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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March 1589, 11–20
Sir John Conway to Walsingham.
Has, as Walsingham required, allowed Captain Wynckfilde's company to go to him. It is untrue that half the company are already with their Captain: above four score are here, and they will be greatly missed.
The Duke puts great store of artillery, balls, and munition into Newport, Dunkyrk, and other garrisons hereabouts. Various rumours that they will attack this place, or Bargen, or go into France. None of their towns are victualled for 20 days. Their soldiers are mostly “as raw and untrained as ours,” for most of their old companies are broken by misery and want. They have some poor clothing, but no pay. The country contribution has been allotted to pay the garrisons. Bredges, Gaunt, Iper, etc., solicit the Duke to attack this place. Does not think he will attempt anything “before her Majesty's forces have made their rendezvous” Would be able to hold this place until her Majesty could send help.
The States very slow to relieve their needs here. Mr. Bodeley wrote yesterday that they grow daily more perverse towards the English.
The Lord General wrote this day asking when Conway means to retire from this charge, as he would place Sir William Dreury here. Warns Conway of a coming enemy attack. Conway replied that he would not retire at a critical time like the present.
Is sorry to hear from Harry West, Lord Cobham's man, that Barney does not proceed according to his promise. Desires to know if Walsingham gives Barney over: if he does, Conway will take a just revenge upon him and not let him live in his abuses.
Pygott is given over by the King's side. Desires leave to send him over to England. He offers to risk his life in some good service. If Barny prove so bad, Conway will be discouraged to become a suitor for anyone.
Wishes that the States would send a Dutch company to replace Capt. Wynckfild's and so ease their watches.—11 March, 1588.
Holograph. Add., and with note below that Conway received Wokingham's letters “only this 12th of March.” Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 117.]
|[About March 11.]||
The discharged horsebands.
Sir Robert Sidney; embarked and arrived 73: 2 months' pay, 394l. 10s. Sir John Burgh: 42: 236l. 10s. Sir Christopher Blunt: 62: 340l. 10s. Captain Anthony Sherley: 41: 232l. Captain Matthew Morgan: 65: 354l. Total, 283, of whom 61 are unmounted. Pay due, 1,557l. 10s.
Undated. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 220.]
Musters of the discharged horsebands.
Abbreviate of the accounts of the horsebands discharged 11 March, 1588, according to the musters and books delivered by the officers upon oath, corrected by the muster-master: whereupon warrants are signed by the Lord General for two months' imprest, payment to proceed according to the order of her Majesty and the Council.
Sir Robert Sydney: 65 officers and men; pay due, 353l. 10s. Sir John Burgh: 39: 223l. Sir Christopher Blunt: 61: 336l. Captain Anthony Sherley: 42: 241l. 10s. Captain Matthew Morgan: 60: 327l. Total, 1,481l.; which being deducted from the 1,557l. 10s. issued by privy seal to the Treasurer, there remains surplusage to her Majesty, 76l. 10s.
Endd. with note of contents. 2 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 121.]
Count Maurice to the Queen.
Efforts to win Geertruidenberg back to obedience by gentle means have failed. The exorbitant sum of 216,000 florins was paid them as arrearages, yet, upon the pretext that by their oath to her Majesty they need obey none but her Lieutenant-General, they have grown ever more disorderly. Willugby promised to restore the town to the States, but has never done so and is now in England. In his absence, an opportunity occurred of service against the enemy. Cavalry were required and the Count wrote to Sir John Winckfelde for that of Geertruidenberg. The garrison refused, demanded further arrearages and also a sum in no way due to them, and threatened to spoil the burghers' houses and seize the river shipping if their demands were refused. Wingfeldt replied that they would rather seek aid of the enemy than submit to the States. The Count had, therefore, to march to save Geertruidenberg and its loyal burghers. Fears his actions may be misrepresented to her Majesty. The States exhausted all other means to preserve this town belonging to Holland and his own family.—The fleet before Geertruidenberg, 22 March, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 4¼ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 132.]
Copy of the above, with marginal notes of contents by Burghley. Enclosed in the following letter.
Endd. French. 5¼ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 125.]
Count Maurice to the Privy Council. (fn. 1)
Requests their good offices touching his letter to her Majesty, of which he encloses a copy. All other means of preserving Geertruidenberg have been exhausted. Ortel will communicate Winckvelde's letter to their lordships.—The fleet before Geertruidenberg, 22 March, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. 2¼ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 129.]
