Elizabeth: May 1589, 1-10

Pages 247-266

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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May 1589, 1–10

May 1/11. Du Pin to Buzanval.
The Scottish gentleman has arrived: sent him at once to the King of Navarre. Is vexed that he had to come over and that Buzanval could not take up money there to send hither when so many Englishmen have business here and at Bordeaux. Wrote to Stafford that five Flemish ships with five hundred English soldiers, some gentlemen, and horses, put in here three days ago. Examined them in council, some captains of Navarre's fleet being present. The masters, from treason, cowardice, or ill will, came hither instead of to the isle of Oissans (whither they should have gone) because the isle faces north-east. They incited the soldiers to mutiny and alleged that, now they had lost touch with the rest of the fleet, the voyage was impossible and dangerous. So they deserted. Ordered the masters to carry the English to England, as the King's captains thought it unwise to send them to Portugal since the ships were heavy and without guns: also, as they did not know where the fleet's rendezvous was, they might perish for lack of victuals. Offered them a warship under Captain Masson to take them to Spain, but the English thought it best to await the Queen's pleasure here. Is much displeased, for this Portugal affair is important to all Christendom. Has arrested the masters and quarter-masters. Some of the English captains and one Alphonse go to the King at Chinon until the ships are revictualled. The English, even the soldiers, seem to have no wish to go on the voyage, especially in the Flemish ships. Trouble with the soldiers: can hardly keep them aboard ship, nor send them to the King, to whom M. de Fougasse has gone.—la Rochelle, 11 May, 1589.
Postscript. Fears that other Flemish ships have put in elsewhere. Sends a discourse.
Holograph. Signed P. Add. Endd. “Lettres de M. du Pin,” and with trefoil, and note of contents in English. French. 2 pp. [France XIX. f. 117.]
May 1. The Privy Council to [Sir John Conway].
Wrote by Sir Martin Forbisher, 6 or 7 days ago, of Calais reports about preparations near Bruges and elsewhere in Flanders to besiege Ostend: required his opinion of what was necessary for its defence. The reports are now renewed, adding that la Mott protests to hazard life and all to take the place after his two former repulses. Hear that the States of Flanders grant a tax for the enterprise. If Conway thinks the place untenable without large forces and shipping from England (for Flushing and Berghes can hardly spare any), her Majesty thinks it best to abandon it before it is besieged, after the haven has been so marred, and the town “so surrounded as the enemy might take no use thereof for a good time.” The great ordnance, powder, victual, munition, and her Majesty's people and their goods, would have to be brought away. Conway is to send his opinion in writing or by some trusty person. As haste is needful, her Majesty will send a sufficient person to advise on ruining the haven, and also hoys to bring all away. They shall return to England, or to Flushing and then to England if the wind will not serve to go direct. If the enemy is too close for them to leave the town, succours will be sent.—The Lord Chancellor's house, Holborn, 1 May, 1589.
Postscript. He who brings the hoys shall bring her Majesty's warrant to Conway to leave the town.
Minute. Endd. 1⅓ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 149.]
May 1. Arthur Heigham to Burghley.
Sends a brief note of the muster taken here by Borlas and himself on April 12 (fn. 1); also a book of the checks for those entered or discharged from October 11 until March 25. Desires him to point out any mistakes. Means to send him the like every two or three months. Asks for the continuance of his favour. Desires him to write to the Treasurer here to pay him (Heigham) his whole pay in weekly lendings, as the lieutenant-governor, marshal, provost, etc., are paid. At present he gets but half, which barely lasts half the week.—Vlisshinge, 1 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. ¾ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 147.]
May 1. Arthur Heigham to Walsingham.
As to Burghley, above, but without the request about his pay.—Vlishinge, 1 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 145.]
Abbreviate of the checks of the garrison of Vlishinge and Ramykens, 12 October, 1588, to 24 March, 1589. Checks of each company given. Total, 199l. 17s. 2d.
Signed, A. Heigham. Endd. May 10. 2/3 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 201.]
[May 1.] James Digges' book of the checks, to 11 October, 1588.
Lists of captains in the Queen's pay, “to stand from 27 February, 1588, onwards” 41 foot captains, of whom 27 are marked with an a, apparently by Burghley who has added other notes. 9 horse captains, of whom 5 are noted as ‘cashed,’ whilst Sir Thomas Knolles has no company. Willoughbie's signature copied at the foot of each list.
Note of checks for the year ending 12 October, 1588, with amounts respited or remitted by the Lord General upon signing the warrants. Total, 9,112l. 4s. 8d., of which 3,915l. 7s. 8d. certain, 4,341l. 12s. 4d. respited, and 855l. 4s. 8d. remitted. Besides extraordinary grants, amounting to 430l. 1s., to Captains Asseliers and Ost and the sergeant-major and preacher of Vlisshinge. The checks of Russell's and Boucher's horsebands, and Conway, Thomas Knolles, Edmund Cary, and Sudderman's footbands, are not included as the books were not orderly delivered to the muster-master. Lambert and Anthony Wingfield's warrants stayed, upon strong suspicion of abuses. The muster-master desires that commissioners be appointed to help him in ‘cessing’ the respited checks. The certain checks are small because they include only those presented by the resident commissaries, which the captains and soldiers cannot question. The Lord General, for lack of time, etc., respited all presented by the muster-master. There is nothing to prevent further checks being proved.
