts.
To allow of the new establishment, as from March 25 last.
That the officer of musters be informed of any information of defects in her Majesty's bands.
To allow four months' pay out of the checks for horses lost in service.
That copies of muster-rolls, etc., be given to either commissary who may be absent from the musters.
That, if any fault be found with the taking of musters for her Majesty, it may “be set down to be answered.”
Desires them to apostille these points and to grant him audience.
Signed. Endd. “1 January, 1588 …” 1 ⅓ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 24.]
Copy of the above: probably enclosed in Digges' letter to Burghley of January 12.
Unsigned. Endd. “1 January, 1588.” 1 ⅓ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 26.]

(2) Abbreviate of musters of the army in the Low Countries. The footbands show a defect of 143, the horse of 28.
With a note by Burghley that the following bands are to go with Sir John Norris on the Portugal voyage:—foot: Captains Hynder, R. Wyngfeld, and Fulford, from Flushing; E. Norriss and A. Wyngfeld from Ostend; Bright from Brill; Bannster, Sarisbury, and Bowck from Berghen; and Champernon from Utrecht: horse: Sir Robert Sydney from Dosburg; Sir John Borogh from Amersford; Sir Christopher Blunt from Utrycht; Matthew Morgan from Rhenen and Wagening; and A. Shyrley from Gorchum.
Dated “January 1.” Endd. by Burghley with note of contents and the names of certain royal ships. 1 p.[Holland XXX. f. 28.]
Jan. 2/12 John Gylles to Walsingham.
Wrote last on the 4th and 16th, N.S.
Has lain in the fleet before Lillo for 14 days, in the ship of the vice-admiral, Adraine Corneleson, who is “right English in heart.” He and one William Clocke could keep Gylles well informed were he familiar with them, “but my purse cannot bear it.” Durst not go to Anwarp, but had his wife sent to him in the ‘vloot.’ Divers of his friends came also and talked with him for five or six hours, but they were fain to return on account of the great quantity of ice. They say that William Standly has returned to Anwarp from Donckerk upon hearing of the Spaniards' overthrow in Ireland. His company is about Owden-artdt, in great misery. Divers English desire to return home, especially one Kempe, and Tresame, once, Gylles believes, “a ‘pesyoner’ of her Majesty.” Hopes none will be allowed near the Court or her Majesty. The Prince is at Bruselles and does nothing. Hears that he “hath provided a great number of ice-spurs, to come on the ice to do in the frost some sudden exploit, which he may do suddenly upon Lillo or upon the fort of Leskines Howcke,” which (as Gylles has seen) are very ill supplied with soldiers, pay, and victuals. Great heaviness in Flanders and Brabant and at the Court at Bruselles about this news out of France. The Prince “in three days might not be talked withal.” Execution of the bishops especially misliked. Hears that Paris defies the King and has chosen M. d'Omaell as Governor. Troops from the Low Countries sent to the Artoyes and Hennecow frontiers. Two regiments gone thither from Anwarp. “Monsieur Bourlot, governor of Ordam, is going for France, as he said, to revenge matters.” Mondragon rent his apparel at the news, saying that, 6 months before, he had warned the Gwyse thereof. The Low Country Papists know not what to think. Doubts that all the money sent by Parma will not return. The Prince demanded 400 pieces of artillery of the country: 200 provided at once and sent to Donnckerk for Spain. News of the King of Poland's death, poisoned by the House of Austria or of Spain. Thomson still at Ordame. He sent a shipper to Gylles, and another man to his (Gylles') wife, for 10l. or 20l. “The man I know not, nor never heard of till now, and I am learned to lend money in that order, for I have paid for it. I hear he is nearly looked to, and some suspicion they have of him.” Heard this from a servant from the house where he is kept. Desires his honour to remember his cause with Andres de Loo. Yesterday three Donckerk boats took a warship of Camfere off Slues. Parma is expected at Breges, unless the French news alters his resolution.—Mydelbourow, 12 January, '88, styll. novo.
Postscript. Lords Paget and Westmorland are in Anwarp. It is a pity they were not at the French Court.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 ¾ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 29.]
Jan. 3. H. Kyllygrew to Walsingham.
Wrote (fn. 5) on New Year's Day by the post which brought his honour's. Sends now by a boat of Scevening, which may arrive before the post.
