Elizabeth: June 1589, 21-25

Pages 333-340

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, 21–25

June 21./July 1. The States' Commissioners to Burghley.
Have received the letters, which he sent them on Lord Willughby's behalf, touching the States' placard of April 17 last about Geertruidenberg. It is, however, only a series of extracts of all those places where his name is mentioned and does not specify which he objects to or allows. Do not imagine that it was a crime merely to mention his name. Are nevertheless ready to make answer to his lordship and the Council whenever they shall appoint.—London, 1 July, 1589.
Signed by all three. Add. Endd., with trefoil. French. 1 p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 76.]
June 22./July 2. Pope Sixtus V to Marshal Biron.
Sends Henry, Cardinal Caetanus, as legate a latere to France. Desires Biron's good offices in certain matters of which the Cardinal will inform him orally or by letter, tending to the benefit of the Catholic religion and the tranquillity of that kingdom. Assures him that he will have no cause to repent of such good offices.—Rome, on Mount Quirinal, under the ring of the Fisherman, 2 July, 1589, and in the fifth year of his pontificate.
Copy. Original countersigned M. Vestrius Barbianus. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 158.]
June 22./ July 2. William Lyly to Walsingham.
That which long has threatened this country by reason of their rebellion, has now come to pass; “and no remedy to avoid it, the error is so rooted in this degenerated people. The K[ing] seeketh to reduce all by douceur and good means, but they, although contrary to all reason, will hold to the extremity and so in the end ‘pilled’ to all extremity; as Gergeau, from whence we parted Sunday last, which was ‘pilled’ of the soldiers do what the King could, for that they attended till the soldiers had passed the walls.” The King and his forces reached Pluviers at one in the afternoon. The town compounded, let in M. Chastillon with a few men, and allowed M. de Fouqueralles to keep a gate with some 30 men. Then a lackey arrived from de Mayne, promising succours, and the governor tried to seize M. de Chastillon. Fouqueralles and some of his men rescued Chastillon, whereat Fouqueralles was hurt, and the others kept the gates open until the rest entered. Then it was ‘pilled’ almost to extremity, and finally ransomed for 25,000 crowns, as Gergeau had been for 15,000. The governor was hanged. On Wednesday the Kings' forces marched to Estempes. “A league from the same town all their forces were together in a manner which was no bad sight”; the King of Navarre's troops were more numerous and, ‘areason’ of his cavalry, made a greater show than the King's under Marshal Biron, d'Omond, and Espernon. Being thus united, they held a council and that night invested Etempes on all sides except where it was maricagieus, “the King of Navarre on the side of Paris and we on the side of Beaus.” That night the fauxbourgs on both sides were won, though stoutly defended. The King summoned this town by herald on his army's arrival, but they refused with many vile speeches. Next day the King of Navarre again summoned them, but again they refused, saying that Grosseteste would shortly come to their relief. They would not acknowledge the King, but only de Mayne. They had 800 men inside the town, and, encouraged by the hope of succour and the belief that the King would not stay long if he met with resistance, they defended it valiantly but overlong. A ‘scalade’ failed on Thursday night. The King and his guards arrived that night and with the King of Navarre “visited all the parts of the town and very near the walls. That night the approaches were made with the cannon upon the castle and those parts; so as seven pieces were planted, and played at the ‘diane’ of the morning, and with such a fury— and with that which God ‘adjouted,’ which was a thunder and lightning as great as I ever heard any—that then presently the captain came to the King to compose. But it was too late, for the walls were weak and the breach made and the soldiers entered there, and before that some were entered by escalade on Navarre's side; so as that was to no purpose nor the pillage evitable, the which was given to the soldiers for ten hours with commandment that the churches, religious men, and all sorts of women should not be touched in any sort; which hath much contented the soldiers who before were half a-mutinied. I never saw town so sore ‘pilled.’ St. Germain (he that came to the King) was that morning beheaded and the King's procureur hanged beside him.” The rest are prisoners and their fate is not decided. M. d'Argentan was in this town, a Leaguer of 40,000 francs' rent “and 100,000 crowns in purse”: strife between Espernon and Bellegard about his confiscation.
