The present volume, Part XII, brings the Calendar of the Cecil MSS. to the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
The Calendar, so far as it has proceeded, is in the main exhaustive of the letters and papers which form the collection, although unfortunately, owing to various causes, there are many omissions, chiefly before the year 1595. But these omissions, with notices of a great number of undated papers, will be made good by the succeeding part of this Calendar, which will consist of an appendix to all that has gone before, covering the whole period to the date of Queen Elizabeth's death.
The Queen. Although this volume extends over the last fifteen months of the Queen's reign, it yields singularly little directly concerning her personal history. The allusions to her employments, her projected movements and casual appearances in public, are but few. A progress to the West of England was planned in the summer of 1602, which was to include the city of Bristol in its itinerary, but it was not carried out, “to the disappointment,” as was suggested, (p. 358) “of no one but her maids of honour.” In August, one of the wet months of the year, she was at Oatlands. On a day in October (p. 439), Fulke Greville reports to Cecil that she had been abroad in her coach, and in the evening was a little troubled with pain in the face, “but, God be thanked! is now free.” She was out again in her coach a few days later (p. 445). The first allusion to the beginning of her final illness occurs on March 9th, 1603, just a fortnight before her death. Sir Robert Cecil then informs his co-secretary, who was abroad (p. 668) :—
It is very true that her Majesty hath of late for eight or nine days been much deprived of sleep, which you know was ever wont to moisten her body, and whenever she lacked it, she was ever apt to be impatient. This continuance for nine or ten days decays her appetite somewhat, and drieth her body much, wherein though she be free from sickness in stomach or head, and in the day catcheth sleep, yet I cannot but affirm unto you that, if this should continue many months, it promiseth no other than a falling into some great weakness or consumption which would hardly be recovered in old age; other peril, I assure you, there is not.
He writes to the same effect to the agent in Scotland (p. 667) :—
Till within these 10 or 12 days I never saw other show of sickness in the Queen than such as is proper to age. Now her Majesty is free from any peril, but because all flesh is subject to mortality, I must confess to you that she hath been so ill disposed as I am fearful that the continuance of such accidents should bring her Majesty to future weakness and danger of that I hope mine eyes shall never see. Although she hath good appetite,
and neither cough nor fever, yet she is troubled with a heat in her breasts and dries in her mouth and tongue, which keeps her from sleep, greatly to her disquiet. This is all, whatsoever you hear otherwise. She never kept her bed, but was, within these three days, in the garden.
Shortly after this, a letter from the Privy Council was circulated on the subject of the Queen's illness, and efforts were made to stop the spreading of rumours (p. 699). On the 20th, the Privy Council communicated with those peers who had not been personally called into consultation. The only reference to the supreme event appears to be in a letter from Fulke Greville to Cecil (p. 702) : “I send to know how you do after your toilsome day.”
To the last, in the eyes, or at any rate in the expressions of her courtiers, the Queen kept her almost divine attributes. The Earl of Rutland, an exile at his own Belvoir Castle, “draws on,” so he says, “a wearisome life, being still denied the sight of that sun which only can give me comfort” p. 289). The Lord Keeper, held by two grim gaolers, gout and melancholy, moans that though he might entertain hope of freedom from the first, for the other, he must despair of relief “until I may hear a sweet, heavenly voice say unto me, Valeant amara ista; eat melancholia ad Tartaros!” (p. 583.) That voice was stilled for ever on Thursday, the 24th of March, the last day of the year 1602 according to the style of chronology then in use in England.
Sir Robert Cecil. The natural expectation that there should be a considerable number of letters which may be classed as personal to Sir Robert Cecil in contradistinction from those connected with his duties in his high offices of state, is met to a fair extent in this volume. His country seat, the “paradise” (p. 187) of Theobalds, and the improvements in the park there, are the subject of lengthy correspondence, notably concerning certain works for bringing a “river” through the park. Of the house itself, Sir John Harington penned a rhapsodical description (p. 188) :—
When I beheld the summer room I thought of a verse in Aryosto's enchantments :
But which was strange, where erst I left a wood
A wondrous stately palace now there stood;
and the sight of it enchanted me so as I think the room not to be matched, if you will put two verses more of Aryosto to the chamber in the same canto :
And unto this a large and lightsome stair
Without the which no room is truly fair.