Further considerations upon the respited checks. Include checks for defect of arms and furniture; for absentees in England without due passport, with passport attending their captains, or beyond the period of their passport, etc.; for breaches of orders discovered by the resident commissaries; for double charge to her Majesty “found by diligent conference of the rolls of the several garrisons together”; for frauds; for neglecting certificates of entry, discharge, death, flight, etc.; for special grants made by his excellency, as yet not confirmed; for the unmustered retinues of cautionary town officers; for sutlers, etc., passed at musters; for fugitives, etc.; for carbines in horsebands; for strangers above the allowed number [in Burghley's hand: the States allow but 6; allowed 20 in the auxiliary and 6 in the cautionary]; for companies not mustered upon change of captains. The present sudden occasion left no time for settling these questions.
Checks ‘cessed’ by the States, grounded on cavils about the Contract and on placards, etc., to which they cunningly obtained Leicester's signature. Vlisshinge and Ramekins:—At last muster, 179 absent: deduct 6 allowed in each band; there remain 101, = 1,232l. 4s. yearly. 200 dead pays = 2,440l. Defect 114 = 1,390l. 16s. Also 15 in each band, for one month [by Burghley: at Tilbury] = 195l. One year's checks, therefore, = 5,258l. besides checks for strangers above the number of 6 in a band. Brill:— Absent 47; less 6 to each band; remains 11, = 134l. 4s. Dead pays 95, = 1,159l. Defect 39, = 475l. 16s. Total, 1,769l., besides for strangers. Barghen-up-Zome:—Absent 533, less 440 in England [by Burghley: at Tilbury] and the 6 to each band; remains 21, = 256l. 4s. Dead pays 195, = 2,379l. Defect 55, = 671l. The 440 in England for a month, = 440l. Total, 3,746l. 4s., besides strangers' checks. Utrecht:—Absent 53. less 40 in England and the 6 in each band; remains 7, = 85l. 8s. Dead pays 15, = 183l. The 40 in England for a month, = 40l. Total, 308l. 8s.; besides strangers' checks. Ostend:—Absent 297, less about 100 still at Barghen and the 6 in each band; remains 143, = 1,744l. 12s. Dead pays 135, = 1,647l. Defect 64 = 780l. 16s. Total, 4,172l. 8s., besides strangers' checks. Horse-bands:—Absent 184, less the 6 in each band; remains 136, = 3,733l. 4s. Dead pays 90, = 1,647l. (add 823l. 10s.). Strangers 80, =2,196l. Knolles' band not levied, = 3,002l. 14s. Total, 12,225l. 18s. Total checks for the year, 27,479l. 18s. These the States insist upon. They allow only 3 or 4 in a band absent, and only 6 strangers (and those approved by the Lord General and Council of Estate) although the Privy Council allows 20. They will not count the chief officers' retinues in a band. They utterly mislike all dead pays. They ‘cass’ fugitives from the day of their flight, allowing the captain nothing for horses, arms, etc., lost with them. They allow for absent horsemen only if their horse and arms be left with the troop. They will not undertake to repay the cost of the footbands at the customary English rate if it exceeds their rates, as it did until the last establishment reduced each band by 8 by including the officers in the list. They discharge from the day of their departure those who overstay their leave, and will not accept Leicester's moderation of this in last year's accounts. They allow no privileges unless confirmed by the Council of State as well as the Lord General.
The affairs of musters “an inextricable labyrinth” until these doubts are resolved by agreement with the States (if reimbursement is looked for) or otherwise. No orders confirmed since Leicester resigned. The muster-master has had to make and follow his own rules of discretion.
Endd. with date. 16¼ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 130.]
[May 2.] [Walsingham?] to Bodley.
Has little leisure to write. Sends this by Willoughbie's servant, now leaving for Gravesend. By his letters of April 22, received “this first night of May,” Bodley does not acknowledge any letters for his dealing with the States about Ostend. Her Majesty has commanded the writer to renew the instruction in the following manner. “We have thought of long time that the town of Ostend would prove either dangerous to be lost, or out of reason too costly to be kept.” The enemy, especially Flanders, are eager to recover it and free the seacoast, whilst the great towns now offer taxes for the enterprise. Bodley has been instructed to demand that the States General should either take over the town or provide for its fortification, and to threaten that, if they will do neither, her Majesty will be compelled to take some other course, the town being untenable without impossibly large forces. He shall now require an absolute answer. If they refuse, as is likely, he shall get their refusal in writing as a justification to her Majesty in acquitting herself of the town. Gathers from Bodley's letters of April 22, brought by Richard Hall, that he has received her Majesty's of April 12 to Bodley and to Gertrudenbergh, and also the writer's of March 28 [not found] and April 13. Regrets that her Majesty's reached him so late. Is glad that the commissioners named in his letter are coming. It will make Buckhurst's journey thither unnecessary, who with Bodley was to attempt to remedy the present defects and disunity. Probably also the clearing of the accounts, which Lord Borrough, Bodley, and Gilpin were to deal in, will be postponed. Desires him to work earnestly for the release of Sir John Wingfeild, his wife, and their poor young child, who, Captain Hall says, is inhumanly put into the common prison.