“This for Friday. Saturday morning Navarre parted with 1,000 horse to behold the steeples of Paris, with intent to defeat Villemayn's regiment which lay about St. Clou and another which were to be put into Poyssy,” where the Chevalier d'Omal is said to be. That King is reported to have been in the fauxbourgs of Paris, whence he departed to pursue the [Chevalier] and besiege him.
Espernon promised their lives to some Walloons who valiantly defended this town. Divers mislike this, especially bb and his followers. Ill blood grows of this “and will take root upon religion although it be but ambition.” On Saturday afternoon some of the Walloons were appointed to be hanged. Espernon protested to the King and told of his promise, which the King said “was too much for him and said that it was his custom to play those parts.” Espernon thereupon departed, but Lyly hopes that it will be remedied, though it is this nation's destiny “that having put their business in good form, by some frantic accident to deform all.”
The taking of this town confirms the King and infirms the enemy, “who was esteemed to have been here before us: and our approach was not to any other end but to try his ability and intent.”
Before this it had been planned to march to Nemours or Montargis to join the Swisses who delayed to capture two strong castles at the request of Langres. “Longville and la Noue joined with them Wednesday last, and so, after some towns taken in the way, [the King meant] to divide his forces into two parts and lay them on each side of Paris to hold the rivers for him.” He hasted hither because de Mayne was thought to have some practice on Challons in Champagne. 3,000 men have deserted de Mayne since the ‘reprise’ of Montreau, and more would have followed had he crossed the river to approach the King. His forces are about Meaux and St. Lys; he may put them into garrison and stand on the defensive.
Navarre's approaches, which the marshals dislike, may change the former courses. Does not know if they were intentional or accidental. Towns got like this cause great fear to Paris and the rest and de Mayne is discredited by failing to bring succour as he promised. His forces decrease and the King's increase. Many little towns and castles yield to the King, and also more important ones as Gain, Boycomun, Dordan. ‘Admiration’ that there is no news from England.
Don Antonio is said to be at Lysbone.—2 July, 1589.
Postscript. 4 or 500 English soldiers arrived yesterday from Rochel to join the King of Navarre, “some driven in there from England and some from Spain. The King of Navarre is returned hither without doing any great matter at this time: Espernon also, and contented: and now forces are sent hence to Chatre-sur-Montlhery.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XIX. f. 156.]
June 22. Richard Tomson to Walsingham.
News brought from Portingal to this place and Donckerke by Bretons, who were a month on the way. The English forces landed near the Borlinges and took Toguia and a castle nearby. Then the ships went to Cascalles. Two Spanish horse companies cut in pieces. They say that there are only twelve galleys, and very little other shipping, in Lisboan; and that the King of Spain has there no more than 7,000 soldiers, Spanish and Portingall. Great famine there, and worse in Spain.
Those at Donckerk also say that the English have taken Cascales and are battering a castle there. A St. Omers' magistrate said that this must be false, since 6 days ago an English woman, a zealous Catholic, told the mayor on oath that the English army had been overthrown at the Groyne, only some few escaping to Rochell and England; and that upon this news “Te Deum was sung and great joy made amongst the magistrates. I suppose this was the Lady Coplie's report, and no other.”
The Prince of Parma is still at the baths, troubled with swelling in the legs and giving audience to no suitors. The Leaguers, or others under that colour, now and then raid into M. Gourdan's government. He sends out horsemen nightly, but cannot catch them.—Callais, 22 June, 1589, English style.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 160.]
A verbatim copy of the advertisements in the above letter.
Endd. ¾ p. [France XIX. f. 161.]
June 23. William Borlas to Walsingham.