Ortell's complaints about piracies.
The inhabitants of the United Provinces have lost over 200,000l. sterling during the last five years. Desires that some absolute and final order be taken by the Privy Council “for the present spoils and injuries late done, and [goods] yet in part extant.”
Complaint of Albert Reynerson. His ship, the Waterhound, of the Briell, taken by Rawlei's ship in 1585 [as on p. 149]. Rawlei's ship, the Roebuck, in January last took the Angel Gabriel [as on p. 149, but less fully]. Petitions that the Angel Gabriel and such goods as remain be restored to the owners, both they and Rawley giving sufficient sureties.
Walter Artson. The Roebuck took, last January, from a ship of Holland bound for London, 4 butts of sack consigned to a subject of the United Provinces resident there: also took his servant and factor. Petitions for restoration, upon sureties if thought necessary.
Walter Artson. The Roebuck about the same time took goods belonging to merchants of the United Provinces from a Hamborough ship (Henry Croeger, master). “The English soldiers at the sea” broke up the packs of goods and made themselves apparel of some part thereof. Petition for restitution of remaining goods and satisfaction for what spoiled.
Michael Leman. Last August the Roebuck took mace and sugar from the Post Horse of Amsterdam. Petition as above.
John Jacobson Decker, John Dowson, and others. 3 fishing boats and another, spoiled in August and November, 1586, by Sir Walter Leveson's ship [as on p. 149, above, but without the details of Decker's death]. Petition that Leveson may give satisfaction, as he did to the Dane.
Cornelis Lynson [as on pp. 149–50, above]. Petition for the price of the ship.
Adam and Everard Hulcher. Restitution of 242 chests of sugar, worth 3800l., was ordered by the Admiralty Court after 15 month' suit against Robert Flicke: but Thomas Cordall and others, agents for Flicke, broke into the cellars and warehouses where the goods were and carried them away to private houses, so that no satisfaction yet obtained. Petition that the Council (as the Judge of the Admiralty will deal no further herein, Flicke having appealed to her Majesty) will restore the goods upon sureties, despite Flicke's appeal, according to the practice of other countries and to “the Civil Law in force in this realm in a cause of this nature.”
Nicholas Henrickson. Master and owner of a ship of Home, taken on return from Brazil in October, 1587, by the Centurion of London, Nicholas Brokebancke, master; goods worth 1,500l. unladed and sold at Plymouth. Proof thereof made in Admiralty Court, but no redress. Petitions for speedy judgment, for restitution of ship and goods, and for damages for the interruption of his trade.
Adam Hulcher of Middelborough, merchant. 130 chests of sugar consigned to him in Henrickson's ship. Had safe-conduct from the Lord High Admiral of England, and has proved his claim in the Admiral Court, yet the Judge adjudged them away from him. Petitions that the case be reviewed by 3 or 4 indifferent persons, rather than according to the ordinary “tedious course of appeal.”
Durtes, Roelland, and others. The White Falcon, of Amsterdam, with sugar, cinnamon, mace, and other spices, and also 12 bags of rialls of 8 (landed it is said by their honours' order), a packet of 500 ducats, and 4 packets of precious stones; the Rose, of Amsterdam, Berrent Jasperson, master, with salt and also 291 rialls of 8 belonging to Peter Linters and others of Amsterdam; a third ship, Lawrence Swart, [master]. All brought into Plymouth lately by William Hawkins, Thomas Drake, and Edmund Clifford. Petition for restitution of ships and goods, proof of ownership being made, and sureties given: and that the said “English rovers” may hand up the bills of lading, etc., and give sureties to make satisfaction if the goods are proved to be the petitioners'.
Salvator de la Parma. In January last, Capt. Baker with a ship of Sir Richard Grenvile took from the Sampson of Flushing, oils and figs worth 1000l. sterling belonging to Parma of Middelborough. Petition for restitution, if title proved.
Martin France. Master of a ship of Flushing from which 1,000l. sterling in coin, belonging to himself and others of Middelborough, was taken by Benett Wilson serving under William Walton alias Snowe of Bristow. Petitions for restitution, damages, and interest, if title proved.
[Peter Lyntors.] Capt. Miller of Waimoth, serving under the mayor there, took from the St. Peter of Amsterdam 57 chests of sugar, 10 pipes of wine, 52 arrobas and 24 barrels of conserves, belonging to Lyntors and other merchants of Amsterdam, as was proved in the Admiralty where restitution was ordered. Petitions for execution of the order.