Copy. Endd. with date. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 151.]
May 2. Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
“I received your letters this morning, by which I am commanded to send away the captains; which charge before this I have delivered them by your lordships' former direction (fn. 2) and, as I think, most of those under my charge are departed. And where your lordships do write of the weakness of the companies and that her Majesty thereby is much defrauded of her treasure, it may prove most true that great fault doth rest in some, yet no reason that all should rest condemned nor that such as be good should feel equal punishment with the bad.” Due examination should be made. “It is not possible, if all the bands were presently full, but that sickness or one occasion or other would soon cause some defect which the captains could not suddenly redress, especially when in so long a time no supply hath been sent to reinforce them.” Some of the captains of Bergen have been driven hither by Sir Thomas Morgan's “violent manner of government.” Morgan also published her Majesty's letter against Wyllughby.—Willughbie House, 2 May, 1589.
Postscript. “Where it pleaseth your lordships to command stay of the captains' warrants, they were long since made up and delivered to them by former direction, but I am assured no money is paid upon them.”
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. ¾ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 153.]
[May 2.] Wyllughby to Burghley.
Even if “those lewd persons of the States” can say and do as they list without proof produced and can put a price upon the heads of her Majesty's subjects as traitors re inaudita; even if her Majesty will tolerate more for her General and subjects than an honourable master would for an honest private servant; nevertheless, he desires his lordship to consider that some “true English heart—no less valiant than some Roman—” may take his revenge with his own hands, if the charges are not substantiated nor their authors punished for falsely accusing the nobility. A Nederlander was condemned to death for this in Denmark. Lord Buckhurst's mission would then be of little use and he himself in some danger. Wyllughby knows of no such matter, but a resolute and injured person might thus proceed. “The Duke of Florence proclaimed to kill Caupone; Caupone, though far meaner, did as much for him. But the case is not alike, for we are no subjects to those very traitors that accuse us….”
Holograph. Add. in clerk's hand. Endd. with date and “the bad dealings of the States towards his brother-in-law Sir John Wingefield and his young child.” 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 155.]
May [2]. William Borlas to Walsingham.
The magistrates of this town are fitting out 7 or 8 pinnaces and other warships, for which they greatly need ordnance. Desires him to obtain licence for this bearer, Leiven Janson, to bring over ten iron pieces. Has already employed herein that ordnance which he brought over himself.—Vlisshinge, — May, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. with date and note of contents. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 157.]
May 2. Note that 12,894l. 17s. 10¼d. (individual sums specified) remains due to officers and captains in the Low Countries for the year ended 11 October, 1587. Whereof 3,472l. 6s.d. is due to their creditors, so far as the Treasurer is certified.
Endd. by Burghley. 4 pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 159.]
A similar paper, the individual sums somewhat different, the total being 12,652l. 5s.d., and the sum due to creditors omitted.
Undated. Endd. by Burghley. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 162.]
May 2/12 Examination of Adrian Menninck.
Extracts from the confession which he made in Zeeland were read to him, about the plan to buy up at one time all warships on the Rhine. He replied that Parma commissioned him to go to Colonel Schenck at Goch and learn his opinion. If the enterprise were practicable, he meant to attempt it and to ask Schenck for the necessary troops. If it were impracticable—as he decided upon reaching Doornich—it was not to be attempted. Returned to Parma at Beveren. Tirasse had provided at Cologne above six or seven thousand gulders for the enterprise.
Denied that he represented the plan to Schenck as practicable, or that, upon Schenck making objections, he said that Dordrecht should be attacked if this failed; and that, if that failed too, he and the ships' crews should join Parma near Antwerp. Schenck empowered him to tell Parma orally that he (Schenck) had sure means to take Dordrecht, were he given commission for it. Menninck told Parma this, and the heer van Billy was deputed to hear him.
He was asked whether he had not, and has not, bought or rented a gambling house outside Antwerp, to which he sometimes invited persons of quality from Antwerp: whether he did not say to some who had come, that he had had a ship and men ready in the river to carry him to Dunkirk: what did he mean? He denied using such words or inviting persons for such a purpose or having a ship thus ready. Was merely discussing whether it could be done.
He denied that he had any commission to hold any correspondence for espionage purposes in Cleves, the Sticht, Cologne, or elsewhere; but he had sent two young men two or three times to Emmerick to spy upon the warships when the enterprise was considered.
Original signed by Menninck. Endd. Dutch. 2½ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 221.]
May 2/12. Venetian advertisements from Constantinople.
Two frigates brought news from the ambassador at Constantinople that certain janissaries and spahies had made a tumult there. They went to protest to the Sultan against being paid in debased coin, worth not a third of its face value. This coin was minted by the Treasurer and the Beglerbey and other pashas. The Sultan, avaricious, neglectful of the government and addicted to women's society, approved or connived at its minting. The janissaries especially accused the Beglerbey and the Treasurer, two of the Sultan's most intimate councillors. The Sultan spoke fair to the janissaries, promised them two millions, and an increase of two aspers a day in their pay. They, however, demanded the payment of all that was due to them in assayed money, and the heads of the Beglerbey and the Treasurer as well. The Sultan reluctantly executed the two pashas, whose heads the soldiers insultingly set up as a spectacle.