Sir Robert's son William was in residence there in August 1602 and lady visitors are reported as coming to see the beauties of the place (p. 319).
Sir Robert himself was the recipient of many presents, varying in kind from Worcester cheeses and partridges and pheasants, dead and alive, to horses. One of the last mentioned sort came to him from the Governor of Boulogne. The volume tells of four urban communities which approached
him to obtain his patronage. Exeter and Colchester in England; Carmarthen in Wales; and Waterford in Ireland. The “poor” Welsh town laid nothing at his feet (p. 168) except its claim to a past history of 500 years, but the city of Exeter renewed as “a small pledge of its thankfulness” its proposal of a “very small annuity” (p. 70), accepted by his father but rejected by himself when first offered to him after his father's death; Colchester presented him with 10l. in gold (p. 139) to express their joy in his happy election for their patron, and the corporation of Waterford sent (p. 234) a pair of bed coverings and two rondells of aqua vitœ, with the prayer that he would further their suits.
Towards the University of Cambridge he is found standing in a threefold capacity; as Chancellor “of the principal nursery of piety and learning in the state” (p. 21), resolved to interpose and engage himself by his best endeavours “for the good of that body in upholding the ancient liberties, immunities, privileges and good usances and in furthering the orderly and peacable government thereof”; as tenant of property of King's College, and as parent of his son William in statu pupillari at St. John's. As regards the last, we have letters both from the son and the son's tutor. The latter, when his pupil returned after “a long discontinuance from the same,” (p. 406) testified that he began “to fall again prettily well to his book,” and prophesied progress, notwithstanding his “rawness,” if he were allowed to “continue at his book” without too frequent interruptions; a kind of hindrance which evidently from the tone of his letter the tutor thought there was reason to fear. A month later, however (p. 457), he could please the father's heart, by reporting that his pupil “was never better in bodily health, and follows his book in such sort as I cannot find any fault with him.” The letters from the boy himself to his father are brief. He expresses his intention “to follow his study hard” (p. 423), the object of study at the moment being the first Book of Cæsar's Commentaries. The son of so important a father was not without good friends who kept him furnished with “venison and fowl and other things.” He appears to have had a protracted Christmas vacation for he did not return to keep his Lent term till Feb. 22nd, when however he promised (p. 650) “to fall hard to his book again,” to recover what he had lost by his long absence.
Letters show Sir Robert Cecil in cordial relations with friends and his deceased wife's family. Of his wife he writes incidentally to her brother (p. 631), as being of a “stock” whose “mixture” he himself was as well able to guess as any, “when I conceive, if any composition could be purer than other, I had most trial of it, to my infinite comfort till God found me fit to be corrected with the privation.”
He was in great demand as godfather. The following is one instance of the manner in which such a request was
made, the petitioner being Sir John Harington, “full of delight, of honour and admiration of you and all your father's house.” (p. 188) :—
And in this cogitation a man of mine own comes to me post from mine own poor house, with a letter from my eldest son (of twelve years old), with news that my wife was delivered of a son, and because my son must “patrisare,” he writ it in this verse : Gaude, pater, quartum genetrix peperit tibi natum : which moved me to make this suit to your Honour to be pleased to be his godfather, that he may bear your name.
Lady Arabella Stuart. The volume contains abstracts of a considerable number of letters and papers relative to the proceedings of Lady Arabella Stuart. As they form part of the groundwork of Miss M. E. Bradley's Life of the Lady Arabella Stuart, and have been discussed and reproduced extensively in that work, a mere mention of them may suffice in this place.
