Elizabeth: February 1589, 11-20

Pages 103-119

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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February 1589, 11–20

Feb. 11/21. A. de Chatte to Walsingham.
Asks his honour to assist this merchant to obtain for him powder, arms, and an engineer, as he (de Chatte) hears certainly that he will soon be besieged. Cannot obtain these things elsewhere.—Dieppe, 21 February.
Postscript. Here is an English captain who has been in Spain: is he to be trusted?
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. ½ p. [France XIX. f. 68.]
Feb. 11. J. Ortell to Walsingham.
Has just received letters from M. Valck, that the English cavalry appointed for this journey is ready, but cannot leave because the rivers, etc., are frozen. The States' footmen in like case. Desires him to inform the Lord Treasurer. [Margin, in another hand: Sir John Norryce and Sir Fra. Drake to be told: they must not wait, but must arrange for these forces to follow.]
Desires her Majesty to write to her ambassador in Scotland to aid the States' deputies, who are probably there by now. A letter to the King would be of great help. [Margin, as above: The King has not answered her Majesty's former letters, so probably another letter would assist but little. Yet may write to Mr. Ashely to further their cause all he may.]
Desires her Majesty's answer to the States General's letter upon the sea matters. [Margin, as above: The letter not yet delivered, being still in Mr. Wolley's hands. They would do well to forbear their trade to Spain until the success of her Majesty's army be seen.]
Touching the third point, of reducing her Majesty's charges, is always ready to deal therein. [Margin, as above: “To be resolved upon conference between your lordship, the lord of Buckhurst, and Mr. Ortell.”]—London, 11 February, 1588.
Postscript. Certain merchants hear that the Swiss Cantons have taken arms and publicly declared against the Duke of Savoy, after executing certain of their magistrates who had dealt secretly with him.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. The marginal answers in English. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 22.]
Feb. 13/23 Alexandro de la Torre to Antonio di Fonti, at London.
Could not obey the request in his letters to come there, as he had to go on a journey to his employers in Italy. Being returned, will readily obey any charge Fonti may send, knowing it will be to the advantage of their account which he greatly desires to see clear.—Antwerp, 23 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk, as “from B. at Antwerpe.” Seal. Italian. ½ p. [Flanders V. f. 7.]
Feb. 13. Daniel de Burchgrave to Walsingham.
Importance of Dunkirk. Served there for over three years when it was in the States' hands, and afterwards dealt with the late M. Sidney for its recovery. Had even sent an English captain around, with the soldiers upon whom he relied in the garrison, to view the place, who considered the enterprise easy to accomplish.
Knows two trustworthy people, one of them a soldier in that garrison for twenty years, who can supply full details of its present state and guards. Walsingham could send over a captain whom they would take around the defences. Upon his report, the enterprise could be decided upon. The visits, etc., would cost but 30l. or 40l. sterling. The fact that troops are everywhere ready to embark on another enterprise would cover the design.— London, 13 February, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 ¼ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 24.]
Feb. 14/24 Thomas Morgan to Lewis, Bishop of Cassan.
Received his lordship's letters of January 8 by [cipher symbol], (fn. 1) who says that in the place where he has charge he will ever remember his lordship. [15 cipher symbols] his lordship's charity so liberally bestowed on the prior and convent of the English Charterhouse and on the poor nuns of Sion well confirm the expectations had of him when God repaired his condition and estate. Their letters will show that Morgan has distributed the 300 crowns equally among them. Hopes his lordship will ever continue his favour to them and “the afflicted sort of our nation.” [Cipher symbol], “our good lord,” writes of some difficulty over the payment due to him upon the bishopric of Cassano. Morgan is ever grateful to any who laboured for her Majesty of Scotland, so desires his lordship to remove any difficulties over the said payment. [The same symbol] is growing old and is not well provided for. Desires that, as his Holiness has allowed his lordship to choose his successors to his benefices in these parts, he would give [the same symbol] some provision in these parts instead of the pension upon the bishopric. [Long cipher passage.] Is glad to find from [symbol] (1) and his brother that [the same symbol] is inclined to make his lordship his successor, as Morgan believes he has told his lordship in his letters by Signor Bastiano. Hopes his lordship will embrace the offer, for he would be more useful in these parts. Likes well that [symbol] should come to these parts, especially if he be provided according to his quality. His lordship does well to continue his old amity with [the same symbol], who regrets their separation. The cause will prevail despite delays. Desires his lordship not to listen to those “graceless companions,” adherents of the enemy, who seek to separate him and [the same symbol]
[The same symbol as at (1), above] and his brother regret that [symbol] could not get [symbol] to do his duty “in the cause you wot of.” In these parts much is offered for this cause: desires him to keep this secret, for the offer should work a happy alteration, “if it be put in execution as the greatest give ear to it, without violence or effusion of blood.” [Long passage in cipher, containing a few words and syllables spelled out apparently en clair.] Will perhaps write more in his next, which may be out of Harland “whereto this cause shall draw me sometime to hold this matter in life.”