Peter Lyntors. The said St. Peter taken in April last by Capt. Fullsid and John Flemynge, and the goods sold. Petitions that those who bought the goods from the pirates make restitution or satisfaction.
Peter Lyntors. L'Esperance of Rosco, with 1000 “pieces of raisins” and 10 pipes of tinto belonging to Lyntors and others of Amsterdam and Middelborough, taken in February last by the warship Saucy Jack of Hampton, owned by Thomas Eaton, customer of Hampton. Petitions for sequestration of ship and goods and for restitution upon proof of title.
Jacob Fresse, of Home. A chest with goods worth 100l. taken from a ship of Amsterdam by Francis Brooke, serving in one of the Earl of Cumberland's ships.
Giles van Hontehuse, master of a galley of Flushing. Robbed, last November, by Frauncis, captain of the Grace of God of Hampton, set forth by William Walker of Taunton.
Anthony Williamson Belleman, master of a flyboat of Rotherdam: ship and goods taken in July last by Gilbert Leae.
Desires that these, and any other, ships and goods arrested anywhere in England, may upon proof of title be restored, according to the statutes of this realm and the articles of the Intercourse. And for the avoiding of the like inconveniences hereafter, desires their honours to consider the following articles:—
(1) That letters of reprisal be granted only to merchants who have sustained losses, and who give surety for their good behaviour at sea. This would prevent those who have lost nothing, who have never dealt as merchants, and who have not given bonds for their behaviour, or have given only inadequate ones, from getting letters of reprisal and spoiling her Majesty's friends.
(2) That, whereas divers knights and merchants get letters of reprisal but give no surety themselves, procuring instead captains, etc., being unable persons, and binding them; and then when complaints are made, evading any legal charge by pretending they lent their ships and bought the goods bona fide of the men of war, so referring the complainants to needy and disordered persons from whom nothing can be obtained; that order be made that such owners be held answerable for the conduct of their ships, unless sufficient bond be entered before in the Admiral Court.
(3) That the proclamation of  March, 1585[–6], forbidding, under pain of being punished as pirates, any attacks under colour of letters of reprisal upon other ships than those of the King of Spain and the kingdom of Portugal, may be reissued and enforced.
(4) That, whereas the rovers take their captures into privileged ports, where the officers and magistrates participate and make large profits and where the process of the Lord Admiral's court is not current: that order be given that no prize be taken into such ports, or at least that no bulk be broken or sale made.
(5) “That whereas by the practice of all other countries where letters of reprisal or mark are used, no prize taken at the sea is accounted lawful prize nor licensed to be sold but upon three several proclamations and defaults passed and after sentence judicial given, in presence of the party interested, or master, or other mariners of the said ship if any of them claim interest in the said goods; whereby those intolerable injuries and wrongs which of these late years have been done in this realm to divers her Majesty's faithful friends, ‘mought’ in some sort have been prevented, and the parties interested have had time and opportunity to claim and avouch their right in those goods, which now in corners and at ports obscure and unknown are speedily and in secret customed, inventoried, ‘praised,’ and sold, the master and company of the prize being all this while kept secret as prisoners under hatches: that, therefore, it may be ordered that no sale of any goods taken by letters of reprisal shall be lawful or good until three proclamations three several weeks have passed of the same in the High Court of the Admiralty and a sentence in form of law given in that behalf.”
(6) That when goods or ships of the United Provinces are seized by any English men of war, and suit for restitution is made in the Admiral Court, such proofs be allowed as are admitted by the Statute of 27 Edward III and by the Intercourse, articles 15, 16, and 17, viz. the oath of the master or merchants, the mark of the goods, cockets or bills of lading. That in these weighty causes Mr. Henry Killegrewe, Mr. Dr. Clerke, and Mr. Dr. Awbrey be associated with the Judge of the Admiralty: the agent of the States may be added to them.
(7) That buyers of goods taken by pirates be compelled to restore them upon sufficient proof of title, “without any shifting of the matter by prohibition at the Common Law.”
(8) That their honours would set down their opinion touching the staying of ships of the United Provinces engaged under the colours of other nations in the long established trade with France, Spain, Portugal, and the Islands, which is so essential to them: will carry no victuals, munitions, or materials for rigging ships, to the Spaniard.
