Elizabeth: June 1589, 1-5

Pages 292-299

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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June 1589, 1–5

June 1. Buzanval to Walsingham.
Encloses a discourse [not found], received from the Princess of Orange, of affairs in Languedoc, Dauphiné, Provence, and Avignon, showing God's care of those parts. Walsingham should show her Majesty how little is now required to make safe the true Religion and to root out the Spanish party in France-London, 1 June, 1589.
Holograph. French. Covering sheet not found. 2/3 p. [France XIX. f. 138.]
June 1. The Privy Council to Sir John Conway. (fn. 1)
Are sending 500 men and victuals to Ostend, as they understand from his and the magistrates' letters that an attack on the town is threatened. They also send two or three Flushing bands, lest the 500 be delayed by contrary winds. As the States will not undertake the repairs necessary there, the Council will urge her Majesty to grant money for them. Conway is to send an estimate, and meanwhile to set the burghers and soldiers to work. The Council marvel that he did not inform them—as his man did— that an engineer, who has done most of the fortifying of the town, has fled to the enemy. Desire to know what victual there is in the town.—The Court at Whitehall, 1 June, 1589.
Signed, John Cant., Chr. Hatton, W. Burghley, C. Howard, Hunsdon, Cobham, T. Buckehurst, T. Heneage, J. Perrot, J. Wolley, J. Fortescue. One of the Conway Papers. Add. Seal. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 7.]
June 1. Burghley to Sir John Conway.
The Council send letters by this bearer, Conway's servant, Wood, about the 500 men and the 2 Flusshing companies (300 men complete). Her Majesty has written to Sir William Russell.
—The Court, 1 June, 1589.
Holograph postscript. Urges him to answer the lords' letter promptly.
Signed. Add. Seal. ½ p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 5.]
[June 1.] Note of victuals required for 500 men for a month. 62½ quarters of bread corn, 33 tuns of beer (at a pottle a man daily), 55 weys of cheese (at 1 lb. a man daily), 31 barrels of butter (at ½ lb. a man daily). Cost, 375l.
Figures for two months also given. Endd. with date, and “for Ostend.” ½ p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 1.]
[June 1.] Abbreviate of the account of the captains, etc., lately (fn. 2) sent for Ostend. Sir Thomas Wilsforde, colonel, 3l. 14s. 8d. daily; Captains Wayneman [lieutenant-colonel and major], William Smyth [lieutenant of Sir Christopher Blunt's horseband], Ashen-den, Alldrich [Bannister's lieutenant], Allen Lewis [of London], Helmebridg, and Savadge, each 1l. 16s. 10d. daily; Berrieff [A. Shyrley's lieutenant], 1l. 15s. 10d. daily. Total, 18l. 8s. 4d. daily.
Surplusage demanded by captains, 4l. daily: besides the usual allowances for extraordinary imprests, colours, drums, and for “their continual attendance hitherto by her Majesty's special commandment, as they allege, whereof they are not yet discharged.”
Some have shown their drums and colours: some of their officers acknowledge receiving as much as is set down in their bills.
Weekly and monthly sums also given. Signed Ja. Digges. Remarks in square brackets added by Burghley. Endd. by a clerk with dale, etc., and with a note by Burghley that the men were not sent to Ostend. 2 pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 3.]
[June 2.] Propositions delivered to the States' Deputies, 29 May, 1589, With their answers.
Proposition: Has Utrecht sent its deputies to the States General and Council of State? Answer: Has sent them to the States General: is sending them to the Council.
P.: Does Utrecht pay its quota of 13,000 florins towards the general monthly contribution of 200,000? A.: Pays it in the division of charges allotted to the province.
P.: Is there agreement between the Utrecht governor, magistrates, and captains? A.: Yes.
P.: Has Friesland sent deputies to the States General and Council of State? A.: Has deputies at the States and two Councillors.
P.: Does Friesland pay its monthly quota of 27,000 florins? A.: Pays its allotted share of the general charges.
P.: Does Oostergoo cooperate fully with the rest of Friesland? A.: Know of no dissension: deputies sent for the whole province to the States, etc.