Expect [symbol] shortly, to address him and his as the affairs in hand require [23 symbols]. Is sorry that [symbol] has been brought to his present condition by his associates abroad and by lewd servants at home. [2 symbols] and [symbol] their ministers be in [22 symbols]. God indeed blinds his enemies, for the heretics abused the French King into removing the Cardinal and Duke of Guyse, yet their lives could never have served the cause as well as their death seems likely to do. Desires his lordship to conserve him in the good graces of [2 symbols] and [symbol] whose letters he has already answered. [Symbol] wishes to resign his charge, which seems strange. The election of his successor is a matter of some importance. Has not yet received [symbol] letters. Thanks his lordship for giving Dr. Neudon a prebend in Cambray. Regrets the death of his lordship's Vicar-General but is glad that Dr. Butler has the office. [51 symbols] and the confines of that frontiers.—Bruxelles, 24 February, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. as new style. Seal. 3¼ pp. [Flanders V. f. 9.]
Feb. 14. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Has written to the lords of the Council, and now writes to his honour, to explain the stay of those companies appointed to go hence into England. Dare not send them away until the 500 men from Flushinge and the Briell come, as appointed by her Majesty. The enemy besets Bergen very closely, and there are conspiracies inside the town. Upon the resolution of a council of the captains (which he has communicated to the Lord General), he has accordingly detained the companies. Hopes for good allowance of his action.
Desires his pay as “lieutenant under the General.” Will not be able to make any profit out of his government of this town. Sends his humble duty to her ladyship and to Lady Sidney. “My mistress most humbly commends her unto your honour.”— Berges, 14 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 26.]
Feb. 15. The Governors and Aldermen of Hamburg to Burghley.
Thank her Majesty and her Council for the answers (fn. 2) given to their envoy and secretary Sebastian à Bergen, and for the letters to themselves. Desire her Majesty's favour, the renewal of trade, and the removal of the Merchant Adventurers' residence from Staden to Hamburg. Desire his lordship's good offices herein.—15 February, 1589.
Add. Endd. with note of contents. Latin, 1½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 52.]
Feb. 15/25. The States General to the Queen.
Over a year ago the States of Zeeland bought some hundred iron pieces in England. Her Majesty promised that they might be brought over free of custom, but now they are stayed owing to a false report that they are destined for individuals. Are assured that the pieces are to be used to arm their ships, for which they have great need of artillery. Desire her Majesty to allow the pieces to be sent over duty free.—The Hague, 25 February, 1589.
Signed, Wermelo. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French, ½ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 38.]
Feb. 15/25 The States General to the Privy Council.
To the same effect as the above.—The Hague, 25 February, 1589.
Signed, Wermelo. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French, 2/3 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 30.]
Feb. 15. The States of Friesland to the Queen.
Have refrained hitherto from interrupting her Majesty's great affairs. False reports of their estate have been spread abroad. They are now emboldened to answer her Majesty's letters to the Volmachtes, or committee, of Oostergoo, Westergoo, and Zevenwolden, representing the States of Friesland, touching Dr. Hesselus Aisma, sometime president of the provincial council, and certain exiled nobles of Oostergoo. They believe that the Volmachtes explained matters clearly enough to Lord Willougby, and that he has reported sufficiently fully to her Majesty. They rejoice that her Majesty not only defends the United Provinces, but also heals their differences, hearing both sides before coming to any decision. Apparently certain unquiet spirits, whose continued practices against this state have happily been defeated, have gone to her Majesty's court to poison her mind with malicious and false tales and to advertise their own alleged zeal for her service.