The soldiers demanded also that the Jews should be replaced by Turks as tax collectors and customers, and that they should be forbidden to wear gowns trimmed with gold and silk. The Sultan had to agree to this.
They also required the Sultan to abdicate in favour of his son, a grim warrior, the enemy of Christians and Jews. So the Sultan's government is in great danger. General want of obedience. The father may fall upon the son, or the son upon the father. Civil war may result. Three days later the Jews were attacked and robbed, and many were killed. Fire started, and burnt the city for a German mile. Some twenty thousand houses destroyed. Danger of a general massacre of Jews and Christians in Turkey. The Spaniards and Portuguese, who have much wealth there, are especially in danger. To appease the soldiery, the Sultan has removed from office three more pashas, amongst them his son-in-law. The spoil so far is reckoned at 8 millions, shared among 40,000 mutineers. Fears an attack upon the Christians.
Many sentences underlined. Latin. 32/3 pp. [Newsletters LXXXI. f. 89.]
[May 2.] Articles presented by Ortell upon which the States General still crave her Majesty's present redress and resolution.
1. To take appropriate order concerning those of her subjects now in England who “from the beginning until the ending have intermeddled with the state and matters of the town of Gertruidenbergh.”
2. To give order that her succours be kept complete and in better order and obedience to the Countries.
3. “That duly they be provided upon their ordinary pays and entertainments.”
4. That the money advanced to the Briell garrison be presently repaid; or at least that any advanced since the Council's promise of 13 April, 1588, be repaid and that Treasurer Sherley no longer frustrate the said promise.
5. That present order be taken against the daily spoiling and misusage of the inhabitants of the Low Countries by her Majesty's subjects in her kingdom and on the seas.
6. …“To disavow by public act” all factions and mutinies and the stirrers up thereof, who upon pretence of her Majesty's service have raised many dangerous tumults during the last two years. To show no favour to such persons henceforward. The States have often discovered to her Majesty and her ministers the names, estates, and meaning of these factious people, whose real design is to serve the enemy.
Other articles heretofore moved by the Council of Estate and particular Provinces.
That her Majesty would again write to Gelderland, Friesland, Overisell, and Utrecht, to urge them to better unity with Holland and Zeeland, to resist more effectually the common enemy, and to furnish duly their general contributions.
That no more troops than the Contract allows be brought, at the countries' charge, into the cautionary towns. The lodging money and other extraordinary charges are more burdenous than the whole pay of their ordinal garrison used to be.
At this present there remain but “2200 soldiers and 250 horses” of her Majesty's assistance, besides those that are in garrison: “so that upon good information what forces of late are come into England, easily can be conceived in what sort and to whose particular benefit” her Majesty's forces have been kept weak.
Desire her Majesty and her Council not to give ear to particular complaints or informations against the Estates, etc., but to ‘renvoy’ them to the Council of Estate who, being on the spot, are better acquainted with such matters and with the requisite remedies, and can give due satisfaction as far as the estate of the countries will permit.
That her Majesty will command her servants in the Council of Estate to co-operate with their fellow Councillors and with the Estates General, and to be informed of their estate by them rather than by others “which have nothing to intermeddle therewith.” The countries during this long war have sought to make choice “of the most sufficient, resolute, and affectionated persons” to be their governors and magistrates.
That her Highness' succours (except the cautionary towns) obey the orders of the Estates General and Council of Estate.
That commission be issued for perfecting the accounts of the magazines and other disbursed money, which was promised for May 20.
Touching the proposal to substitute a money grant for her Majesty's present assistance of 5000 footmen and 1000 horse, they desire her Majesty first to make some declaration of her pleasure. It would not be decent for them to prescribe what depends only upon her goodwill. When her pleasure is known, the Estates can resolve and send their commissioners to conclude.
The money might be used for the ordinary war expenses, or “for the maintenance of a good and royal camp for four or five months in the field; so that the countries in regard of the said camp shall always furnish twice so much, in ready money, as her Majesty shall thereunto employ of her treasure.”
Provided that the said camp be always equally at the particular service of her Majesty in case of need or foreign invasion, and that one party always assist the other in all evident perils by sea and land.
Most of the money to be used to pay voluntary English regiments. Her Majesty's servants in the Council of Estate to have due knowledge of such payments. The Countries will ever have an especial care for the English.
To avoid all diffidence and suspicion, the Estates General and particular, the Council of Estate, towns, magistrates, and commons should be bound by an oath and public act to act always in concert with the crown of England and to do nothing to its hurt or prejudice. Her Majesty to make ‘reciproke’ promise.
All the money to be repaid to her Majesty, according to the Treaty.