Presented Mr. Bodleie yesterday to the Council and this morning to the States General. Means this afternoon to present him to Count Maurice. Hopes then to return speedily home.
“Wonderful exploit” of Sir Thomas Morgan and Sir Thomas Knollys two or three days ago “upon their two mistresses the ladies of Meroda, not without their consent; whom I understand they have taken away from Dordrecht and carried to Berghen-op-Zoom. Which advertisement, although it be not worthy your honour's knowledge, yet may it now suffice for him which hath discharged himself of more weighty affairs….”—The Haghe, 3 January.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXX. f. 30.]
Jan. 3. Thomas Bodley to Walsingham.
Received his honour's of December 19 and 21. This morning received from Clarhaghe an extract of the States of Utrecht's resolution for his release. Encloses French copy thereof. (fn. 6) He is to pay the charges of his imprisonment and to swear not to molest the ‘burgeosie’ about it. Yet the Count Meurs required him to sign “a confession of more than he was ever charged withal, and very dishonourable conditions, which he hath rejected and so continueth still in prison.” Has no time to get these conditions translated before the departure of the Scheveling boat which takes this, so sends them in Dutch.
“I am admitted by the States General and by the Council of State to Mr. Killigrewe's room; but, as I signified in my former, they cannot well brook Mr. Gilpin, and therefore stand somewhat precisely in debating before they fall to deciding how they will receive him for an interpreter.” Had some slight converse with Barnevelt, who welcomed his honour's letter. “I was no sooner come to this town but Count Maurice, who lieth yet sick of a burning fever, sent of his gentlemen to visit me. With whom I was after and did her Majesty's commendations, with other requisite compliments. He told me this day that for certain the Duke of Parma marcheth with four companies, as they write from Andwerp, towards Paris; but as he doth conjecture, to remain about the frontiers.”
[Margin: “It is to be doubted that he goeth to take possession of some frontier town in France in this time of broil. Cambray is to be feared, for that he was a Leaguer.”]
“The conveying away to Berghen of Madame Merode's daughters by Sir Thomas Morgan and Sir Thomas Knolles is much misliked by the gentlemen here….”—The Haghe, 3 January, '88.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXX. f. 32.]
Conditions proposed by Count Meurs to Cleerhagen.
Confesses that he exceeded his duty by calling his lieutenant and thirty of his foot company into the town from the Vaert fort without his lordship's licence. Nevertheless his lordship pardoned this. Begs him now to pardon his other offences in helping to set up a council of war, in administering justice without authority and when his lordship was present here, and in improperly dealing with the burgher companies to set the watch.
Endd. as above. Dutch. 1 p. [Holland XXX. f. 33.]
Jan. 3. Sir William Russell to Burghley.
Desires his speedy revocation, for which he depends chiefly upon his lordship's favour. Is “nothing pleasing nor agreeing to the humours of many of the States….”—Vlisshing, 3 January, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. “… for his revocation.” ½ p. [Holland XXX. f. 35.]
Jan. 3. Walburga, Countess of Nuenar, to Bodley. (fn. 7)
Received his letter of Dec. 31, and that of her Majesty to her husband. (fn. 8) Will communicate them to her husband, who will certainly, as he wrote to her Majesty, treat Deventer and Cler-hagen justly.—Utrecht, 3 January, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. ½ p. [Holland XXX. f. 37.]
Jan. 3. Edward Barton to [Walsingham?].
As he wrote in his last of December 21 [not found] these people are truly children of Proteus, unconstant as the wind. Peace with Persia is now unlikely. The Persian's son has gone back. Probably he only made a show of coming in order to deceive these people, although he is said to have returned because of the attacks made near Ardevill and by Ferat Bassa upon Gengien, notwithstanding the treaty. Their preparations here for sea are also delayed. The Admiral would press them forward, but the Vicerey seeks to prolong the Persian war, in order to prevent a conflict with Spain which would mean the loss of his Spanish pension of sixty thousand ducats. He also, with the aid of the Imperial and Venetian ambassadors, persuades the Grand Signor that the young King is not yet firmly established in Powlande where the Senate and Peers rule all and Maximilian may yet be King. They report that the Muscovite has joined Maximilian and that the Emperor is raising great forces. So the Grand Signor has stayed the preparation of his navy and all Barton's supplications bring him only fair words. The Grand Signor's Schoolmaster and his chief black eunuch both asked what he would gain by sending out an hundred galleys. Barton replied that “if the Grand Signor would send them in merchandise, lading them with the commodities of this country, they [could] exchange them with the commodities of Spain; but otherwise Princes were not accustomed to send out their navies to seek profit, but for defence and honour of their crown and country, and that it would be profit enough to the Grand Signor to have his enemy beaten under his feet; which he might quickly see, if on this side he would assail him as fiercely as her Majesty doth upon that. But avarice hath stopped all their ears.” Hassan Bassa and Don Solomon are as weary of this soliciting as Barton is, but they bade him write that they hope the navy will soon have to be set forth owing to the revolt of the Moors in Barbarie, who will soon take the castle of Tripolye. Ceases not to urge the Grand Signor, saying that her Majesty may otherwise listen to the peace offers which will doubtless be made to her. Hopes, as Hassan Bassa does, that the Moors will make them set forth their navy.
