Elizabeth: April 1589, 26-30

Pages 230-247

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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April 1589, 26–30

April 26./May 6. Ottywell Smyth to Walsingham.
News from Monpansyere at Caenne confirms Espernone's defeating of de Maine's avantguard. Monpansyere goes to besiege Fallesse again, for Count Brysacke and M. Pyere Coeuerte have fled, leaving only Fallesse and Lyseues to resist him: they cannot hold for a month unaided. Blenvylle castle taken before this town's nobility could rescue it. There remains only Long-vylle castle and Bakvylle castle to take: then they will besiege this town, against which two cannon and eight hundred men are sent from Abvylle. If the Picardy levies come, those of Roanne will come up on the other side. This town lacks footmen, powder, and money: there are plenty of horsemen. The governor would have made a campe volante, if he had had the money. Half the town is for the League. Newhaven is said to be sending the galleass and other ships to blockade it. There are but six ships of over an hundred tons here, though above 140 of that size or larger are “abroad at the sea for merchandise.” Unless her Majesty send over all those of the Religion from Rye and London, the town will fall. The governor has written for this to Walsingham and the Frenchmen, but I “think they will not come without your commandment.” If the galleass comes, he wants four of her Majesty's ships sent. He prepares two or three of the best ships here.
The governor is brave enough but needs two or three thousand pounds, as well as 3,000 lb. of powder, corslets, lances, a cannoneer, and 500 footmen. Importance of this town to England, to whom alone its governor can look for aid. “The King hath writ him to keep the town for him, and he will come shortly with his camp to help him:” but the King and Monpansyere are still afar off. Refers his honour for all news to John Parkett, the bearer of this and the governor's letter [not found].—Dyepe, 6 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. “6 May, stil. novo …” Seal. 1¼ pp. [France XIX. f. 112.]
April 27./May 7. John Welles to Walsingham.
Was to-day before the council, who said his letters of credit were at the court, threatened him with torture, and accused him of being a spy and the death of many Papists, which his honour knows is untrue. Will not be released till they have another prisoner for him. Welles answered that there was no war between England and their King, and asked for means to live in prison, or to have what they had taken from him. Those of Ron took Blyngevill castle: the soldiers went to Dipe and, it is said, M. the Legir besieges it again. The president and those from Paris are still at Newhaven, but the governor will send no men against Dipe, though he promises ships if they will pay for them.
St. Dinis is for the King. M. the Torye, with 800 horse and 3,000 foot, is in Sanlyeis, ten leagues from Paris…M. the Gise with great forces is in another town two leagues from St. Dinis, and M. the Longville is in Picardy, so the wars are all about Paris. Proclamation made there against speaking ill of the King. Mompanser defeated M. the Vigis, taking five guns, but Vigis escaped with twelve men to Mont St. Mychell. Mompanser again besieges Vallaes. The Count the Syoshon and Baron the Niuborke with great forces are fifteen leagues from this town, so that it will be besieged ere fifteen days are past. Dipe would be a great loss: they only fear help out of England.
M. the Millroy very ill and like to die. The King is still at Touiris. The two kings are very strong. A false (fn. 1) report that the Duke de Mayne has defeated Count Briant: actually the Duke's vanguard was overthrown, as Welles has written. De Mayne stayed but three days at Paris.
A shipmaster come from Bayon says that 60 Bayon and St. John the Lyse ships, bound for the Newfoundland fishing, have been stayed at the Passage. The King of Spain, he says, has no ships ready. There are two flyboats lying at Bayon for London.
Mr. Owerslye wrote to Ralph Letherborowe. He says that he had a great rebuke but will not forget Welles. Desires that Owerslye may write again. Le Roye, the post, is said to have betrayed Welles.—“At Rone by stillte” [? stealth], 7 May, 1589.
Postscript. Encloses a copy of the last of his six supplications [not found].
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XIX. f. 129.]
April 27. William Milward to Burghley.
Reached Stade on the 2nd. Wrote to Burghley on the 4th [not found]. Might borrow, in small parcels among the Netherlanders at Hamburg, about 20,000l. and no more, at not under twelve [per cent.]. No money in the land of Holst, nor likely to be before Wedel mart at mid-Lent, and even then it is doubtful. A man who deals with the Holsters must be ‘tempering’ long beforehand. Money is so scant in Hamburg because of recent great preparations to send ships from Hamburg to Spain with corn and all manner munition, a trade maintained only with Netherlanders' purses, for the Hamburgers' power is nothing. Finds that the Netherlanders, whatever their show of religion, generally prefer private gain to any cause whatsoever. England will smart unless her Majesty cuts off such trade. Will not lose hope of his mission for a month or two.
No prince has yet had any money here: few, except perchance her Majesty, have the credit to get any, for the great ‘counters’ have had loss by that trade. The troubles everywhere make many men more dainty than heretofore. Will not yet deliver the letters which he brought, nor show why he has come, until he sees hope of success: if he cannot prevail, it shall not be said that her Majesty sought money. Divers guesses about his mission, all missing the mark. Will go to Hamburg on the 28th.