Daily spoils committed at sea upon inhabitants of the Provinces. No sureties of any avail. Every spoiler "is become his own judge" of what are Spanish and 'coloured' goods. The Provinces can hardly live without their trade and fishing, "but would as willingly save their own out of their enemies' hand and live among others, as well in regard of their general contributions and customs, as to keep their seafaring folks in due order and obedience." Desire her Majesty to forbid the stay or spoil of any ships of the Provinces, upon any pretext or colour. The Estates will make a public act and take great care to prevent any victuals, munitions, materials for rigging, or any great ships, being sent to the enemy.
Marginal notes of contents by Burghley. Endd. with date. 6½ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 107.]
[May 2.] Articles prayed for by the town of Flusshinge.
Due observance of the Treaty. Payment of Richard Winkefilde's and Alfraye Randolf's debts (700l. sterling) to the burghers. That the garrison's chief officers be content with former services, etc. That the town be not charged for fortifications. That the garrison have reasonable imprests, instead of a diminished sum and the rest in victuals. Confirmation by letters patent of the grant of freedom from English customs. Release of seized ships and goods.
Endd. with date. 1¼ pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 111.]
Another copy, adding a request that “prisoners of the Ferridor of Flushinge” be periodically delivered to the town bailiff: two taken by the garrison are now, contrary to the Treaty, kept in ward by the garrison's provost.
Undated. Not endd.pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 112 b.]
May 3/13. The States General to the Queen. (fn. 3)
Ask favourable audience for their envoys, Jacques d'Egmont, sieur de Kennenburch, Sebastian de Loosen, and Jacques Valcke, Councillors of State.—The Hague, 13 May, 1589.
Signed, Jean Oldenbarnevelt. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. “The States General to my L. [sic], by their commissioners.” French. 2/3 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 170.]
May 3/13. The States General to Walsingham.
Ask his good offices for the above deputies.—The Hague, 13 May, 1589.
Signed, Jean Oldenbarnevelt. Countersigned, C. Aerssens. Add. Endd. with note of contents and 14 May, 1589. French. ¾ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 164.]
May 3. J. Pretherch to Willoughby.
A general council of the States of Flanders and of the commanders held at Brissells on May —, N.S. The Prince of Parma and La Moate were present. It was resolved that, if they could not take Ostende by sudden escalades, they would batter the walls and win the town by assault. They brewed and baked for their camp throughout the latter part of March and until April 17, N.S., at Newporte, Bridges, Ferren, Dixmude, Winnox Barghen, and Gravelinge. A party of soldiers was sent out from Ostende on April 28, o.s. That night one of Captain Suyderman's men fled to the enemy “and gave them intelligence of their being out. And so the next day they were overthrown. And to prevent their going to the place pretended, there was sent after them an Englishman called Litlejohn, with two other soldiers, which knew all the ways and found many of them after they were overthrown and brought them well home with him. And then there was a soldier slain by them who told the news, and saying that part of their camp were marching from Howsden towards Flanders; and our soldiers doth affirm that they heard many drums sounding the Spanish march.” On Thursday a mariner of Holland, released from prison at Newport, came here. He had been told by a woman, who used “to bring him meat for charity sake,” that La Moat and some force of men was expected in the town last Saturday. She heard this from their bailiff, Signor Octavo, who had that day come from Bridges. She told at large what had happened at Brussells, as he has written above. This was all revealed to the burghers, who informed the captains. They took the mariner to the Governor. “But for all this we mend no part of our rampire….”— Ostende, 3 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. as "received the 8 day." 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 166.]
[May 3.] Sir Thomas Sherley's declaration of his entertainment and expenses.
His entertainment: from the Queen, 1,034l. 3s. 4d.: portage on 100,000l. yearly, 1,000l.: the 100th penny from the soldier, 1,000l. Total 3,034d. 3s. 4d., yearly.
Expenses: to William Meredith, vice-treasurer, and his two men, 382l. 10s.: to Christopher Keynell and his man, at Vlissinge, 239l. 18s. 4d.: George Yate and his man, at Bergen-op-Zome, 176l. 3s. 4d.: John Mole and George Pope, at Ostend, 246l.: John Humfrey and John Puleston, at Utrecht, 246l.: George Thorysby and his man, at Briell. 38l. 5s. Total, 1,328l. 16s. 8d.
So remains to Sherley, 1,705l. 6s. 8d.
Also entertains William Gratewycke, who is continually occupied about receipt, and Philip Banester, who travels between the garrisons. Has not bought and does not buy captains' or soldiers' bills, nor does he use indirect courses.
Huddilston, on the same entertainment, entertained only 3 officers because in his time “imprests were made by gross sums to the captains, and now in Sir Thomas Sherley's time by weekly payments, so as Sir Thomas Sherley is forced to maintain two paymasters in every garrison. Mr. Huddilston had great gain in the species of gold and other coins, now there is none because they are reduced to a certain rate.” Yet Huddilston died a poor man and a beggar.
Sherley passes 30 men in his footband without muster by the Privy Council's order, “in consideration he is allowed no guard to attend the treasure.” He bestows part of this allowance on the officers of his band, and the rest upon his servants employed in the business of his office.
Signed, Thomas Sherley, W. Meredith. Bough notes by Burghley. Endd. by Burghley, with date. 1¾ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 168.]
Another copy of the above, lacking the final paragraph.
Unsigned. Undated. Endd. 12/3 pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 169 b.]