Transcript of the 15th, 16th, and 17th, articles of the Magnus Intercursus between Henry VII and the Archduke Philip, 1495[–6] [printed in extenso in Rymer, Foedera, etc., XII. 578–88].
Endd. with date, and by Burghley. 8½ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 135.]
Mr. Ortell's Requests.
The outrageous proceedings at sea against those of the United Provinces may produce a lamentable issue. Suggests that a strict proclamation (“enacted in the Parliament house”) be made, forbidding any of her Majesty's subjects upon pain of death to intermeddle with ships or goods of inhabitants of the United Provinces. The Estates General and particular should in return by public act forbid upon pain of death any of their inhabitants to colour any Spaniard's or enemy goods or to allow the conveyance of any victuals, munitions, or materials serving for rigging of ships.
Desires the release of the goods detained in divers ports, upon sufficient proof of title by oath, the charter party, or marks, or upon sufficient surety.
That two or three of credit and quality be joined with the Judge of the Admiralty forthwith to decide other matters now depending in law.
Endd. with date. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 141.]
Sir Francis Vere to Willoughby.
“Since your departure here hath happened nothing worthy the writing. The state of Gertrudenberg, as your honour left it. Count Maurice hath received artillery from many towns, and Der Vere hath furnished him with those that they had in their magazine.” Battery of the town is daily expected. Learns even now that great shooting can be heard there. Willoughby should get some speedy resolution from her Majesty, for Gertrudenberg is an important place and they have put themselves under her Majesty's protection. As soon as he has any direction, will employ himself diligently. “for my honourable lady, Sir John Wyngfeld, and your nephew …”—Midde[lburg], 14 March.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 143.]
[Edward Barton] to [Walsingham?]
Sent double copies of occurrents. Money so scarce that whole Turkish companies desert, it is said, to the Persian who is greatly strengthened thereby and particularly by certain deserting arquebusiers. Even here the troops are very froward and have slain divers merchants and Jews who refused the copper money with which the Gran Spgnor] pays his soldiers. These coins are merely thin pieces of brass whitened with quicksilver, and made in almost every house. The customers and tax gatherers buy them at 200 the dollar and, after bribing the Vicerey and Treasurer, pay them into the Treasury at 84. The Gran S[ignor] has no other coin with which to pay his soldiers, who, being unable to get it accepted, are almost compelled into violence.
Mutiny for want of pay in Greater Missia or Bosnia. The Bassa and Treasurer fled by night. The Gran S[ignor] as yet is unresolved, and the troops therefore without a governor. Fears they may attack some rich city, and that the Buda troops may follow their example.
An ambassador arrived on the 4th from Usbecke, the Great Tartar, to pray the Gran S[ignor] to continue his war against Persia and to make a way through “to the Mecca or sepulchre of Mahumed.” The Gran Spgnor] gave him small ear and less credit. He suspects some double dealing for he has just warned the Tartars not to molest the new King of Poland's borders before the Polish ambassador arrives here.
The three Greeks who affected the governments of Wallachia, Bogdania, and Moldavia, have met the ends which Barton foresaw. One was poisoned by his friends to avoid an ignominious death; another was bored through the nose and lost part of his ears; the third handled likewise, “but put to certain tailors of the Prince to learn to sew.” Those who complained (as he wrote on Feb. 1), of the Beglerbie were condemned to die before the Capugies returned. The Beglerbie secured their pardon and banished them to Argier—they will be thrown overboard before they get there!
No further news of the fleet's preparation.—Rapamet, 14 March, 1588.
Endd. by Walsingham's clerk. 2 pp. [Turkey I. f. 168.]
Ottywell Smyth to Walsingham.
Wrote yesterday by Thomas Serman. The governor now wants him to ask his honour for thirty corslets and some large horsemen's armour and some small. He will pay for them. News from the Court that 400 Albanoys horsemen, on their way to join de Maine, have been defeated. A Scot who crosses with Mr. Gray had letters from the Bishop Rosse which should have gone “by them Scottishmen,” but they dared not carry them. Has warned the mayor of Rye. Sends a letter from the governor.—Dyepe, 26 March, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd., with partial note of contents. ½ p. [France XIX. f. 82.]
Sir John Conway to Walsingham.