The true history of these affairs is this. After the States General renounced their allegiance to the King of Spain in 1581, they decreed that provincial councillors and other officers should take a new oath to the States General. They gave the councillors a new commission limiting them to the administration of justice, the States General keeping control of all political government as the representative of the sovereignty of the Countries. Dr. Hesselus Aysma objected to this loss of power. His earlier practices with the Archduke Matthias were renewed with Francois, Duke of Alençon and with the Prince of Orange, by means of François de Baudemont, then greffier of the provincial council of Friesland. Baudemont then went over to the King of Spain and lived first at Emden and then at Groningen. Aysma next sought to foment quarrels between the countryside and the towns, selling his services to the side which offered him most. He was given much authority and sent on important embassies, but this failed to satisfy him. He continued to stir up trouble by accusing the governors, etc., of treason and alienating from them the people and neighbouring provinces. In this way he drove the baron of Merode and Rummen, lieutenant-governor 1581–3, to retire. His intrigues against Count William of Nassau, whom he also accused of dealing with the enemy. Was imprisoned in his house awhile. Then went to Utrecht, and afterwards to Holland, where he so poisoned the Earl of Leicester's mind against the magistrates of Friesland, that the Earl called a most irregular assembly of the States at Franeker to alter the government, the governor and magistrates not being informed of it. The governor and magistrates were thus driven to prevent the assembly, and to arrest Aysma and deprive him of his office. They remonstrated with the Earl. If her Majesty wishes, can send a fuller account, sufficiently supported with documents.
Aysma's accomplices, who have gone into England, have no right to call themselves the nobles and inhabitants of Oostergoo. Wybrand Ailva is a gentleman, and Doco Aisma, the brother of Dr. Hesselus, a man of some property here, but they have no commission from any town or ‘grietenie’ of Oostergoo, nor from any of the gentlemen, to make such suits to her Majesty in defiance of the Treaty. They have not been banished; they are in voluntary exile. Doco Aysma went of his own accord to Holland, but found the law too severe there, so he returned to Friesland, where he has not been molested, except that his office of ‘griet-man’ was given to another during his absence. Dr. Richeus wasted his substance in drunkenness, etc., did ill-service to his country, and then went into exile unmolested. John Peter Sannes was imprisoned eight years ago because he owed some 6 or 7000 florins upon his accounts for his ‘grietenie’ He escaped in 1582 and, after writing several venomous pamphlets against the States, went over to the enemy at Groningen and Stienwyck. Such are the men who clamour that they are ill-treated owing to their loyalty to her Majesty, whom they seek to inflame against their lawful magistrates in times so dangerous as the present. They are incapable of loyalty to any ruler.
Desire her Majesty to inform them of any similar charges which may be brought against them, and also to command Willoughby not to listen to the unfounded accusations of such evil disposed persons. Their own loyalty to her Majesty and desire to work with her and her servants. They have been compelled to put down these aforesaid disorders firmly, but assure her that nothing shall be done contrary to justice. Apologise for the length of their letter.—Leuwarden, 15 February, 1589.
Signed, Sixtus Dekema. Countersigned, E. Isbrands. Add. Endd. French. 6 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 32.]
Feb. 15. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Hears, since his last of the 14th, “that the Prince in his own person is marching towards the frontiers of France.” 300 horse have come to relieve those at Rosendale. The Prince means to replace his garrisons of Walloons and ‘Muffes’ (fn. 3) hereabouts with Spaniards and Italians, keeping them always very strong.
Recommends this bearer, Mr. Rogers, who desires to follow his honour. His good service here.—Berghes, 15 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. ¾ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 28.]
[Feb. 15.] Ortel's Propositions.
To declare what the States have done to set forth their troops for this present enterprise, and so to prevent any misunderstandings.
[1.] Desires definite answer to their letter to her Majesty about the traffic by sea. The present violent course is likely to drive the whole traffic to neighbouring places, less faithful to her Majesty. This would irreparably injure the Provinces.
[2.] The passports of vessels passing to and fro might bring some advantage to the general cause. Need of clear declaration of what goods may pass freely and what not.
[3.] Desire that regard be had of their requests given lately to M. Norreys, and also of those presented by Or tell and Voocht.
[4.] That the disorders of Geertrudenbergen be redressed.
[5.] That her Majesty and her Council will not credit complaints and sinister reports of the States, hitherto too easily believed, but will refer the examination thereof to the Council of State, which can inform her truly.