Another copy, adding under ‘expenses’ William Fosse and Richard Jeffrey at Bommell, 246l., but omitting George Thorysby and his man at Briell: omitting also the final paragraph.
Undated. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 169 d.]
May 4. Sir John Conway to Burghley.
Received his letter of May 2, but not the earlier ones of which he seems to speak. Will not enter into the advantages and disadvantages of holding this place, for Burghley writes so fully of them. It is so decayed that “the force of men must only defend it”: cannot withstand a siege or safely abandon the place unless her Majesty sends five or six more companies. With these, could hold it easily for the summer, if necessary destroying the buildings and using their timber, etc., to reinforce their works which need holding together in this loose soil. Could live in cabins for the summer. Could hardly receive aid once the enemy was upon them. Could not resist attack from all sides, nor preserve the old town and haven—the enemy's first objectives— nor sally against the besiegers' artillery, unless they are reinforced. Depend upon her Majesty, for “whatever is left to the States will in accustomed manner come the day after.” Refers Burghley to the opinions of Captain Carlyll and Mr. Bourlace, who viewed the place by special commission. Would rather die defending the place than advocate its surrender, but the general opinion is that in its present decayed state it “only must be held with force of men….”—Ostend, Sunday, 4 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 22/3 pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 172.]
May 4. Thomas Knollys to Walsingham.
Received his letter of April 16. Perceives that his word has been passed to someone else for this government of Osteand, if her Majesty should decide to keep her garrison here. Also sees that he finds his (Knollys') youth and small judgment a great obstacle. Yet Knollys, as Leicester would testify were he alive, governed the place for a year and a half more satisfactorily than it has since been governed. Great discontentment against the present Governor. Does what he can to heal differences. Has not known the town so weak these four years, and the soldiers are too few.
The captains dislike the Governor chiefly because he never consults them but does all “of his own head and will.” Some of his actions are very strange. Encloses certain articles [not found] drawn up by the captains before Knollys' coming. When his honour thinks good they are all ready to sign them.
This bearer was given the Lord General's commission as sergeant-major here, a very necessary office. The Governor will not accept him.—Osteand, 4 May, 1589.
Postscript. Yesterday a mariner, who had been imprisoned at Dunkerk, brought news that “the enemy makes great preparations against this town.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 174.]
May 5. Further requests of Busanvall and Captain Coptot, lately arrived.
Abbreviate of the muster of Captain Hans van Loe's foot company, taken on May 5. Mustered and embarked, 169, i.e. an excess of 34. Ready at Ratlieff to fall down to the land's end and thence to go to the place appointed.
Desire his honour to get 50 horse from the lately 'cassed' companies sent whither this footband now goes. Offer good conditions and assurances for their entertainment. Would do more good than 500 foot. [Apostille, by the Lord Treasurer and Lord Admiral. “Upon assurance that they will return upon knowledge of her Majesty's pleasure.”]
Ask also for four or five hundred pikes from the Tower: cannot get them otherwise in this city. Offer assurance for payment. [Apostille. To be repaid before June 20.]
These requests granted, the town will bind itself for the repayment and will rest meanwhile at her Majesty's devotion. [Apostille. His lordship commanded the muster-master to make a list of those who would go over at their own charges upon such entertainment as they should agree upon with the governor.]
Endd.pp. [France XIX. f. 119.]
Another copy of the above, without the apostilles.
Endd.pp. [France XIX. f. 121.]
May 5. Sir John Conway to Burghley.
Is glad to see, by his lordship and the Council's letters received to-day by Mr. Furbiesher, her Majesty's care for this garrison.
The Prince is very likely to attack this town, for he knows its weakness. “The burghers' hearts are all on that side, and by them he hath continual intelligence.” Frequent desertions, also, from the garrison. Knows nothing of the enemy's correspondence with one Northkern, but will seek to learn of it.
Need of a reinforcement of 5 or 6 companies, whether the town is to be kept or abandoned. The strength of men must be their only defence: 2 or 3000 really necessary to hold it. [To the same effect as in his letter of the 4th, above, p. 259.] Wishes the States were “all in the bottom of that sea which endangereth us.” Sees no choice before her Majesty save that between sending hither extraordinary forces or abandoning the town. His own and the garrison's loyalty and resolution, whatever course be decided upon.
Meanwhile, no one in the place shall learn anything of what is intended, nor shall the enemy receive any intelligences.—Ostend, 5 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 178.]
May 5. Sir John Conway to Walsingham.
Fears, from the want of his honour's hand in the letters just received from him, that he has not completely recovered his health. Will not proceed against B until his honour wishes it. Prays he may prove faithful: if he fails therein, will be revenged upon him. Further proof of his trustworthiness required. Thinks he (Conway) could easily confer with him in such a place as he would yield “a good account of his body.”
Hopes to discharge his duty fully in holding or abandoning this place, whichever their lordships shall decide upon.
If any exception be taken to his answer to the Council's letters, desires Walsingham to explain that he had no time to consider its wording. Thanks him for soliciting his liberty.—Ostend, 5 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 176.]
[May 5.] Petition of the extraordinary cannoneers in the Low Country garrisons, to Burghley.