P.: Is the rest of Gelderland firmly united with the other Provinces since the loss of the Over Quarter? A.: Yes.
P.: Do Gelderland and Overijsel pay any part of the ordinary monthly contribution of 200,000 florins? If not, what do they pay towards the monthly overplus of 30,000 florins for their garrisons? A.: Are charged by the last état de guerre with certain companies and officers, according to their ability.
P.: Have any of the provinces increased or lowered their taxes upon consumption or upon their moyens reservés, and if so by how much? A.: This is done by the provincial States, so can answer only for Holland and Zeeland where there has been no change except a slight alteration in the salt tax in respect of the fisheries.
P.: Can each province raise its quota by taxes upon consumption? If not, how do they raise it? A.: The quotas cannot so be raised: are raised in such other ways as each province can devise.
P.: What is the annual value of the consumptions of each province? A.: Cannot answer, for the above reason.
P.: What is the annual value of the brandschattingen of Gelderland, Flanders, Brabant, and Groningen? A.: Variable owing to enemy action.
P.: What is the value of the Holland verpondingen, the Zeeland hundredth penny, the Friesland florin rents, the Utrecht ont-schietgelt, at one time and how many may be levied without oppression in one year? A.: Value varies owing to war, weather, floods, state of trade, etc., and assessment varies with need, etc.
P.: What is the value of the moyens reserves in each province? A.: Do not know.
P.: What is the annual value of the tax on turves in each province, and how is it used? A.: These are special provincial revenues, used to make up the provincial quota or for local needs, as each province may choose.
P.: What is the annual value of confiscations in each province? A.: Accidental and irregular.
P.: What else could duties be imposed on, besides the convoys? A.: Depends upon the States' assent.
P.: What loans could be yearly obtained from persons of ability and without causing public grievances? A.: As above.
P.: May not the United Provinces' demesnes pledged for debts before the civil wars—the vieilles dettes—be resumed for the period of these wars, where those to whom they are pledged can maintain their estates otherwise? Or may not the interest be stopped or diminished, after the late example of Genoa? May not demesnes and moyens reserves pledged for debts incurred during these wars be turned to public use and the debts stayed until the wars end? A.: Cannot take away people's goods or income: the States would use the demesnes if they could do so without wronging anyone.
P.: Could they not sell or lease the church property which remains intact in Utrecht, Friesland, and Overijsel and that which is not yet alienated in Holland, reserving a part for the maintenance of ecclesiastical persons? A.: It is reserved for ministers, seminaries, the poor, etc., but any surplus is at the States' disposition.
P.: What forts have been lost since Geertruidenberg? A.: Doures Sconce near Heusden, and, they hear, the house of one Hemert.
P.: What magazines of victuals and munitions have the provinces? Where? How stored? A.: All the frontier towns have magazines.
P.: How do they get powder? A: Most is bought from the Eastland, but some is made in the Provinces.
P.: What notable men of war serve the States? A.: Count Maurice, Count of Nieuwenaer, Counts William and Philip of Nassau, Solms, Valckensteyn, the chevalier Schenk, Famars, Barchon, the baron de Locres, Colonel Balfour, etc., besides her Majesty's officers.
P.: How many warships do they employ and where? Of what towns? How many sailors and soldiers aboard them? A.: Her Majesty's councillors in the Provinces have probably answered this more fully than the deputies can. About 80 warships, blockading the enemy and convoying their own shipping: belong to the admiralty, not to the towns: suitable numbers of sailors.
P.: What is the cost thereof? A.: In due proportion to the numbers.
P.: How paid? A.: From convoys and licences.
P.: What is the average yearly value of the convoys? A.: Fluctuates with trade.
P.: How many ships, of what ports, of what size, normally trade every year to Spain and Portugal? A.: Do not know the numbers. Generally come from Holland and Zeeland, especially from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Middelburg, Flushing, Arnemuiden, and North Holland.
P.: What do they take and bring back? A.: A question for merchants. Think they take Low Country manufactures, and grain, etc., from Eastland: bring back salt, fruit, wines, etc.
P.: What, besides victuals and munitions, can be carried out of the Provinces to Spain and Portugal?