[6.] That the ships and goods of Holland and Zeeland arrested, as belonging to Spaniards, by her Majesty's ships, may be restored, and especially those at Plymouth. That their ships coming from France and Spain, being sent rather to recover their own goods than to traffic, may not be spoiled. That any suspected of carrying Spaniards' goods may be tried before the Privy Council. That no goods be taken out of the ships until they are proved to be Spaniards' goods. That master and mariners be not kept in close prison.
[7.] That the apostilles of April 13 last may be performed. The States much aggrieved by the delay.
[8.] That the forces of her Majesty's assistance be kept complete, which they have not been hitherto.
Endd. with date. Marginal notes of contents, in English. French. 3 pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 55.]
Feb. 16/26 Thomas Morgan to Don Bernardino de Mençoca.
Has received his letters. Sought to unite the parties in friendship. Thanks him for his care herein: need to give support and that quickly. Assures him that the persons mentioned in his letter have long and loyally sought to accomplish the ends put before them, though evil times and their afflictions have forced them somewhat to yield to [passage in cipher, undeciphered]. No reason to distrust them, though Mendoça should use them prudently as the time and their state demands, for many not far from him look closely into their actions [passage in cipher, undeciphered].
As Mendoça bade him, he has spoken with the gentleman whom Mendoça knows, and finds that he is his firm friend. Desires him to write the letters for Messrs. [two cipher symbols]: will inform him what success they bring. Also desires him to order the distribution of the money, so long talked of, according to the will of those to whom it belongs. This will greatly serve the affair in hand and will encourage good servants.
[Cipher symbol] says that he will prove by deeds rather than by words that what comes from Mendoça is greatly esteemed. [Another cipher symbol] is on his way to this court.—Brussels, 26 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 1½ pp. [Flanders V. f. 12.]
Feb. 16/26 Thomas Morgan to Cardinal Maurescini, Papal Legate in France.
Has received and distributed his packet of letters. The Nuncio at Cologne wishes Morgan to go to him to confer more fully of the matter Maurescini knows of [passage in cipher, undeciphered].
However, despite his obligations to the Pope and all his, Morgan feels that he must obey the summons which he has to go elsewhere upon a most important and urgent matter. Desires the continued favour of Maurescini.
His gratitude for his Holiness' recent kind remembrance of him. [Cipher symbol] has written promising to give the faculties into Maurescini's hands. Hopes they will then be sent to him (Morgan), so that he may return them to those who await them, for the service of God and of their country [passage in cipher, undeciphered].—Brussels, 26 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. Seal of arms. 1½ pp. [Flanders V. f. 14.]
Feb. 16/26 The States General to the Queen.
Enclose authentic copy of a writing delivered to them by Lord Willughby's secretary as his lordship was leaving for England. Desire her Majesty to consider the weakness in which Bergen-op-Zoom and Ostend are left. Also enclose copy of letters from their commissary of musters, who has mustered certain horse companies and a foot company of her Majesty's embarking for Portugal. This shows the weakness of her Majesty's assistance. Desire her to reinforce to their full numbers the companies which are to stay, according to the Treaty. There should be 2000 left in Bergen and 1000 in Ostend, according to the agreement with Sir John Norris. Desire that deduction be made from the troops' pay according to the defects of numbers, as is done with those in the States' pay.—The Hague, 26 February, 1589.
Signed, Wermelo. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Marginal notes of contents. French. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 44.]
(1) Lord Willoughby's declaration, at his departure from the Low Countries.
As the States General have granted 2000 footmen and 600 horse of her Majesty's succours to Sir John Norrys for the Portugal service, there will remain only about 1000 footmen and 400 horse to defend Bergen-op-Zoom and Ostend. These numbers are far too few to defend those two places, and Willoughby has no authority over the Governors and forces of the cautionary towns. He therefore begs the States to reinforce them with their own forces, e.g. by those returned from Wachtendonk, at least until her Majesty can otherwise provide.
Colonel Morgan is sufficient to command the forces now in Bergen.
Desires them to appoint Sir William Drury as Governor of Ostend, in place of Sir John Conway who has resigned his government and goes, with his company, to Portugal. If they do not appoint Drury absolutely, desires them at least to do so provisionally and subject to her Majesty's pleasure, who desires his appointment.
To avoid all inconveniences and maintain military discipline, he resigns to the States during his absence such authority over the rest of her Majesty's succours in those countries as he has had over the troops in their pay.—The Hague, 24 February, 1589, N.S.