For his warrant to Lord Willoughbie to issue warrant for their pay from the time of their first entry into service. The Earl of Leicester gave order to Sir Thomas Sherley to take their reckoning, and their books have been passed by the audit- and the muster-master, but Willoughbie will not give warrant without order from his lordship.
[Added by Sherley.] Not reckoned with since arrival, in November, 1585, because not in her Majesty's list nor mustered by the muster-master. On Leicester's command he and Mr. Hunte, the auditor, examined their books. Has delivered the books to the muster-master, who refuses to make any warrant since he has not been acquainted with their entries, discharges, etc. Willoughbie presumably will not judge in matters so far before his time. They have “waxen very poor men” and they may be needed, “in respect of the small number of their faculty.” Desires that warrant may be issued.—Thomas Sherley.
Endd. with date and note of contents; also “the state of this cause to be certified by Sir Thomas Sherley”; and signed W. Burghley. 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 180.]
May 6. Buzanval to Burghley.
The English captain who offers to take fifty lances to Boulogne, should go over and agree with the governor about their entertainment before he takes them over. M. de Bernet must send money or merchandise to cover the cost of their transporting. On this succour of cavalry depends the enlarging of Bernet's frontiers, the levying of his contributions, and the sending thither of money and provisions.—London, 6 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 2/3 p. [France XIX. f. 123.]
May 6/16 The States of Zeeland to the Queen.
Again petition her either to remove or to reduce to obedience those captains, etc., of Bergen-op-Zoom who, on pretext of obeying Willughby, refuse obedience to Morgan, the Governor appointed by the States General upon her recommendation. The disagreements grow daily worse and they fear that the town may fall into extremity and become an easy prey to the enemy. Desire her to take speedy order to avoid a repetition of the Geertruidenberg disaster. The commands of the States General and Council of State are disregarded in the town.
Credence for the agent Ortel.—Middelburg, 16 May, 1589.
Signed, P. Ryche. Countersigned, Christoffel Roëls. Add “à sa Majesté, en ses mains propres.” Endd. with note of contents. French. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 188.]
May 6. The ex-Elector of Cologne to the Queen.
Is going to Germany. Regrets that he has been unable to visit her. Must take his leave by letter. His devotion and gratitude. Credence for Councillor Valck.—Honslerdyck, 6 May, 1589, stylo veteri.
Signed. Endd. with note of contents. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 182.]
May 6. William Borlas to Walsingham.
Has sent by Captain Browne a book of the musters he (Borlas) has taken, with details of those absent, strangers, etc., in each company. His great expenses therein. Desires he may have a company. Captain Darse and others never go near their companies. Borlas' predecessors, the lieutenant-governor of Brell, and the sergeant-major of this town, all had or have bands, though their expenses are far less than his.
Men and new sea-defences required at Hostend. Too few men in Bergen, where the forts need at least five companies and the town twelve.
Expects the ill-will of some for the book of musters he sends. Sharp letters should be written to the commissaries, for the keeping of so many strangers in the companies is a great abuse. The lords of the Council, not the Lord General, should put the commissaries in their places, for the lords may control the General's or any governor's company.—Fluschyng, 6 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2¾ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 184.]
May 6. Note that 2,059l. 17s. 8d. was due to Sir John Wyngfeld for his footband of 150 men from 12 October, 1587, to 11 October, 1588: whereof he has received in imprests 439l. 14s. 10d. defalk-able from the first warrants and 754l. 13s. 4d. defalkable from the second. So remains due, 6 May, 1589, 865l. 9s. 6d., besides 696l. 8s. 4d. due October, 1587.
Signed Thomas Sherley. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 186.]
May 7. Buzanval to Burghley.
M. de Montpansier's agent presses for the powder to be sent away. Thanks Burghley for his care herein, of which he will inform Montpansier, who is worth obliging upon his entry into a government so near to England. Heard yesterday from Normandy that since defeating the Gautiers he has broken up another Leaguer abortion headed by nine brothers in Basse Normandy.—London, 7 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. ½ p. [France XIX. f. 125.]
May 7/17. John Mychell to Walsingham.
Has intelligences from Holt, an English Jesuit, and from Ralph Creake, both living in Brissels and conversant with Sir William Standlye.
Reached Calice on April 19, N.S. Could not pass through France because of the troubles. Went to St. Omer, where the watch took him to an English Jesuit, Father Kirkham, to be examined. Pretended to be unsettled in religion, but Catholically-minded, and to have come “to see the wars.” Kirkhame sent him, with one of Parma's posts, to Standley at Brissels. Standly and other Englishmen railed against her Majesty and some of the lords. Was examined next day by the auditor, and accused of coming from Walsingham, as others had come, to do some treachery upon Standly or the Prince. Was found innocent. Then Creake and Holt came to his lodgings and said that he might win wealth and reputation here and heaven hereafter, if he would perform “no less than absolute treason to her Majesty's sacred person.” Said he loved not treachery. Holt took him into a church and there told him that two gentlemen in England had vowed to do this and had taken the sacrament thereon. Promised to think over it. Creake continually urged him on, pointing out that one had in the end slain the Prince of Orange: even if Mychell could not execute it, his reward would be as great as the others'. Asked Creake their names: he said they did not even know one another's, nor should they know his. Mychell finally refused. Was then imprisoned in the stone port at Brissels, and robbed even of his shirt. Was threatened with the rack and eventually banished from the King's lands. Encloses the ‘banishment’ [not found].—Calice, 17 May, 1589, “after their account.”