No soldiers are levied in these parts, though there was an uncertain rumour that the Duke of Wartbergh's eldest son (who is contrary to his father in religion) levied horsemen for the League.
News came on the 12th and 16th of the loss of Gertrwyenbergh and Sevenbergh. The Hamburghers and malcontents rejoice at it, and at anything offensive to England.—Stade, 27 April, 1589, o.s.
Postscript. Sends a verbatim copy of this to Mr. Secretary [not found].
Holograph. Add. Endd. Words in italics in cipher. Seal. 1⅓ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 65.]
Decipher of the above.
pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 67.]
April 27. William Milward to Burghley.
Some friends have just brought him their news. Sends this “brief collection” therefrom, not having time to copy them in full.
News from France, by Frankfort letters, 29 March, 1589. The King's ambassador obtained a loan of 30,000 crowns from Bale and 120,000 from Berne. Zurich and Schaffhausen may increase the total to 250,000. There is also a negotiation with the Count of Montbeliard. They deal with the Baron de Schomberg for a levy of some 1,200 horsemen, to march in six weeks. With these will be the 500 horse under M. de Haraucourt, a regiment of lances, thirty foot companies which they are raising, and about a thousand French foot and 400 horse. Captain Villeneuve has gone to the frontiers of Champagne to meet, pay, and conduct them. They go by the way of Lyons, which it is hoped those of Geneva will have opened, for 1,200 Swiss and 700 French, with the Valais ensigns and 300 other horsemen, are also to go. A truce made between the King's men and the Religion in Dauphiné, where are Alfonso Corso (son of Sampiero), d'Epernon, de la Valette with the Provence forces, and some men from Languedoc and Vivarais where a truce is also made, in all eight or ten thousand foot and fifteen hundred very good horse. They hope to take Chambery, which is ill defended. Villefranche and Macon are for the King. Chalons, Beaune, and Dijon are for the League, whose forces are too weak to come into Champagne. M. de Tavannes is still taking small Leaguer places. They prepare to besiege Lyons, which cannot hold out if the Swiss and those of Dauphiné also come up. The King of Navarre was at Argentan, in Berri, with 6,000 harquebusiers and 1,200 horse, awaiting Turenne and Chatillon who bring about 3,000 foot and five or six hundred horse. He is now near Tours, where the French King is: their meeting and good accord is reported. Montmorency assured Navarre of the King's good will. The French King has 15,000 foot and 1,500 horse, daily reinforced, and has summoned to him all his troops and nobles. He has sent 30 gentlemen to raise light horse companies of 100 men each. Rouen admitted Mayenne but not his troops and will defend itself without obeying either him or the King. Mayenne returned to Paris, where there were riots. He means to assemble his forces at Etampes where he is now. Many in Paris would probably welcome the King, who is said to be going into Champagne. He is near Moulins, having taken St. Aignan on the way and slain all there over fourteen years of age. This is a good example.
Letters from Geneva, 1 April, 1589. Things move so slowly here that the corruption of the chief men by the Duke was suspected. Something will be done against their neighbours this week. 10,000 Swiss, 2,000 French foot, and 1,500 reiters are said to be available for the enterprise of Savoy, Doubts whether there are so many, as another levy is made for France. This town gives 300 horse, 1,500 foot, and 6 cannon with much munitions. When the Duke is attacked from this side, MM. Lesdiguières and la Valette will attack him also. M. de Nemours is still at Lyons, which is quiet. The King is at Tours and the King of Navarre very near to him: an agreement likely. Turenne is expected with forces from Guienne. M. de Nevers raises troops for the King, for whom he gains much ground. It is said that the Duke is uncertain whether to cross the mountains to go into Piedmont. [Marginal note by Milward that the word Duke when unqualified means the Duke of Savoy.]
Letters from Emden, 17 April, 1589. Friesland is as usual. The minters neither progress nor lose ground, and there is question as to who shall succeed the dog, now dead. [Margin: Minters = Lutherans “who have their exercise in the Mint”: the dog = the preacher.] The citizens mean to petition the Count again to abolish this pest. The Counts' quarrel appeased by the Emperor's mediation. Count John gets back Stichusa [Margin: a castle treacherously taken from him by Enno, Count Edzard's eldest son, two years ago] and is to hold his other strongholds for life, and to receive 2,000 imperial dollars yearly from the revenues of Emden. If he die without male heirs, all, except his movables, goes to his brother or his brother's successors. The Counts may change nothing, and impose no fresh taxes (unless demanded by the Emperor), without the Senate's consent. The edict contains many such provisions beneficial to the subject.
Has thus hastily collected the substance of his news, in the languages in which they were written. Hopes “the reading shall be no more tedious to you than painful to me to write the same.”— Stade, 27 April, 1589.
Endd. The advertisements in Italian, except the Emden letter which is in Latin. 2¾ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 69.]
April 27. William Milward to Walsingham.