Captain Anthony Wynckfyde's company still delayed here by contrary winds and want of shipping. Mr. Beynton, Wynckfyde's lieutenant, this bearer, desired leave to go over to see about it, and the captains wish him to ask for some few men to be sent hither to strengthen their companies.
“This year hath wrought more sickness and loss of men in this garrison than many years before. Now our companies are fewer, and our services thereby very hard.” So it is desirable that every company be complete. If they may have men from England, or else entertain some from Holland, etc., will answer for the efficiency and strength of the companies and that there will be no abuses through the accepting of ‘Duches.’
Desires the speedy return of this bearer, whom he can spare as ill as any in this garrison.—Ostend, 16 March, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 145.]
Signed statement by Sir Christopher Blounte and Captain Matthew Morgan that they would rather have their companies ‘cassed’ than go for Spain.—16 March, 1588.
Endd. ¼ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 147.]
Sir John Conway to Walsingham.
Those whom he sent out have just brought news that Stanley's regiment has gone from Bridges side towards Downkerk, and that Lamott has put 300 musketeers into Graveling castle and withdraws his forces hereabouts towards the coast towns. Their forces in these parts are weak “and they were in their lives never so far to seek how to use them. They are so amazed and despaired in her Majesty's forces, as in fear of them they spoil these parts of Flanders greatly. They have fired the suburbs of Burborough, the most of Phern, Harbolt, and sundry villages and farms of the country, and retired the people, saying it is as good for themselves to take the spoil as her Majesty's forces when they shall come.” Their towns are ill victualled. “They have a bruit that her Majesty's forces are about Deepe, and they post all ways exceedingly.”
The Duke has sent forces towards Geerteranberge. “The town are resolved to eat their horses before they will yield it, and rather to the Spaniard than to the States. The town hath killed two or three of the Count's chief leaders.” Hopes “God will relieve them and her Majesty think upon them.”
The States of Holland and Zeeland will do nothing to relieve Ostend, though they continually relieve the enemy. Hopes her Majesty will not trust them too far, but will look to places important to her. “It is as requisite to be jealous of these people as of the Duke of Parma …”—Ostend, 17 March, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 151.]
Sir Thomas Morgan to the Privy Council.
Received their letter about victualling the companies at the rate of 8l. 6s. weekly. Morgan and the captains like well of it, but the Lord General misliked it. A reasonable rate should be set down for the victuals, as prices here are far higher than in England.
Could not send over the companies, for without them could not hold the forts. Writes more fully hereof to Mr. Secretary.
The order to cashier the strangers in the English companies; also, the projects of the enemy [as in letter to Walsingham, below]. The Prince apparently means to join his forces which are gathering at Bredae.—Berghes, 17 March, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 155.]
Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Received his two letters, and prepared to send the companies to England, informing the Lord General thereof. The Lord General bade him stay them here, saying he had received such order from her Majesty. The 12 companies of foot and 3 of horse do not make up 1300 Englishmen, as his nephew, Captain Matthew Morgan, can tell. So, hopes no hard opinion will be had of him if ill befall this town, especially now when the enemy are very strong round about it, meaning (as he learns by good intelligence) to besiege both it and Ostende as soon as they can learn the objective of her Majesty's forces now ready in England. The enemy has secret practices with some, whom Morgan cannot discover, inside this town. Captain Sherley can inform his honour further hereof. Placarts come from the Estates for the cashiering of the strangers in the English companies. Dare not obey until they have a new supply from England to replace them. Desires his honour's furtherance therein, and also for imprest money to furnish such new men with arms. At least 400 footmen and 120 horse needed.
Desires him to return his nephew, Captain Matthew Morgan, “with some advancement, either of horse or foot.”
Desires his favour now that the Lord General is in England, who has treated Morgan very hardly.—Berghes, 17 March, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. 12/3 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 153.]
Thomas Bodley to Burghley.