The Grand Signor has committed the Ragusian ambassador to durance in his own house in custody of a ‘chausa.’ This is because the tribute, due in September, has of late years been put off till December or March, “receiving always the discharge dated at the receipt, from which they counted to the end of the next year and rendered usually the tribute a month after.” The Turks have noticed this stealth of months and demand a year and five months' arrears, keeping the ambassador in durance until the Signoria reply. The Grand Signor was lately in great fear upon a report that his son was in Ebrahim Bassa's house, “affecting the kingdom now in his father's life.” He was, however, found to be at Magnasia. The Grand Signor recently put to death very secretly 40 of his youths whom he keeps about him.—3 January, 1588.
Signed. Endd. 1 ¾ pp. [Turkey I. f. 160.]
Jan. 4. The Magistrates of Utrecht to Bodley.
Have received his two letters of Jan. 9 [N.S.] and Dec. 31, o.s. Deventer and Clerhagen were committed for trial by the Count of Nyenaer and the States, so justice must take its course. Cannot intervene of themselves, without the Count and the States, but have, as far as in them lies, already granted Cleer-hagen's release, out of desire to content her Majesty.—Utrecht, 4 January, 1589, stilo veteri.
Signed, Van der Voort. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. French. 1 ½ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 39.]
Jan.4/14. William Suderman, ‘dict Suavius,’ to Walsingham.
His former inept letters not having apparently alienated his honour's favour he now writes to express his urgent need and hope for his honour's goodwill therein. Wrote in his last of his petition to Lord Willebie to be transferred with his company to Bergen, then newly enclosed by the enemy. It was his first real opportunity to ask this since the fall of Sluys, the enemy having been all that time in Flanders and even upon the outskirts of Ostend. Willebie had promised his removal in letters to Sir John Conway and by a patent given to Colonel Wilsen (who came with new companies to appease the mutiny). Has followed Willebie for twelve weeks, at Bergen, in Holland, and in Zeeland, seeking to get these promises effected, but his lordship has now ordered him back to Ostend and flatly refused him leave to come over to England. Returned to Ostend, December 16. Dislikes serving under Conway. Has not renewed his suit until now, owing to the approach of certain enemy forces towards Ostend, lately so weakened by the sea and storms that no cannon or ladders would be needed to assault it. No appearance of any orders being given for the repair of the breaches. The place grows daily weaker and prisoners say that the enemy is well aware of its condition. A siege, or even an assault, unlikely in this winter season. Sir W. Russell's intercession for his removal failed, so now appeals to his honour to write for his return into England. Russell promised to write thereof to his honour.— Ostend, 14 January, 1589, N.S.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 1 ⅓ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 41.]
Jan. 4/14,
last date.
News From Divers Places.
Venice, 14 January [N.S.]. Letters from Prague of December 27. The legate Aldobrandini has left for Poland. The Emperor gave him a diamond cross worth 6000 thalers. The Bishop of Hungary and other commissioners have also gone to the conference on the Polish frontier which, it is hoped, will finally settle Maximilian's affairs. The Austrians all wish that prince to put himself entirely in the hands of the Pope or of the legate. This was all that Aldobrandini learned of the Emperor's mind. His eminence will not himself attend this assembly owing to the bad weather and the Duke of Sabbioneta's illness. He will probably soon return to Italy.