Since writing his letters, he has received one from his friend in Emden who was providing his honour's 4 coach horses. He says that horses are very dear now and that there is “not a likely colt of 3 years to be bought under 80 dollars” (about 20 marks sterling), so that good horses could not be delivered in London for under 100 dollars, or about 20l. sterling, apiece. Desires to know his honour's pleasure herein.—Stade, 27 April, 1589.
Postscript. Sends the Lord Treasurer news gathered from Frankford, Geneva, and Emden letters.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 71.]
April [27?] (fn. 2) The [Queen] to [Bodley].
Encloses copy of her letters to Dort and neighbouring towns, urging them “to maintain all good union together under the general government of the States” now that the loss of Gertruden-bergh opens a way into Holland for the enemy. He shall inform the States General that she is sending a nobleman over to treat with them for the remedy of the defects in their government and its restoration to its former state at the time when the United Provinces were taken into her protection. The nobleman is to be there by May 25, wind permitting, and the States General should be ready at the Hague to meet him, with full authority to conclude upon a final order without any of the customary delays. He shall advertise her of their resolution as soon as possible.
As Bodley will know best what towns should be written to, the letters, except that to Dort, have been left undirected. Bodley shall address them and send them off at once by someone able to show by speech her great care for their preservation.
Copy. Endd. April, 1589, and with a trefoil and note of contents. ¾ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 57.]
[April 27?] [The Queen?] to [Dordrecht?]
Gertrudenberg lost. This happened by the fault, or, rather, the evil counsel of certain in those countries [this sentence crossed out: marginal note, “Mr. Henry Killigrew thought good that these lines should be strucken out, but her Majesty liketh them and would them in.” Inserted above that the town was lost —and in a different hand God knows how—very carelessly and that the authors of its loss deserve punishment]. Urges them, therefore, as the chief town in those parts, to keep good watch and to live good harmony with their neighbours. Desires to know the state of their town and neighbouring towns, either by express messenger or through Bodley.
Draft, corrected. Undated. Endd., and with miscellaneous notes, e.g. powder for Brill; references to Philippe de Mornay's Méditations chrestiennes sur les psaumes, la Rochel, 1586. French. 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 59.]
Another draft of the above.
Endd. “to the town of Dort.” Undated. French. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 123.]
April 27. The Privy Council to Sir John Conway.
Hear that Bruges and other towns of Flanders have urged the Duke of Parma to attack Ostend again, and also that there is a practice between the enemy and one Northkern. Conway shall do his best to discover this practice. He shall also consider how the town's defences may be strengthened, and shall advertise them of his needs of victuals, etc., which shall be speedily sent over.—The court, 27 April, 1589.
Signed by, Chr. Hatton, W. Burghley, C. Howard, T. Buckhurst, T. Heneage. Add. Endd. One of the Conway Papers. 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 112.]
April 27,/May 7 last date. French Occurrents.
The King of Navarre went from Saumur to Chasteau Regnault in Anjou, some nine or ten leagues away, to attack du Mayne's quarters. Du Mayne, however, had left his siege of Chasteau Regnault to surprise the Count de Brienne at St. Ouyn near Amboyse, so the King, finding the place stoutly defended by Captain Sarroiste and fearing an attack upon the [French] King, made an all-night march to Maille-sur-Loire, two leagues from Tours, where he arrived at dawn. He had with him four hundred horse, six hundred mounted harquebusiers, and no baggage. At Maille the Marquis de Nelle, lord of Chasteau Regnault, the Count de Roussy, brother of the Count de Rochefoucault, and other courtiers came to him. The Prince de Conty arrived later and slept there.
The [French] King was very pleased at Navarre's coming to Maille and has since called him to Plessis-les-Tours, whither Marshal d'Aumont escorted him. All honest men rejoice at the two Kings' meeting, which took place at three o'clock in the evening of the last of April in the allée of Plessis-les-Tours. All the town was present, or at least the ground was too small to hold everyone for the trees were loaded with people. The salutations and embracings were ten or twelve times repeated amid the plaudits of the people, shouting vive les rois for nearly half an hour. The King of Navarre then rode part of the way back with the [French] King and all the court. He afterwards re-crossed the river and lodged in the Marmoustier suburb. Great demonstrations of joy and friendship by the two Kings and great satisfaction among all the princes and lords.
The King wishes the King of Navarre to superintend the ordering and lodging of the army. Some say that he will make him his Lieutenant-General, and that the powers are already drafted.
May 3. The King of Navarre is at Maille: constant intercourse with Tours and great shows of goodwill. The enemy is not alarmed, but it is hoped that the King of Navarre's cavalry will be as strong as theirs. The King now wants the Leaguers to be called atheists. M. de Villeroy is believed to be with their troops. The King makes great confiscations. He is much bolder since the interview and speaks much more absolutely to his Council, which is still timid and lukewarm.