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XIX. f. 127.]
May 7/17. The Council of State to the Queen.
Recommending the States General's commissioners.—The Hague, 17 May, 1589.
Signed K. van Donia. Countersigned Chr. Huygens. Add. Endd. French. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 190.]
May 7/17. The Council of State to the Privy Council.
As to the Queen, above.—The Hague, 17 May, 1589.
Signed K. van Donia. Countersigned Chr. Huygens. Add. Endd. French. Seal. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 192.]
May 8. Thomas Bodley to Burghley.
“It may please your lordship so to welcome Mr. Loosen and Mr. Valcke as they may partly perceive that your lordship will do it in regard of my writing. For though the self-same stream hath carried them with the rest in their public consultations, yet their dealing hath been ever more moderate, and in particular to me very loving and kind. I do assure myself that they are enjoined in this voyage to deal in divers causes against their own proper judgments, as your lordship shall perceive by the managing of their business. But yet they will not seem to disunite themselves or hazard the loss of their lodging in Holland. I do not name Monsieur Egmond, though he bear the first place in commission, for that I find him one of the worst affected persons in this country against the English nation….”—The Hage, 8 May, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXXII. f. 194.]
May 8. Captain William Suderman, called Suavius. to Walsingham.
Wrote by Captain Carleil, asking his honour to write to Sir John Conway for his leave. Sir William Russel and Carleil promised to further his cause. Is lothe to trouble his honour again but Conway's evil treatment of him has become intolerable. Again requests his honour, therefore, to obtain him leave to come over for seven or eight days to forward his case and to secure his release from the servitude in which he is now kept.—Ostend, 8 May, 1589, stilo anglie.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 2/3 p. [Holland XXXII. f. 196.]
May 9. Bodley to the States General.
As Loosen and Valck have doubtless informed them, he has received important letters from her Majesty, which his illness prevents him from communicating by word of mouth. Her Majesty is sending one of her Council to deal with them of divers dangerous defects in their present government, which she wishes to be by careful consultation restored to that state that it was in when the Treaty was signed. He will be at the Hague by May 25, stilo Anglie. Requires them to be assembled with full power from their principals to treat and conclude with him without any of the delays which often hinder business. Desires speedy answer, that he may advertise her Majesty.—The Hague, 9 May, 1589, stilo Anglie.
Copy. French. 1⅓ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 197.]
[May 9.] Rasse des Neux to Walsingham.
Sends this by a servant of the Earl. The Earl's fistula is reasonably soft and tractable, but his general physical condition seems to threaten a dropsy. Leaves that to the doctors who are seeking to cure it. Wishes her Majesty would grant Walsingham eight or ten days' leave to come to him for treatment. Went yesterday to the town to see Mistress Belle, Walsingham's sister-in-law. She has a serious fluxion beginning in her thigh. Could not see it, for ladies are often very modest about such matters, but heard all about it and wrote out the most suitable remedy, which he gave to her husband. Yesterday also he applied a cauter to the left arm of Walsingham's good servant, M. Christopher Barker, printer to her Majesty. Hercules has brought him the packet from France which Walsingham had received. Asks that he may send his letters to France with Walsingham's. Has had no news thence for six weeks.—Soudouark.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with date. French. 1⅓ pp. [Holland XXXII. f. 199.]
[May 9.] Petition of the magistrates of Ostend to the Queen.
The enemy's attempt to surprise Ostend a few days ago. His forces remain near to the town and great preparations are made at Bruges and elsewhere to besiege it. The petitioners fear that the garrison is too weak to sustain such an attack, so they desire her Majesty to send reinforcements; also victuals, of which they are ill furnished. Have often explained the needs and decay of the town, and the way to remedy them. Unless her Majesty is willing to take in hand the repair of their sea defences during the summer, no burgher or anyone else will be willing to take the risk of remaining in the town during the following winter. Hope her Majesty will take good order herein, for they can look to no one else for help. If the enemy secure the town, they will spare no effort to repair it and it will become a great menace to English merchants, whose losses would then amount to far more than the cost of its present repair and defence. As her Majesty daily disburses such large sums on behalf of the United Provinces, she should be able to use a mere two thousand pounds sterling or so for Ostend and to add it to the general account, since Ostend is also a party to the Treaty with her. Such a sum would make the place impregnable, as well as very profitable to her Majesty. It would then be possible to defend it with only four or five companies, besides the burghers who would flock back, instead of the 9 or 10 companies which are now needed.
Endd. with date, and by Burghley with a note of “places near to Ostend where the garrisons do lie:—Oudenborch, 15 ensigns, Nyvandam near Newport, Leffynge, Suasskyrke, Blankenborg.” French. 2 pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 113.]


  • 1. Above, pp. 215–6.
  • 2. See Acts of the Privy Council, N.S., xvii, 144–5.
  • 3. Dutch text in Bor, xxvi. f. 19.