P.: How much corn, butter, cheese, bacon, fish, etc. is normally sent thither? A.: No corn sent from the Provinces, but only from the Eastland: believe very little of the rest is sent.
P.: What munitions and arms are yearly sent to Spain and Portugal? A.: Forbidden by the States General.
P.: What naval stores are sent? A.: These things come chiefly from the Eastland.
P.: When do ships generally sail for Spain, and to what ports?
P.: How many ships trade to France, and what do they carry? A.: Manufactures, butter, cheese, fish.
P.: How many ships has the enemy in Brabant, Flanders, and Friesland? A.: Think there are about 20 warships in Flanders (at Dunkirk, Nieuport, Sluys, Gravelines), about 20 at Antwerp, a few at Delffsiel in Groningerland, and 7 or 8 on the Upper Rhine: also small sailing and rowing boats.
The deputies have answered as far as they have any recollection or knowledge, and refer it for confirmation to those who are more fully informed.
Endd. “2 June, 1589. The answers made by the deputies of the States to the second propositions to them delivered,” and with a trefoil Dated at head 29 May, 1589. French. 9 pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 129.]
English version of the above propositions, without the answers, and dated 29 May, 1589.
In Buckhurst's hand. Endd. “Propositions secondly delivered to the deputies of the States,” and with a trefoil. 11 pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 134.]
June 3. Buzanval to Burghley.
Has not sent former letters from Boulogne, as they contained nothing but complaints of lack of money. This captain has difficulty about his entertainment there. Sends the latest letters [not found] from thence, to show the governor's straits. The sale of the merchandise would raise many difficulties. There are 400 cases of sugar which certainly belong to those of Midel-bourg: the States, Count Maurice, and the Princess of Orange, have written for them. When they come, doubtless the owners will claim them and the Council give them justice. Means to be at Court to-morrow morning, when Mr. Secretary will also be there to advise.—London, 3 June, 1589.
Postscript. Is kept at home by M. de Buhuy's coming, who wrote from Dover. Bad news came yesterday from Brittany of the Count de Soissons' capture.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 140.]
June 4. — to Peter Proby.
Wrote thrice to him before leaving St. Omer. Proby's cousin now tells him that Proby desires to know about the writer's money which Tasker has and unjustly keeps. Four and a half years ago Anthony Ingrame, then servant to Alderman Hart, was to receive 50l. 13s. 4d. sterling from Alderman Starkie for the writer, who would receive it at St. Omer from James Chester, who was residing there for Starkie. Ingrame could not get the money from Tasker to whom it was sent, though after much trouble he did obtain 20l. So Tasker still owes the writer 30l. 13s. 4d.
Desires Proby's aid herein. Is on his way to the Spa, where the Duke of Parma is. This June 3, “after our calendar,” news has come that 120 of the Duke's horsemen have entered Cambray, which is said to have rendered itself to the King of Spain. Was with M. de la Motte at Kles Beake on Tuesday: he is commanded by the Duke to stay in Flanders.—Valenchines, 4 June, 1589.
Unsigned. Add. Endd.pp. [Flanders V. f. 21.]
June 4. Sir John Conway to the Privy Council.
Received their letter of June 1. Consulted the burgomasters, chief engineer, and commissary of ‘vivers.’ They thought that the town could be made safe for this winter against siege and seas with 300l. sterling. If the money were sent secretly to the deputy treasurer here and made to appear to come from Conway's own purse and not from her Majesty, he could make 40l. go as far as 100l. Has already accorded with them to take prompt steps as soon as the Council authorises it.
Encloses the commissary's note about victuals [not found]. Not a day's provision of flesh for the garrison is left in the town.
“This night myself and all others must sup with bread and cheese.” They get some fish when the winds and the enemy allow their boats to go out. “Butter and cheese very dear and hard to be gotten.” Encloses note of prices of provisions [not found]: hopes some store may be sent to relieve them.
The burghers trade little, but may do more now they see that the place is to be strengthened.