Copy, certified by C. Aerssens. Original signed by Willoughby. Marginal notes of contents, in English. Endd. French. 2½ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 51.]
(2) A. de Wael to George de Bye, treasurer-general.
Has to deal with persons devoid of reason or discretion, as the deputies of the States of Holland find. Blundt's company embarked on the 21st: there were 40 horse, of whom 20 or 22 were fit for service. Barrou's embarked on the 23rd; were 22 strong, of whom 10, or at most 12, fit for service. Chambernon's foot company embarked at Delftshaven on the 23rd, 50 out of the 60 men going aboard. Morgan's horsemen, 41 in all, of whom 18 or 20 fit for service, also embarked there. Had to use threats to get these companies aboard. They respect no one. Sidney's horse company embarks to-day. That from Gorcum not yet arrived.—Rotterdam, 25 February, 1589 [N.S.]
Translation certified by C. Aerssens. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 36.]
Another copy of the above translation.
Endd. French. 1¼ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 40.]
Another copy of Willoughby's declaration, with a note that it was presented by Jan Houfflin on 25 February, 1589 [N.S.]. Endd. French. 2¼ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 53.]
[Feb. 16.] “Extract from a letter of Willoghbye to the States.”
Willughbye yesterday took his journey and adieu, with this writing whereof a copy is enclosed. (fn. 4) He writes that but 1000 footmen and 250 horse will remain of her Majesty's succours, when the appointed bands are withdrawn. [The preceding sentence underlined.] So the Estates had cause to complain of their weakness. The pretended 600 horse and 2000 foot now withdrawn are not in fact above 150 and 1000 strong.
Translated out of Dutch. Endd. by Burghley as above. Undated, ½ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 80.]
Feb. 16. Edmund Uvedall to Walsingham.
Has taken advantage of the Council's permission that those who do not wish to go with Sir John Nores may stay here. Some here mislike his decision, and may use it against him at home. Will send his honour good and sufficient reasons for staying here, if he desires to know them. Has received many favours from the Lord General, upon whom he still depends and whom he prefers to follow.—The Hage, 16 February.
Holograph. Curious spelling. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 42.]
[Feb. 16?] (fn. 5) “Mr. Allen's declaration in writing, delivered to the Magistrates and States of Utrecht, concerning Deventer.”
Her Majesty, upon their refusal of her requests for the prisoners' release, has charged Willeby and her Ambassador to deal more earnestly. They have accordingly sent him hither. Was commissioned likewise by her Majesty, when he was lately in England.
Goodwill of her Majesty, Willeby, and the Ambassador Bodeley, towards Utrecht.
Requires the prompt release of the prisoners. They should not refuse her Majesty so small a matter. Her great beneficence towards them.
Wishes to proceed gently and by way of request, not by way of justification. The requests will not be dropped, for her Majesty's honour is touched herein. She demands the prisoners' instant release and will not rest satisfied with the States' former resolution of first sending the evidence to her.
Undated. Endd. as above. French. 1¼ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 57.]
Feb. 17. William Harborne to Walsingham.
Some of the chief of those trading Turkey have had conference with him this day for return of the agent from Constantinople that “they might be unburthened of his great charge, and so end the traffic.” He desired them to weigh how hardly he himself obtained it, and how many were their enemies, so that if once given over it could never be recovered. It would not a little grieve him (having spent ten years of his best age there) thus to be frustrate of all hope that this traffic during the difference with Spain, might serve for vent of their goods “in this so hard and dead time.” Her Majesty's enemies in those parts would be eased of their great jealousy and fear, the residence of any one there for her being a marvellous eyesore to suspicious heads. He sees no way to maintain this other than at her Majesty's charge unless all trade into the Straits be comprehended into one privilege to meet so great a charge by a greater stock than usual, which would also increase the profit and lessen the dangers. Has thought it his duty to impart this to his honour, lest her Majesty's letters for repeal of the agent should be granted before his return, “or else the Venice Company procure the dismembering of this joint traffic by reviving their former patent,” which (under correction) cannot but wholly overthrow these proceedings. Prays that his honour's answer to the High Chancellor of Poland's letter may be sent to Mr. William Barker, deputy at Elbinge “for the Company trading the Sound.”—London, 17 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with brief note of contents. ¾ p. [Turkey I. f. 166.]
Feb. 18. Châteauneuf to Burghley.