The French King's letters are said to give the following reasons for the slaying of the Duke of Guise on December 23. He was driven from Paris last summer, without even the time to put his boots on. When from Chartres he urged the Duke to suppress these Parisian tumults, the Duke answered that he, who had been the cause thereof, should come to pacify them. Nevertheless, he forgave the Duke. Yet the chiefs of the League raised money in Paris to finance further attacks on the Crown, sought to make themselves masters of places which had not yet submitted to them, and stirred up disturbances throughout the realm. Had, therefore, to take the lives of the authors of these seditions, which hindered the defence of the realm against the aggression of Savoy.
Some say, though it is held to be false, that the King intercepted a letter from the Duke of Aumâle to his wife, accusing the League of using religion as a cloak for their pohtical ambitions and announcing his intention of breaking with them.
Some say that the King has dismissed the legate, Cardinal Morosini, but is ready to let him remain as bishop, instead of legate. Others say that Morosini showed some displeasure at the Cardinal's death, but that the King told him that the Pope would be content when he understood the privileges of the Crown against cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and prelates, in matters of state.
Letters from Blois of December 29 announce the imprisoning of the Prince of Joinville, the Duke of Nemours, d'Elboeuf, the provost and échevins of Paris, and others. The Parisians, stirred up by the Duke of Auméle and Mme. de Montpensier (sister of the Duke and Cardinal of Guise), rose in arms. Orleans also rose, but now treats with the King: they have made one of their assured friends governor. Fear that other Leaguish towns will treat, like Orleans. The King is said to have offered the Cardinal of Guise's place with 25,000 crowns of rent to Cardinal Montalto, subject to the Pope's assent. Cardinal Gondi's palace in Paris said to have been pillaged.
Lucca said to be in arms and taking great precautions through fear that the Grand Duke would use the mustering of his cernide (fn. 9) as a cloak for a surprise seizure of the town.
Letters from Constantinople say that the Persians straitly besiege Tauris. The Turks pretend that good peace terms have been agreed upon and that the Persian's son comes to conclude them.
Milan letters report the arrival of an envoy from the Duke of Mayenne to seek troops from that Governor.
They write from Mantua that that Duke has sent forces under the abbot of Santa Barbara to seize certain property at Novellara left by the late Count Francesco to Count Claudio and by him bequeathed to his highness. Great resistance, despite the papal excommunication which he carried. The Duke of Terra Nuova looked for at Mantua: he should have left Milan on the 10th. He brings the Golden Fleece to the Duke.
The Duke of Ferrara would see no one for two days after he heard of the Duke of Guise, his nephew's, death.
The Princes of Wallachia and Moldavia are here, on their way to Constantinople. They have letters from the Most Christian King in favour of certain of their claims to remissions.
The Prince of Joinville said to have escaped: may avenge his father. The Duke of Aumâle and Mme. de Montpensier have executed certain royal officials at Paris.

Rome, 14 January [N.S.], 1589. News from Turin that 3 Frenchmen have been arrested there for a plot to kill that Duke. The Duke diligently prepares for war. Has sent 3 companies of Italians to Chambery, besides the 2 already sent to garrison the places in Savoy. The Frenchmen have confessed their guilt.
In Monday's consistory the Pope gave the Sacred College an account of the affairs of France. He deplored the Cardinal's death, which showed contempt towards the Holy See: Louis XI and other French kings would not even have imprisoned a cardinal without papal consent. The executions were the more heinous, since the King of France had only two months ago written with his own hand to extol to the Pope the virtues of the Cardinal of Guise. The Pope said that ecclesiastical liberty and the authority of the Holy See must be maintained. He therefore named a Congregation of Cardinals Santa Severina, Santi Quattro, Lancilotto, Pinello, and Mattei to meet in his presence on Tuesday. They are to reveal nothing about their deliberations, under pain of excommunication, for the French ambassador and Gondi would at once inform the King, who would thus learn the Pope's intentions.
Rings and titles were also then given—Santo Andrian to Cusano, Santa Maria in Dominica to Monti, the bishopric of Arezzo to Usimbardi, the Grand Duke's secretary. Cardinal Simoncelli given a pension of a thousand crowns.
Audience of the French ambassador on Sunday. He apparently sought to excuse the King, as being driven to thwart the Guises' plots against his realm and his person: and asked absolution for the Cardinal's death. His Holiness answered him ably and said that the King ought to come in person to crave absolution.
Dovara's visit to Naples is said to be about the marriage of Don Pietro de Medici.