Wrote last, on the 9th, of the besieging of Gertrudenbergh, a resolution taken secretly and without the privity of the Council of State. The heady proceedings of Count Maurice and his advisers may cause “a dangerous alteration in the state of this government.” Many here are aware of the danger but care too much for their own quietness to interfere. Has, when occasion offered, told them that her Majesty will probably dislike this “forcible course” being adopted without her knowledge. They say that they often complained to her and received nothing but fair promises. They did not. however, deal with her so often or so effectually as was requisite before resolving to use this extremity. Most here agree on this, and deplore the open hostilities. “Notwithstanding if it had come to the question of the means, considering the unruly disposition of those in Gertrudenbergh, I cannot tell what to say else, but non perinde dijudicavi posse, quid optimum factum sit, quam pessimum fuisse quod factum est.” The Zeeland and Overysel garrisons have been weakened to provide these forces, and the enemy will probably attempt something, especially when Sir John Norris has gone. “The Count hath fortified in divers places near Gertrudenbergh so as it is thought the enemy cannot come to it, and hath besides cut the dykes and let in the water round about. Nevertheless, they within seem very resolute, having, as it is said, artillery, powder, shot, men, and victuals sufficient. Once or twice the enemy at Bridaw hath made fires in the night, but those of Gertrudenbergh have not answered again.”
The six ships promised to Norris lie, unprepared, four at Amsterdame, two at Enchusen. They are unlikely to be sent, for the States' deputies here say they can do nothing without those who are at the siege. This is probably a set purpose, because they are not dealt with about their requests touching the supernumeraries in the cautionary towns, etc.
Mr. Secretary's indisposition forces him to write to Burghley oftener than he would or should. Desires some direction for his carriage of himself “in this ticklish state,” and some answer to the more important points of his former letters.—The Hage, 19 March, '88.
Postcript. Hears the Count has planted his artillery, by sea and land, and begins his battery to-day or to-morrow. “I have employed a fit person to lie about the camp and to bring me the certainty of all that shall pass …”
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. 2¼ pp. [Holand XXXI. f. 157.]
Note of Horses brought over.
Sir John Burgh's company, under his lieutenant, Thomas Wylliams, 35. Christopher Blounte's, under his lieutenant, William Smith, 48. Matthew Morgan's, under his lieutenant, Walter Willcokes, 43. [Sir Robert Sidney's], under his lieutenant, Jaques Little, 49.
Each entry, except the last, signed, and in the same hand as the signature. Endd. “A note of such horses as are brought over, of the bands of Sir Jo. Brough, Sir Chr. Blunt, Cap. Morgan, Sir Robert Sidney,” and with date. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 165.]
A project for an answer to the Count Maurice's letter.
Commend their care to preserve a place of such importance, but marvel that they so slenderly acknowledge her Majesty's care to assist them and that they proceed “to this last and extremest remedy of force,” with its uncertain issue. “For if you would have put on a necessary patience, (fn. 2) as the French King for Callis or the Spanish (fn. 2) King for Graveling, you might with less charge and more safety have compassed your own desires.” Instead they have infringed the Treaty and given her Majesty cause of offence by their careless proceeding towards her.
Her Majesty is informed that there was no mention of money in her Lieutenant's promise, and that he advised them rather to use force (offering, his help) than pay such exorbitant sums. He says that he often offered to the Council of Estate, the States General, and the Count, both publicly and privately, to do all he could to secure the town for them, but that he had no greater authority there than they had. He desires to come to trial that he may justify himself, having good proof to offer.
Her Majesty regrets that they did not obtain satisfactory terms before paying the money; she is more sorry still that they now “seek to expend twice so much, put the town in great hazard of losing, and break all treaty.”
Great though the disorders were, yet apparently matters were never brought to an examination, as the Lieutenant and Bodley required. They might have blocked up the town, to prevent their raids, and then consulted her Majesty. Force should have been used only in the last resort, for it is costly, and dangerous, “having an enemy at your backs to assail you when you should assault the town.” To avoid present inconveniences and to preserve correspondency with her Majesty according to the Treaty, they should “surcease further force.” Her Majesty will then “essay more likely and better means to effectuate these difficulties to have a good event.” They should beware of refusing to do this, for it would aggravate their contempt shown in their failure to consult her Majesty or her ministers.
The secret enterprise of which they speak hardly sounds credible. They would hardly make such large preparations for anything there is to be attempted near Berghen. If they did, they should have informed her Majesty's officers. If their object was Stenberghen, there have been many opportunities to take that place, for example in the Earl of Leicester's time.
As for Wingfield's refusal, they know that matters pass in his name, but that a council of war really directs everything.
“He is no great secretary nor anywise languaged in French or Dutch, so that a fault may easily escape him”; but his own answer seems quite a legitimate justification of himself. Expect him to use all convenient respects and duties.
Expect present answer.
Draft, with one or two corrections by Burghley. Endd. as above by Burghley. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 169.]