Spoke at their last meeting at his lordship's lodgings of the French merchants' complaint that after the Judge of the Admiralty has passed sentence the condemned parties appeal to the delegates. As the said sentence is not provisional—not executed par provision—the judgment is of no use to the merchants. Burghley found this worthy of consideration and the Lord Admiral promised to speak of it in the next Parliament. Desires his lordship to secure a good resolution hereupon.— London, 18 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with brief note of contents. French. 2/3 p. [France XIX. f. 66.]
Feb. 18. G. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Has been silent longer than usual, because Mr. Bodlye ordinarily writes of all that passes, and “this state groweth to such quietness” that there is little to write about. Although the Lord General, now returning, can report all things, could not let this bearer go without a few fines.
The Council of State is not informed of the proceedings of the States General, now in session, though they are not thought to be doing anything of importance.
“Scotland reprisals, wherewith they are threatened, hath much troubled them, and to the letter of the King's appointing them within 60 days to have their deputies there, they have answered promising to send them with all expedition, and have appointed to that end de Voocht and van den Wercke, but Ortell is not to stir from his place. They expect answer from the Provinces to confirm this legation; which had, will then make all the dispatches.”
“The French news and appearance of greater troubles there doth much like them here, so that the Guisarts or Leaguers grow not too strong for the King.”
No news of Parma's intentions, “so still doth he keep all on his side.” Fears of some enterprise by him this spring, especially as Bergues and Oostende are weakened. Now that the frontiers of Gelderland and Zutphen are fully provided, the States have few men to put into other places.
The Amptman of Thiel has signed articles of accord with the States, and he and his soldiers have taken the oath to them.
Schenck has sent very large demands. Those of Gelderland intercede for him, and the Council have urged them to persuade him to come hither or send a fully authorised agent to conclude matters. He is at his Sconce, and has lately overthrown a strong enemy company.
News in Zeeland of an intended enemy enterprise upon those islands. 4000 Spaniards about the Sasse in Flanders, with shipping ready over against Tergoes. Some fear for Axele or Ter Neusen. The Council of State moved the States General to strengthen their companies, or to raise a few more, to meet this danger, but they are lothe to increase their charges.
Count Moeurs, returning from Arnham, found Vytrecht in such doubtful terms that he wrote repeatedly to the Council and States to have deputies sent to assist him in settling some good order of government there. Certain persons sent. The States of Utrecht called to meet.
Friesland and Overijsel quiet.
The English horsemen and certain foot companies lie before the Briele awaiting a wind for England. Those of Holland have arranged to provide for them for a while, if they are long delayed.
No news from Germany or Eastland, nor of Count Hohenlo's return.—The Haghe, 18 February, 1589, stil. Angl.
Postscript. Letters come from the King of Navarre to the States and Council, thanking them for their courtesy to his ambassador, du Fay, and for offering 50,000 crowns towards his German levy. As the time limited for accepting the grant has expired, he desires its prolongation, as he means to send a large sum of money into Germany this spring for the levy. He has taken several towns and hopes for further victories. Du Fay writes briefly of the King's apparent greatness. He writes his particular news to Barnevelt, who keeps it to himself.
“How Mr. Allen sped in Vytrecht, I refer me to his declaration; and to Mr. Killegrew his opinion how it is best to proceed in that matter, having a little afore his departure conferred at length thereabouts.” Fears for Vytrecht if Parma comes to Nimmeghen, as it is said he will. “The enemy in Brabant hath forbidden the boors to pay any more contributions to this side, and then the States, I think, will give order to spoil them so as he shall also receive no benefit by the same.”
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 49.]
[Probably c. Feb. 18.] (fn. 6) Julian Clarhage to M. d'Allam, gentleman of her Majesty's c. Chamber.
Thanking him for his goodwill and efforts on his behalf. If God grants him liberty will prove his gratitude, even with his life.
Holograph. Add. Endd. “Clarehaghen to Mr. Allen.” Italian. ¼ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 46.]
Feb. 18. Don Pedro de Valdes to Walsingham.