The King of Poland has sent an agent who is to reside at this court until the differences with the house of Austria are ended and a resident ambassador can be sent. The Duke of Parma has sent a secretary to Cardinal Farnese.
Report that Paris has made the Duke of Aumâle its governor. His brother, the Chevalier, has gone with two hundred horse for Orleans, which holds for the League although M. d'Antragues holds the citadel for the King. Antwerp, 31 November.—The Duke of Parma still at Brussels. It is said that he has orders to send 6000 veteran soldiers to serve in the new Armada. 30 warships with 5000 troops leave Holland and Zeeland soon to help Don Antonio. News from London, of the 19th, that Drake and Norris prepare a fleet for Don Antonio. An ambassador sent by Don Antonio to Barbary has returned to London. He asked the King of Fez for 300,000 crowns.
Ships preparing also at la Rochelle. Don Antonio will probably try his fortune in the Indies.
Italian. 6 2/3 pp. [Newsletters XCV. f. 102.]
Jan. 5. Stafford to Walsingham.
Encloses two letters from Lilly, of the 8th and 12th, N.S.
The Duke de Maine has escaped from Lions. “Being, [on] the Sunday after the death of the Duke his brother, at dinner in the Bishop's palace, with the Governor of the town and others, one came unto him with a letter of these news (before the King's courier could arrive), and told him that he must read the letter presently; which when he had done, he began to change colour, and rose from the table. The Governor, who had yet no advertisement, but suspecting somewhat, sent one to some of the townsmen to put the town in arms. The Duke, asking them if they would go walk, went out of the town by a gate which was in the Bishop's place, and being without the walls, showed them his letter and desired [them] to give him counsel in this case. The Governor and the rest answered him that they thought it was not possible, but the Duke told them that he did write him that would write him no baies; whereupon the Governor wished him not to return again into the town (lest they should grow into arms) thinking he would have followed the contrary. But the Duke, having caused his horse to come secretly out of the town, went presently away.”
“The King hath by this time good forces together, and swears that he will have Orleans, for upon it doth all the rest depend. Till then he must govern himself temperately, for that all the Catholics are yet amazed; but after he hath taken it, he will, in my judgment, declare himself more openly; and in the mean time, he doth very wisely to carry himself in the sort he doth. When the King [hath] been at the States, I will send you more….”—Vendosme, 5 January, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 3.]
Jan. 5/15 M. Rybot, secretary to the sieur de Mauvissiere, to Walsingham.
Mme. de Chéteauneuf accuses him of being Walsingham's paid agent. Prays his honour to write to her to exonerate him.— Blois, 15 January, 1589.
Postscript. The chiefs of the accursed League have been removed.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. ¼ p. [France XIX. f. 5.]
Annexed on small slip of paper:
‘Le Navarin’ has taken Loudun and three or four small places nearby. His people are at the gates of Tours. The King to-day addresses the States General: will write of their resolutions. All goes well for the advancement of God's glory.
Jan. 5/15 Count Maurice to the Queen.
A return of his illness prevents him from writing with his own hand. Mr. Killegrey, whom her Majesty has recalled, will inform her of his estate and his desire to do her service. Will seek to prevent the passage of those ships laden at Hamburg by the King of Spain, as her Majesty desired by her letters (fn. 10) of November 21 sent by Bodtligh.—The Hague, 15 January, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. “By Mr. Killegrewe.” Seal of arms. French. 2 ¼ pp. [Holland XXX. f. 43.]


  • 1. On Jan. 4 and 5, N.S.—Japikse, Resolutiën der Staten Generaal, VI. 430. 1—(12)
  • 2. For these events, see P.J. Blok, Hist. of the People of the Netherlands (English trans. 1899), II. cc. v. and vii.
  • 3. Perceval was sent with such a request on Oct. 28, 1588 (Calendar, XXII. 287–8). This paper looks like his translation, or expansion, of that request.
  • 4. Printed in Bertie, Five Generations of a Loyal House, p. 236.
  • 5. Letter not found.
  • 6. Cf. Calendar, XXII. 398.
  • 7. Enclosed in Bodley's letter of January 12, below, p. 31.
  • 8. Calendar, XXII. 383.
  • 9. I.e. cernité: “trained soldiers of Italy, or such as … are ever ready at their prince's call.” (Florio.)
  • 10. Cf. Calendar, XXII. 318.