Saumur, May 7. The King of Navarre's troops can no longer live across the Loire, so the King has ordered them to come back again through all the passages between Saumur and Tours. The King of Navarre went through Saumur, Chinon, and Arzay, towards Amboyse, where the united forces are to recross the Loire and lodge where they may hinder the enemy, who is now near the Chasteau du Loire. The King of Navarre urges everyone to go with him to Chinon and Tours, for delay does harm, though their affairs go as well as anyone could wish. The League pillage all noblemen's houses. A recent muster revealed their true strength as only 8,000 footmen and 800 horse. The King of Navarre alone has as many cavalry.
Endd. French. 2¾ pp. [Newsletters IX. f. 97.]
[April 27.] Contraventions of the Treaty by the States.
They have broken Article 19 by taking upon themselves to provide for matters of government in their instructions to the Council of State; by establishing a council of war without the privity of her Majesty or her General (it is composed of Count Maurice, Count Philip, Marshal Villers, M. de Famars, M. de Locres, M. de Grise, M. de Bruges, M. de Landoys); and by refusing to establish a council of war as the Lord General desired, consisting “of such counsellors of her Majesty's subjects serving there as his lordship thought fit.”
They should, according to Article 27, have referred the dispute with Gertrudenbergh to her Majesty or to her General, “to be ordered with the advice of the Council of State.” Instead, when they could not settle it by the ordinary course of justice, they had recourse to arms, and so lost the place. Their similar proceedings against Medenblick and Utrecht; and also against Shenke and the Amptman of Tyle, which caused the loss of Wachtendoncke.
They have violated Article 24 by appointing, of themselves, Count Maurice to be Governor of Brabant and Flanders. Appointments to provincial or town governments should be made by the Governor and Council of State from three nominations made by the province or town.
By treating with other princes without her Majesty's privity, e.g. the King of Denmark, the princes of Germany, the King of Navarre, they have broken Article 21 (if they treated for succours) or Articles 19 and 20 (if of civil policy).
They made patents, without the Governor's privity, for the companies of Sir Robert Sydney, Sir Christopher Blunt, and Captain Morgan to march to Bercke, a town of the Bishop of Collin and no party to the Treaty. This is contrary to the act of ‘ampliation.’
Contrary to Article 18, they have altered the value of their monies by placart without her Majesty's privity. Yet they would not allow the Governor to coin his plate to pay for Berghen's supplies during the siege.
Patents have been made “in the name of his excellency (intending. Count Maurice),” for the mustering of her Majesty's forces in Berghen. By Articles 2 and 19, and by the act of ‘ampliation’ of 7 September, 1585, the mustering of her Majesty's forces appertains to her General.
They have violated Article 1 by not appointing resident commissaries.
Endd. with trefoils, and by Burghley with date. 2⅓ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 101].
[April 27.] Notes by Beale and Clerk of certain points to be considered if her Majesty make a new treaty with the States.
In the present Contract her Majesty is bound to furnish so many men, but the States are not “bound to any certainty either for garrison or other services.” They could never keep the 24,000 men which it was thought they could maintain. Their garrisons are very weak and they have no forces to spare for the field. They confess that their garrisons alone cost 50,000l. more than their ordinary contribution amounts to, and they say that the country can bear no extraordinary contribution above this 50,000l. Need to undertake offensive war during summer. It should be certainly set down what forces both her Majesty and the States would maintain, so that the garrisons may be duly paid and a force of 12,000 or 14,000 men put into the field in the summer.
The Treaty makes no provision for the payment of officers of the field in her Majesty's auxiliary forces. The States refuse to promise reimbursement of their payment, grounding themselves upon the Treaty.
The States allege that her Majesty's pay for 100 men is 3l. 5s. sterling a month more than the Treaty rate. This will amount to a large expense if the States pretend to be bound only by the Treaty rate, as heretofore they have done.
The Treaty stipulates that her Majesty's forces should be mustered by her officers and officers of the States, upon whose warrants the Treasurer should make payment. This has not been done, and the States pretend to make payment only according to Treaty rates: also they “challenge the defaults and checks.” Agreement should be made about past payments and some better order established for the future.
Perfect accounts should be made of what is due to her Majesty by the States, and of the States' claims against her Majesty.
Order should be taken to assure the repayment of her Majesty's charges over and above the Treaty.
Upon view of the accounts, order should also be taken for the payment of sums remaining due to English forces formerly in the States' pay and discharged without full payment.
Any who have victualled any garrison, of either party, should state their claims and receive due satisfaction.
English troops on the march are often refused admittance to towns and have to stay aboard hoys or in bare churches, whereby many fall sick and die. This is contrary to Article 11, and should be redressed. Also the troops should be allowed reasonable amounts of candle, turf, forage, washings, etc., otherwise defalka-tions for these things, in addition to those already made for powder, the surgeon, clerk, deputy muster-master, minister, etc., will use up all the poor soldier's lendings.
Soldiers have to pay an imposition of 2d. or 3d. sterling on a quart of the local beer. This drives them to drink water, which is not wholesome in those countries, and so they fall into ‘flixes’ and diseases. Some reasonable quantity of beer should be allowed free to the companies.
The States have no power to frame instructions for the Council of State without the concurrence of her Majesty. Such instructions, if made by them alone, might infringe the Contract, for they have a majority of voices in the Council.