Received his of June 10, together with the letter to the States of Zeeland, which he has delivered but has not yet had answer upon. They sent Vassuer into Holland five days before. Also sent on his honour's letter to Bodley. Count Maurice is at Myddelboro, and means to come hither. Will show him all honour, as he has not been here for a long time. The Prince's death is still uncertain. Skenke is said to have taken Sottfen sconce: this is doubted.—Flusschyng, 23 J[une], 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Margin decayed. ¾ p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 84.]
June 23. Captain Nicholas Errington to Walsingham.
Received his brief letter. His own last letter, which Walsingham has apparently lost, contained nothing of importance. “By your honour's letter with Mr. Borlase I am released of this government, which I humbly thank your honour for; and shall be considered towards my charges for the time, as I am promised by my lord Governor, so that I will not look for any other consideration than at his lordship's hands. In the mean time I have and will put my hand to the helm in all storms to aid and assist Mr. Borlace.” He told the captains that her Majesty had verbally given him Errington's charge. Some “take some hold thereof in matters of controversy that I should deal therein as before.” Will, however, meddle no farther than a private captain should.
Has been blamed for releasing certain burghers of Midleboroughe, arrested by “some young heads” as hostages for Vassewer. Thought it the best course, to avoid controversy. Writes this because does not know what Borlace writes. Borlace's only fault is that he “loveth to reap other men's deserts.” Will, however, do all possible to aid his authority. Desires the continuance of Walsingham's favour.—Vlishinge, 23 June, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 82.]
June 23./July 3. “An extract out of A.D. letter.”
Parma is at the Spaw, not because he is very ill, but because the King secretly bade him wait there until consideration was had of charges made against him by the D[ukes] of Medina and Pastrana, the Prince of Ascule, the veedor and proveedor, etc. The Pope is Parma's enemy because he will not marry his eldest son to his Holiness' niece. The King demands account of 4 millions disbursed with no apparent result. He also refuses to pass the 800,000 crowns taken up from the merchants here. Two bishops and one of the supreme council of Spain are coming “to take the information” thereof. “The last post bringeth news that the King is counselled to surcease these matters until he see the event of the Q[ueen's] forces now in Spain.”
The Inquisition blames the King for refusing her Majesty's reasonable peace offers: “or else to have suppressed these matters when he might have done it far more easily …”
The Pope is urged to excommunicate the French King, but a secret council has been held in Rome for his reconciliation, which causes jealousy between Spain and the Pope. Order has come to send no more money into France. The matter of Cambray cracked the French's credit here.
The 30,000 crowns intended for Scotland are now used to relieve the soldiery here. They have now small hope in Scotland. Cardinal Allyn has sent from the Pope to bid the Jesuits find out all they can of the condition of Ireland. The Irish bishops and the Jesuits are busy about it. Had the Q[ueen's] forces not landed in Spain, the Spanish forces would now have been in Ireland. They still expect to be there next spring, and look for the aid of the Irish lords.
A secret report that the bankers have broken with the King. “Certain it is that the like wants were never seen here before, neither can soldier nor gentleman get a penny to buy bread.” Mutiny likely.
Sir W. Stanley is at Gant, without money. He sent to the Spaw today to get the Duke's leave either to fill up his regiment with Walloons and Flemings or else to ‘cass’ it. On the 15th he offered passports to any who wished to depart, provided that they went to France, not to England. Fourscore have already gone. The veedor is Stanley's enemy. Stanley will soon be “a private beggar as the whole rest are.”
John Baptista de Taxis, veedor of the army here, is to go ambassador to France. Don Bernardino to go to Spain.
The Danish ambassador leaves here today for the Spaw.
“The K[ing] of Spain hath newly erected an English seminary in Valiodelid in Spain.”
Dated at head “3 July stilo novo.” Endd. 2 pp. [Newsletters I. f. 164.]