Hears from Richard Drake that her Majesty has ordered them to be taken to a castle twenty leagues from hence. They submit to this reluctantly, for all are in ill health, especially Don Alonzo de Cayas who has not risen for two days. They are without money and if they are sent from this town, where they may obtain credit from tradesmen, they will have no hope of getting means to supply their needs. Desires him to move her Majesty for their continuance here, where the other Spanish gentlemen remain. Hears from Marco Antonio Mexia that letters from Spain have arrived for him in the city: if so, desires to have them sent to him. Hopes for an answer to this letter.—18 February, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. Spanish. 2/3 p. [Spain III. f. 38.]
[Feb. 19.] Petition of Antonis Janson, of Dordrecht, to Burghley.
Hendryk van Soest, by order of Mr. Browne, servant to the late Earl of Leicester, took up from him in 1586 for the garrisons of Bergen-up-Zome and Ostend 2546 gilderns and 10 stivers' worth of cheese, meal, rye, hops, and ready money, as appears by the bill of Hendryk. 1591 gilderns thereof remain unpaid, though he has long sued for them both here and beyond the seas. Desires that it may now be paid by her Majesty, Leicester's executors, Browne, or Hendryk.
Endd. with date, full note of contents, and “This petitioner to make suit to the whole Council. W. Burghley.” ⅓ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 54.]
Feb. 20. Thomas Bodley to Walsingham.
Encloses further answers and replies between himself and the States: also a declaration by Mr. Gilpin and himself upon the last instructions of the States General, of which he hopes his honour will approve. (fn. 7) They find that had Mr. Beale perused Lord Willughbie's observations and the States' answers, he would have found most of his exceptions dealt with there very effectually by his lordship, and unanswered by the States. “To proceed again by way of reply, or to propose other articles, would prove an endless debate. In which respect, we have entered into consideration of the most substantial points and reduced them to that form which I send your honour.” Has waited to present it at the time when the rest of the Council presented their griefs.
Upon Willughby and Killegrewe's advice has not moved the States for any allowance for Willughby's intelligences, as they are so alienated from him as not even to send letters by him now at his return.
Willughby and Bodley sent Mr. Allen to the Grave de Meurs and the burgomasters of Utrecht, about Deventer and Clarehaghen's release. Hourly expects his return.
Does not seal his letter [not found] to the Lord Treasurer. Desires Walsingham to read it and, if he approves of the proposals about Barnevelt, to seal and deliver it. Sent this bearer, Robert Mascal, with her Majesty's letter to Sir Martin Schincke, whose reply he sends herewith. Schincke sends as a token to her Majesty, the colours of an Italian captain whom he defeated while Mascal was with him. He wished Bodley to send Mascal to England with his letters, for which he desires his honour to reward him, as Bodley bore the charges of the journey to Schincke.
“I hope you will excuse me to my lady, in that I am but half as good as my promise. For I have sent to Amsterdame and all about for gammons of bacon, and cannot get any till March, at which time they come thither from Westphalia. But I have sent some Edams cheese, which are accounted here the best….”—The Hage, 20 February, '88.
Postscript. Mr. Allen back and goes on to England. Apparently an effectual letter from her Majesty would secure Deventer and Clarehaghen's release, though Bodley hardly believes it likely. Desires that Allen may have some allowance for his charges. He can inform his honour of Schincke's forces and manner of life. “This morning a letter from Ortell was read in Council, wherein he signified that your honour complained greatly of the biting and presumptuous answer which the States gave up to my first declaration in her Majesty's name; which the Council disliked exceedingly when I signified the points, which I never did but privately before, for eschewing debate. Howbeit, they are not yet acquainted with their later answers, which I send herewith to your honour, (fn. 8) being more undiscreet and unseemly than the other, and the very humour of the writer; who, as some of the Council have told me, taketh a direct course in all matters to ruin himself and the state." Will send them his reply and give a copy of the whole to the Council, who will utterly condemn the States in some points, especially in alleging that it no more becomes her Majesty's Lieutenant and councillors here to argue against the States' instructions to the Council, than it does councillors elsewhere to reason against their King's instructions. Such clauses will turn to the author's discredit; does not seem to know at their conferences that he is the author. “I did think at my first coming that some familiar insinuation and seeking unto him with courteous usage might have made him more tractable, but I find by experience that it doth make him more humourous and forgetful what carriage doth become him.” Desires him to send the enclosed book to the Lord Treasurer. Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 3 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 55.]
Feb. 19 and 20. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Received to-day the lords of the Council's letter of December 31, containing an order contracted by her Majesty with certain merchants for the payment of her troops on this side. As the captains are away in Zeeland taking leave of the Lord General, holds it by him, and will inform them when they return.