Have previously declared their opinions touching the particular instructions for the Council of State which Lord Willoughby sent over.
Signed, Bar. Clerk and Robert Beale.
As Flanders, of which only Ostende now remains, was one of the parties to the Contract, “it would be considered whether her Majesty have sufficient assurance to be answered her money wholly from the rest of the Provinces and every of them, to prevent the inconvenience which may happen when they shall object that they will answer only for their parts, and drive her Majesty to seek it pro rata from the rest of the Provinces recovered from them, as in like cases they have done.”
It should be considered whether Holland and Zeeland's refusal to admit any for Flanders or Brabant to the States General, Council of State, etc., may not give Flanders and Brabant just cause to refuse responsibility for any part of her Majesty's reimbursement.
Whether two several accounts should not be made up every year, one for the charges of the cautionary towns, the other for that of the auxiliary force: and thereupon two bonds taken of the States General for the reimbursement of these charges, and not to suffer it to run on and be comprehended in one bond.
Signed, Robert Beale.
Draft, with minor corrections. Endd. with trefoil, and by Burghley with date. 6¼ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXI V. f. 103.]
April 28. William Milward to Burghley.
Heard upon his arrival that two ships had brought over certain pieces of artillery. Dealt with the masters, WiUiam Byam of the Golden Lion of London, 100 tons, and John Bredcake of the John Bonaventure of London, about 50 tons. Found that each brought four minions belonging to James Holmes. Charged them, in virtue of his lordship's letters, not to unlade them. Byam agreed at once, and Bredcake after Milward promised to give him letters to acquit him towards Holmes. Bredcake went on the 7th to see Holmes at Hamburg, where he was born. Holmes came to Milward bringing Sir Robert Constable's licence (copy enclosed (fn. 3) ) to transport 12 pieces, and desired him to give order for the delivery of the eight. Milward refused. The guns were apparently not brought over without some difficulty. Byam says he had a talk with the customer and searcher and took an authentic copy of Constable's licence, which Milward has seen. The 8 pieces, as well as the other 4 which came over with Holmes in a Hamburg flyboat, have been discharged.
Heard on the 18th of an English bark laden with ordnance which had arrived at a creek called the Stewr, in Holst. Sent one of his servants and an officer of the Company of Adventurers, with Deputy's consent, to charge the master not to unlade the ordnance. Sends their report. The master was William Crofton, junior, who was lately before his lordship for a similar cause. He has a brother-in-law, Eliff, an ordnance maker, who dwells at Fresh wharf and is thought to own the ordnance he brings.
John Bredcake has never come for Milward's letters, so he has evidently discharged the 4 minions. Heard that he brought 10 minions for George Leake. Saw Leake here on the 25th. He said that he had the minions landed at Istowhowe in Holst. He said that he had Sir Robert Constable's licence and that Constable sent his servants, William Cudmer and William Home, to get the London customer and searcher to allow the guns to pass according to the Privy Council's order, Leake having given sureties. Milward taxed Bredcake with concealing from him these 10 minions. He admitted it but said he took them only after consulting the customer and searcher. Thinks none should be licensed to bring ordnance to furnish ships in these parts. Cannot learn that Holmes or Leake have any part in ships here, as they pretend.—Stade, 28 April, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 72.]
Report of Leonard Walker and William Duncumbe.
Sent to the Stewr, leading to Crimpe in Holst, by Robert Pecocke, deputy governor of the Merchants Adventurers, and William Milward. Reached Crimpt, April 18. A small bark had come into the Stewr on the 14th. Jorrian van Rond, steward of Crimpe, and Jors van der Hecke, secretary, examined her in the King of Denmark's name and were told that she was from Scotland, and carried ordnance for the Dunckerckers. Clawes Will, mariner, who helped unlade the ordnance, says that 28 pieces were carried up to Hamborch, and that about 50 remained aboard. On the 19th the host of the house where the ship lay said that the master had said the same. Boarded the barque. Her master, William Croftonne, junior, perceiving them to be English, would not see them. They read the Lord Treasurer's letter aloud to the mate, William Starlinge, and one John Willis of Wappinge, and bade them tell the master, who no doubt heard them. Desired them to discharge no more ordnance. They would not state the quantity or quality of it, and said that they knew not who had laded it, though they admitted that it was laded at London. The ship was the Black John of London. Aboard her was Arian Rooke, aged about 18 years, son of the parson of Buffleet: he said that the captain saw them coming and “took his cabin, called for a can of beer, and commanded to lay hatches …”
Signed by both. Endd. 1 p. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 74.]
April 28. William Milward to Burghley.