The man who fled to the enemy was no principal engineer, but a common soldier, named Giles St. Labart, who lived by what he could get from “going forth upon hazard.” His work was only that of a turf-cutter, and he knew nothing of fortification. He went away, as others have done, because he could not live at any reasonable rate now that all are kept within the walls, being too few to hazard except in the town's defence.—Ostend, 4 June, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. Marginal notes of contents. ¾ p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 11.]
June 4/14. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
Hears secretly that the Prince of Parma is certainly dead. The enemy drums, etc., who come here dare not confess it, but bring instead reports of the defeat of Dracq and his fleet and of the death of Norreys.
Thanks his honour for procuring her Majesty's letters establishing him in his full authority here.—14 June, 1589, stilo novo.
Postscript. Parma's death is assured. Morgan has granted Captain Baerker two months' leave as his parents have died.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 15.]
June 4. Certificate of the review at Leaden Hall of the 500 men appointed for Ostend. Waynman—prest by commission 18, delivered by the City 70, officers 8, defect 39. William Smyth— prest 75, City 65, officers 8, surplus 13. Aldrich—prest 38, City 65, officers 8, defect 24. 15 dead pays allowed in each band. Also surplusage of 50 to supply weakened bands.
Signed James Digges. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 17.
[June 4.] Note that 12,525l. 18s. 8d. is to be delivered every 56 days, beginning 1 July, 1589, for the weekly lendings of the [infantry] forces in the Low Countries.
Also that 3,932l. is to be paid to the merchants on 24 June for the credit given to the six liorse companies gone with Norrys.
[Another hand] —l. to be added for the lendings of the 500 sent to Ostend.
Bough notes added by Burghley. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 19.]
June 4/14. Commission from the States General, made with the Council of State's advice, appointing John Crooke provost marshal of the forces in Bergen-op-Zoom and its forts. To maintain discipline according to the States' placards: to have the custody of prisoners of war. To take oath before the Council of State. Commission to be registered in the secretary's office of the Council.—The Hage, 14 June, 1589.
Copy, certified by John van Beuer, notary public. Original signed John Teelinche. Countersigned John Suylen. Endd. 1 ½ pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 13.]
June 5/15 John Gylles to Walsingham.
Has delivered to Justinus his honour's letter for his (Gylles') passing a man through the ‘vloot,’ which he hopes to do in two or three days. Justinus will write at large to Walsingham when he has any news. He assures Gylles that there are 1,500 men in Husden, victualled for almost a year. Count Mansfelde's companies remain near that town and have built a bridge over the water. The Germans hear that 2,000 German horse have joined those forces of Parma's which have been awaiting them these two months in the Bishop of Trees' country near Covelence and Andannack. The Prince's companies, with 10 cornets of Albenes and Spaniards and 3,000 footmen, mostly Spaniards, have gone over the Maes towards France. News came from Anwerp yesterday that the Prince of Parma is still sick and unlikely to recover. He lacks money. Mutinies at Macklen, Leere, and Herental, pacified by promises of pay. News from Anwerp to-day that the Leaguers have beaten the Protestants in Bretany, slaying 2 or 3,000 and capturing the Count de Sassonne. Encloses one of the many gibing books [not found] against her Majesty and England which are now printed in these countries. It threatens and reproves her Majesty “for suffering pirates to undo them.” The printer told Gylles that he printed them by order of the States. Gylles protested to Justinus and they were thereupon forbidden, after being openly sold on the Bourse for six days. Among the commissioners last sent over is one Mosherone, who formerly had the toll of oxen at Leeren. He has twice been bankrupt. “They might have chosen men of honester renown.”
Sir William Russell's secretary, Vasseur, is apprehended and severely handled in this town. He was here about a passport for a prisoner, Jaspar Duigens. “The man I know to be an enemy to her Majesty and a great friend in all actions to the Prince of Parma. Yet I am not to deal in matters of state….”—[At head:] Laus deo, 15 June, styll. novo, '89, in Mydde[lburg].
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 21.]


  • 1. Printed in Acts of the Privy Council, N.S., XVII. 231–2.
  • 2. I.e. at the end of March, when a levy of 1,500 under Wilsford was ordered but countermanded.—See above, pp. 187, 192.