June 24./July 4. Act of the Council of State touching Adrian Vasseur. (fn. 1)
Oldenbernevelt and Roorda declared to the Council that the States General, upon receiving letters from the deputies in England, urged the Council to deal severely and in exemplary fashion with Vasseur. It was well known from his own letters that he was guilty of calumniating the States General and the States of Zeeland, of seeking to sow dissension between her Majesty and the countries, and of attempting to get her troops concentrated at Flushing to the weakening of other towns.
Copy, extracted from the registers of the Council's resolutions. Endd. and with a trefoil. French. 2/3 p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 127.]
June 24. John Poley to Sir Thomas Morgan.
After leaving him, he overtook their companies, with much difficulty and danger, at Deuesberge. Marched thence to Skinke's Sconce. Were 1,200 foot and 600 horse. Resolved to relieve Blynebercke. Were within a mile of the enemy's camp when news came of the place's surrender, the soldiers having refused to hold out longer. Then marched towards Berke. Skinke tried to take Beke fort, up the river. He brought his ships and artillery over against it and landed three great pieces. Drove off the enemy's men of war: their Admiral shot through sixteen times. The enemy lost many men; they themselves had but three or four killed and six hurt. Were unable to prevail much more and feared an attack by large enemy forces, so shipped the men towards Rysse. Entrenched themselves there. Failed to get victuals to Berke. An enemy attack repulsed with heavy loss after six hours' ‘cyrmuch.’ One of the enemy dead had a gold chain and gold buttons. Lost no more than 150 in all, most of them wounded. Captain Wollfe, “a most brave man,” slain. Skinke will attempt once more to victual Berke, which he will hardly do, for there are 3,000 enemy foot and 1,200 horse around them.—The camp before Risse, 24 June, 1589.
Postscript. “Sir Francis Vere commends him to you.”
Holograph. Add. 2 pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 85.]
June 24. Abbreviate of Ostend musters, taken by her Majesty's officer resident upon the arrival of the 500 sent from England.
Sir John Conway, surplusage 16: Sir Thomas Knolles, defect 1: Sir Charles Blount, defect 7: Oliver Lambert, Smyth, Waynman, Alldrich, complete: Deckham, defect, 8: Prether, defect, 9: Suderman, defect, 6. Each band 150 in list.
Total: present 1,268; absent, 51; dead pays, 150; defect 31, less the 16 surplusage, = 15.
Hears certainly that all except the Governor's band and the 500 are greatly disfurnished of arms. The captains have small care thereof, excusing themselves upon the lack of a full pay.
Can give no certain account “so long as so insufficient and unfit a person shall execute the commissary's office, especially opposing himself against me and all directions, etc.”
Endd. as taken “by the commissary of her Majesty's part only.” 1 p. [Holland XXXIII. f. 87.]
June 25. Sir Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
News brought by troops who went "very high into the country," that M. Lanowe has entered Cambrey and holds it for the King of France. The forces that were before Blienbecke are now before Husden; they are mostly Walloons with a few ‘Duches’ and Italians. The Spaniards keep their garrisons in Brabond and greatly oppress the people, who daily flee from the towns. The Spaniards say that they only wait for money to march towards Spain to be revenged of England: three Italian and three Walloon regiments are to go with them and be replaced by 6 new Italian regiments.
Since Sir Francis Vere left with their horse, this garrison has been daily braved by the enemy but "we hold our own." Men that go out upon hazard are plagued very sore. Morgan keeps in the Enghshmen. Captain Salisburie's abuse should be punished: he "putteth clear in his own purse of his weekly lendings 22l. a month," for his company is only 87 or 88 strong, although he has brought over another 10 or 12 men. He gains 3l. or 4l. a week on the victual. Means, according to the authority granted by her Majesty to Bodleye and himself, to put another captain in Salisburie's place, until he learns the Privy Council's pleasure thereon. Morgan can prove the charges.—Bargen-ap-Zom, 25 June, 1589.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXIII. f. 63.]


  • 1. See also Japikse, Resolutiēn der Staten Generaal, VI. 416.