Wrote on the 4th of the Emperor's letter to Bream. The Chapter and this Senate have now replied, asking the Emperor to suspend the matter until the General States of the Empire meet. The governor of the Adventurers will inform his lordship more fully hereof. Lubeck prefers the Adventurers to reside in Stade rather than in Hamburg, “for they cannot abide the prosperity of so near and so proud a neighbour.” if her Majesty would write to the temporal Electors in favour of the trade to this town, the matter would end quietly. It is said that the ships lading with grain and munitions at Lubeck and Hamborgh will make their way to Spain “by strong hand.” Eight left Hamb[urg] about the 8th, and it is said that they go around Scotland. They were at a stay when they heard that Sir Francis Drake had put to sea, and 3 corn ships were discharged at Lubeck, but now ten or twelve have set out from Hamb[urg]. The Netherlanders finance this trade and “care not who sink, who swim, so as they for the time be gainers.” Many came hither from Hamb[urg] with the Adventurers, and the rest would have followed had not the Hamburgers] fed them with promises of the Adventurers and the staple of cloth returning thither: “they would not be long hence,” were they sure that the Adventurers would remain here. So, to settle the trade here and humble the Hamburgers, her Majesty should forbid the unlading of English goods, or the lading of foreign, anywhere in the Elve except at Stade. This will be thought hard, because of the Hamburgers, because the Italians, etc., send their goods to and from Italy and High Germany by way of Hamburg, and especially because Hamburg would prevent the Adventurers from establishing their trade at Stade. But Hamburg in any case bears England no goodwill. The Italians can equally well trade through Stade and transfer their factors thither, and they will do so if (as Milward believes) they are friendly to her Majesty. The forces of Hamb[urg] need not be feared: they will not care to repeat their last year's experience with their warships. Were the trade settled at Stade, and the Netherlanders thus drawn from Hamb[urg], “quickly will the forces of Hamb[urg] be weakened and their courage cooled …”—Stade, 28 April, 1589, “being ready to go for Hamb[urg].”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 76.]
Copy of the above letter, addressed to Walsingham.
Holograph. Endd. Seal. 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 78.]
April 29. William Hart to Burghley.
This bearer, “not grounded from his childhood in any religion, yet more inclining to Popery than the truth,” was led astray by a priest who was prisoner in the Marshalsea and to whom he read Hebrew. He left England nearly two years ago. He was suspected at Dover and made to give a bond of 40l. to return in two months. Was at St. Omar's abbey in Artois for about a year, but became disillusioned of some matters in Popery and, to avoid being sent as Hebrew professor to Rome, he slipped away to Heidelberge, where “God hath further opened his eyes.” The University there and sundry of its professors recommend him. They would have kept him longer, but he wants to return to England and desires that his departure may be pardoned and the forfeiture [of his bond] remitted. Hart, knowing Burghley's joy in reclaiming seduced subjects, asks him to favour the man's cause, “for his skill in the Hebrew and other eastern languages is so great as I think his travail may greatly serve our church in confuting the quarrels of the Papists picked against our translations of the Old Testament …”
The Hamburgers increase their trade to Spain. Much ordnance lately brought by Englishmen from England, part openly up the Elve, part covertly through Crimphaven. This is a scorn as well as a hurt, “for many say openly that England itself would be sold if a man had money enough and were disposed to buy it.” Encloses a hastily scribbled survey of Spain.—Stade, 29 April, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Seal. 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns III. f. 80.]
April 29. William Borlas to Walsingham.
Has mustered her Majesty's forces at Flusschyng, Bergen-up-Zone, Brell, and Hostend. Sends a book thereof by Captain Browne. Desires Walsingham to present it to her Majesty that she may see how many men she had in pay, how many absent, how many strangers—“I mean not Scots, but all other nations.” The States complain of these strangers. Some of them only “put themselves in captains' rolls, without any pay, that they might go a-freebooting.” Some seven score are absent from the three horse companies and nearly 600 from the foot, as well as divers captains and officers, “the which is the overthrow of all good discipline.” Hostend needs means promptly to restore its sea-defences, or it will be untenable by Christmas. The sea is more to be feared than the enemy. Five thousand pounds “will not be seen in the works.” The States sent an engineer thither, but they do all things too slowly. Thinks the town should be handed over to them, and that if they refuse to fortify it the English men and guns should be withdrawn. The burghers run away daily. Meanwhile, three companies should be sent to relieve the seven now there, which are worn out by having to watch every second night.
Desires him to move the Governor that comes hither to grant him (Borlas) the next vacant company. Lives “from hand to mouth” at present. His place entitles him to a company, for the lieutenant-governor of the Brell and the sergeant-major here each have one, though their charges are less than his.
“The enemy is afore Housdon and doth mean to block it up. Our men gave him an overthrow of some thirty lances, but presently, upon another charge that the enemy gave, he did overthrow a hundred lances of ours….”—Flusschyng, 29 April. 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 3¾ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 114.]
April 30./May 10. De Salinas to Jacques Michiels, at Bruges.