Recommends the bearer, Mr. Rainsforde, who desires “to follow the present service now undertaken in England.”
Hears to-day from a good source that “the Prince intendeth once again to beleaguer us….”—Berghes, 19 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of Arms. 2/3 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 51.]
With the above:
Hears, this 20th of February, that the Prince fully intends to besiege them again, and has summoned an assembly of governors and colonels for March 6, N.S., probably to discuss this. Four foot bands and four cornets of horse, of the bands of ordonnance, go for France. An Italian regiment already sent to the Duke of Savoye. Hears also “that the governor of Cambrie hath made himself governor of Picardie.”
Not signed, add., or endd. In same hand and ink as the above. ⅓ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 53.]
Feb. 20. The Congregation of—to the Queen.
They, her subjects and well willers, feel bound, according to their promise to the governor of Flusshinge, sent by him to her on 14 February, 1588, and the necessity of the matter, to write, and to send this their friend, to inform her Majesty of a most dangerous practice against her, of which they are informed by “a good friend and united member with us who hath great credit in court with his Highness.”
“The States of the land and of all the united towns” met at the court on January 29. This was due to letters from the King of Spain and the Pope, commanding that the Countries should furnish 12,000 men for the Holy League and that his Highness should seek to impeach her Majesty's enterprise. The States voted 25 tennes [Margin, in same hand: “a tenne of treasure is 8000 gilderns, which is 1000l. sterling.”]. On February 10 the bishops of Andwerp and Brussels, his Highness, the King's bastard, the Duke of Piemonte, and a Cardinal sent from the Pope, met in council, and decided that they must assassinate her Majesty. Captain Smith, from Alost, Captain Seton, “who served in Gawnt with horsemen,” and Captain Simple, who betrayed Liere, were called before this council, and undertook the enterprise. Each has received forty hundred gilderns, and will get eighty hundred more when the matter is accomplished. They went on February 14 towards Callis, and hope to get into the court by means of an accomplice they have there, “who is great with you.” It is pretended that they left his Highness' court because a treason they were preparing was discovered.—[Dated at head] “Praised be God. Written unto your Grace this 20 February, 1589, from our consistory.”
Copy. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 57.]
Feb. 20. The Congregation of—to the Queen.
Hear from their aforementioned friend at the court of Brussels that letters came there on January 8 from two captains at Ostend, offering to help his Highness to take that town if he would come before it with his camp. Two more letters came on the 14th. Council held thereupon, and la Motte written to, to prepare to besiege the town. He makes great preparations at Bruges and Newport, as the bearer will relate. Their news of the conspiracy against her Majesty is certain. Will seek to find out the Ostend captains' names. Beg her Majesty to look to her own safety. There is a Scottish priest with those who practise against her, who has long been allied with them in Andwerp, and has gone with them to Callis. Felt bound to send their loving brother to inform her of these matters, as great misery might come therefrom to all. Another treachery intended against Holland. Their good brother, this bearer, is well known to lord Russell, governor of Flushinge, who, they hear, has gone to England. Agreed with Russell, 1 January, 1588, to supply him with news of the enemy and kept fit persons to send abroad for news: he paid them 24 gilderns a month for this. They have been paid for only two months, so that unless her Majesty helps them to meet their heavy charges they will be unable to continue this service, having, besides, a great burden in caring for their poor and in other charges of their church. Credence for their brother, this bearer.—“Written from our consistory, the 20 of February, and sealed for more assurance with our church seal.”
Copy. Headed “To your honourable Grace, the 20 February, 1589, from our privy council.” Endd. by Burghley “20 Feb., 1588. Copy of a Dutch letter brought by a Fleming with Sir Th. Baskervile.” 2 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 59.]


  • 1. I have been unable to find any key to this cipher. It contains a great number of symbols, rarely recurring.
  • 2. See Calendar, XXII. 226–8.
  • 3. A contemptuous name for German or Swiss soldiers.—O.E.D.
  • 4. Probably one of the above copies.
  • 5. Another copy calendared in H.M.C., Ancaster MSS., p. 256, under this date.
  • 6. Cleerhagen wrote to Willoughby by Allen on Feb. 18—H.M.C., Ancaster MSS., p. 257.
  • 7. Calendared under date, February 21, at p. 119, below.
  • 8. Calendared under date, above, pp. 75–7.