Has received his letter, with the pleasure which his letters usually bring. Regrets, no less than Michiels does, that he must order the hay to be sold, for he can imagine no more pleasant recreation than to go to that town and spend a time of fine weather with those friends of his. The new estates gave him it [? leave] verbally long ago, but they have never given him the patent. The Duke is very ill, suffering with the spleen: he seems to have fallen into a consumption. Is sure that it is the result of grief at his rivals' success in turning his master in Spain against him. for instance, the last despatches commanded him not to pay the merchants: they are to be paid from thence. This ruins his credit. A similar blow killed Don John. Prays that this man be not lost at this hopeful yet critical time. Fears it very much. Advises Michiels to have plenty of ready money by him in case a tempest of confusion breaks upon them: also, not to place his money with those who seek their interest with the King for they may be unable to recover as quickly as they wish, especially if the Duke be lost. The Duke went yesterday to Spa: fears it is too late, for he could not hold himself upright, he was so weak and sickly. Wishes that prayers for his recovery might be offered in all monasteries and churches. Begs Michiels to make some provision of money for him, in specie, out of what his uncle has. Will write to Adrian to get it for him in Antwerp. Wants some 1,000 crowns, either of the sun or else pistolets of Spain or Italy, so that he may be ready for emergencies.
Regrets the slow progress of the League in France, which is a sign of weakness greatly to the King's advantage, whose strength grows daily. The League, as is usual in a body with so many heads, loses ground steadily if it does not prevail in the onset. Begs Michiels to keep all this secret: would not dare to write it to anyone else.
Sends Maximilian de Corte's receipt and asks Michiels to break his (Salinas') seals on the two which Corte gave him. The quittance Corte gave Michiels vouches for the full payment of all that was due. The hay, wood, and oats should be sold if a buyer can be found, for Salinas is unlikely to go thither this summer. Prays God to prosper Michiels and his family, and also Guillermo, who should study diligently, and Jacques, who should learn to write and calculate well and be industrious and docile. Desires him to tell his (Salinas') sister in Santa Clara that the matter of the will goes well: hopes they will sell at a sufficient price. Cannot help her in the matter of Zeghen van de Walle, since large numbers of officials are being dismissed. Will procure by letter Pieter Hancheman's request and will do all he can for him, though his Highness will scarcely deal with any private business until his health improves. Does not expect to see his Highness for two months.—Brussels, 10 May, 1589.
Postscript. Has not replied to his sister nor to Cornells Hanceman, because he has over 50 letters to answer. Wishes his brother Pedro to be told that paper must be scarce where he is, as he has not answered Salinas' last letter.
Copy. Spanish. 2½ pp. [Flanders V. f. 196.]
[April 30./May 10.] William Lylly to [Stafford?]
The King of Navarre's forces crossed the river some days ago to impeach la Chastre in Touraine, and Navarre himself went to remedy a conjuration at Saumeure. On Monday morning de Main attacked this town on Beause side. The King was nearby with only 8 horse, betrayed, as most judge. After a long skirmish the King's forces were driven into the suburbs, and then from their barricades there and into the town. During the night the two armies watched one another from opposite sides of the river, the King's artillery at one gate of the bridge and the League at the other. Chatillon had arrived that afternoon and tried to rally and reform the King's men. He blamed the captains for fighting “nakedly as private soldiers,” though he himself won great reputation thus. In the end he had also to retire. The King had some 100 slain and hurt. Grillon, Reubempre and 12 others of account, with some 40 soldiers, hurt: 20 slain, among them Jarsey, Grillon's nephew Bonyvall, and one of the Forty Five whom “they hung by the heels, cut off his head and hands and sent them to Paris for a miracle.” 3 or 400 Leaguers slain: some say Rone Neufvy among them. Many hurt, because they assaulted houses. In the morning Navarre was sent for, at night Epernon. Some of Chastillon's forces arrived that night and “lodged themselves so near the enemy, in an island, as it was much praised.” De Main had been assured from the town that he would be unopposed. When he heard that Navarre would be there next morning, he let his troops spoil the suburbs “and commit all insolencies: rapes upon all sorts of women in the church before the altar; ravished very young maids; robbed the priest and church of all the goods and riches they had, to the shirt of the said priest and relics of the church.” Early next morning the Chevalier d'Omall hurried everyone away, saying Navarre was come: “and so parted like nobody, without sound of trumpet or drum,” though he could not have been driven from so strong a place except by an army. “Whereupon I conclude that he hath neither valour nor judgment; at the least, no resolution, but prolongeth time, the King then in the town where the people and clergy were ill affected and yet not disarmed, and so two enemies—and a hill that commanded the town. And to fight with him the King must have passed Saumur with his army, or Bles; and so might have passed many days there at his pleasure en attendant”.
The King of Navarre arrived on Tuesday morning. The enemy burned their end of the bridge and many houses, to hinder any pursuit, and retired 4 leagues to St. Christophe. Espernon arrived the same night and was well received. Paris is in evil plight thanks to the attacks of Gyvry upon the Bois de Vincennes and the loss of their artillery at St. Lys.
Unfinished. Endd. “10 May, 1589, N.S. Copy of a letter from Lylly from Towrs.” 1½ pp. [France XIX. f. 114.]
April 30. Sir John Conway to Walsingham.
Received his letter by this bearer. Regrets that he must stay here, but earnestly desires some supply of men. The enemy would begin a siege by choking the haven, and then the garrison could receive no more aid from England. The sea has cast down most of their works lately made. Desires him to further his suit for men and supplies, or to secure his recall. The States' aid ever comes too late. Knows that the place must be kept, “but yet better rendered in time by honourable degrees to the States, or else defaced and left, than delay time to our disadvantage and hazard of the Queen's honour.”
The Prince probably means to attack this place, for he keeps his artillery near. Heard recently that his forces come from Brabant to these parts. Thus, it is very needful for reinforcements to be sent at once. Returns this bearer to press this his suit for men and supplies. The burghers run away daily, so the enemy must know of the garrison's weakness.
Ceases to trouble his honour, “in the want of your health,” as he has written at large to the lords [not found].—Ostend, last of April, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 117.]
[April 30.] Note of arms, armour, and match, to the value of 1,136l. 17s. 3d., provided by Sir John Norris and remaining in the hands of certain merchants in Holland for want of ready money to pay for it. Also of swords, drums, match and powder, worth 804l. 6s. 8d., which may be refused since no earnest-money was given. Also of arms and armour, worth 2,710l., which certain merchants in Holland are to furnish: with note that respective prices there and in London were:—muskets 20s. and 22s. each, calivers 12s. and 12s. 6d., footmen's corslets 14s. 6d. and 20s., pikes 2s. 6d. and 3s. 4d.
Endd. with date. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 119.]
[April.] The King of Navarre to Walsingham.
In favour of the Sieur de Lysle, this bearer, sent to hasten the levy of the Scots.
Holograph. Add. Endd. “April, 1589.” French. ½ p. [France XIX. f. 116.]
April [after the 12th]. [The Privy Council] to Willoughby.
To issue warrant to pay James Digges, muster-master, two months' full pay. He has only received imprests of half his pay during the last year and, owing to his chargeable journeys, is much indebted. He has saved 76l. 10s. in the checks upon the 1,557l. 10s. issued for the five horse companies lately come over.— The court, — April, 1589.
Copy. Add. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 125.]
April. Theodor Ivanovich, Emperor of Russia, to the Queen.
Has received her letters and heard her ambassador, Giles Fletcher, whom he referred for answer to his Treasurer, Ivan Vasilewich Trasanetova, and to the clerk Andrew Shalkoclowa. Desires to remain in that brotherly love which was between his father, Ivan Vasilewich, and the Queen. Cannot well grant the privileges which her Majesty asks for her subjects and merchants, for the merchants heretofore “did commit many undecent doings” of which written particulars have been delivered to the ambassador. He has, however, granted his letters of privilege to her merchants, and caused new clauses to be added, satisfying such of her requests as is requisite and licensing them to pass through the whole kingdom to Kasan, Astracan, beyond the “mare Caspien sea” into Percydia and Kisselbasheland, to Boghare and Shamakro,—“the which is not permitted for any other nation in our kingdoms.” Desires that the merchants' factors may be “good and upright people” and not, as heretofore, deceivers of his subjects, borrowing and repaying reluctantly. A written note of the debts due by Anthony Marsh and his fellows and of the seizures made against them, is to be given to Fletcher. Marsh, Robert Pecocke, and their fellows are already in England. Her Majesty desires that the privileges granted by her predecessors to those who first with great losses found out the way by sea into his Kingdoms of Colmogor and Donne, may not be abrogated. The Emperor, on the other hand, desires her to licence all of her merchants to trade into his realm, “and to license or make open the trade,” without any restriction in favour of “those five, six, or ten men which hath from long time so traded into our countries.” Similarly her Majesty should allow merchants of other nations to trade freely into Russia. Great favour is, and will be, shown to those who first of all Englishmen and before all other nations discovered this way: they have houses at Muskowe, Yeroslawe, Vologdaie, on the Dwyna, “and they live all one with our people,” buying and selling freely and paying only half the customs on their goods. Has now allowed them to trade into Casan, Astracan, Bohare, Shamakue, and the Persian country. All other merchants pay full customs and cannot trade outside the kingdom of Musco,—“no, not one mile beyond the Musco in our countries.” In return for this privileged position which her merchants hold, her Majesty should throw the trade open to all her subjects, “for traffic ought to be given at all men's pleasures.” Her Majesty commissioned Fletcher to explain Jerome Horsey's misdeeds and his secret flight from England, and to require his return. Sends Horsey back in Fletcher's charge: “his foolishness is not worthy to be with us for making debate between our princely Highness and you, our loving sister Queen Elizabeth, and hath spoken many undecent words of our princely Majesty.” Hopes that the merchants will not in future send persons of this sort.—Musco, “in the year of the creation of the world 7097 years [A.D. 1589], in the month of April.”
“Translated by Jerome Horsey.” Endd. “1589 … By Mr. Doctor Fletcher.” 3 pp. [Russia I. 25.]


  • 1. Actually, a true report.
  • 2. For the date of this and the following letter, see Domestic Cal., 1581–90, p. 593, no. 104.
  • 3. See Domestic Calendar, 1581–90, p. 583.