Naval Affairs. The period covered by this volume was one of much activity at sea, and of all the subjects upon which the letters and papers in it bear, this subject has the largest proportion to itself. Many of the letters, moreover, are of great interest, vividly describing the operations of the English fleets and the gallant deeds of those who commanded and manned them.
In January, 1602, Sir Richard Leveson returned from Ireland after his successful attack upon the Spanish re-inforcing ships which, at Castlehaven, he had either sunk or driven ashore, “bulged never able to rise again” (Vol. XI. p. 526). His victorious ships brought back with them, however, lading of an unhappy sort, that is to say, many sick men and the “disease of the country.” The death rate at Plymouth in consequence among the young and very old, rose to an unusual height. As soon as the ships reached home, preparations were at once set on foot for a new expedition directed against the returning Spanish West Indian vessels.
In the making of these preparations the greatest difficulty experienced lay in the task of completing the ships' complements, but by the 19th of March this and every other hindrance had been overcome and Sir Richard Leveson set sail for the southward (p. 78) with the Queen's ships, Repulse, Warspite, Nonpareil, Dreadnought, Adventure and an attendant carvel, leaving Sir William Monson behind him to follow a few days after with the Garland and Defiance. It had been arranged that a Dutch fleet should co-operate, but the Dutch contingent had not then made its appearance and did not arrive at Dover for over a month after Leveson's departure. This absence, at a moment when their aid would have been of inestimable advantage, was a matter over which the Englishmen, in consequence disappointed of their prey, could only utter a sigh of regret. The occasion of their disappointment was the sighting of the Spanish West Indian fleet on the
21st of March, coming in “as currently,” writes Leveson (p. 132), “as my heart could wish.” What then happened he describes in a lengthy despatch (pp. 132–134) written a month later when an opportunity offered to send news home. He tells how, when the Spaniards had discovered the English ships to be men-of-war, they fell to blows. In the darkness of the night, his vessel riding on a tempestuous sea, Leveson engaged the first ship he “could conveniently come unto,” prevailing so well that he was “more doubtful of sinking than of winning her.” He writes :—
But here was my misery. The night was exceeding dark, and the sea did suddenly grow so high, as I was neither able to make her fast, nor my people able to enter her, unless it were some few of my valiantest, which between the ships (I fear) were unfortunately lost. Four several times my ship fell off, and four times I boarded her again. . . . . Though our fortune in this might seem to be crooked and adverse, yet it was God's will to dispose all for the best, for this fleet was so strong (which at that instant was unknown to me) as if I had taken the least ship of theirs, I must either have engaged all the Queen's ships, with danger to have kept her, or else have lost her the next day following, with grief and dishonour.
When morning dawned, the Englishmen learnt that they were in the presence of an overwhelming force. The English captains assembled in Leveson's ship, agreed
that we might give blows and take blows, but without hope of profit; hazard our men and endanger our masts, the sinews of our journey, and so be disabled to do that we go for. Hereupon we parted with as much discontent as man can imagine to see so much wealth without power to take it. Yet I followed the fleet into the shore that day and the next night, in hope of a straggler, but the weather growing to be very fair, would not yield me such a benefit.
Thus it was that the absence of the Dutch forces became so potent a matter of regret. The decision of the captains only forestalled instructions that later on came from home (p. 162).
Although at this first asking, fortune was crooked and adverse, it did not fail to crown with success their gallant endeavours a little later on. On June 5th Leveson, amid multiplicity of business, writing in high spirits, tells how “it has pleased God to give me the possession of a very great and, I hope, a very rich caracke, which I did fetch out of Cysembrey Road, being guarded there with 8 pieces of artillery upon the shore, and 11 galleys, whereof the Marquis of St. Cruce and Signor Spindola, being both there in person, were principal commanders.”
The damage inflicted upon the Spaniards was not confined to the loss of the great and rich carrack :—
It was my good fortune to surprise with boats 2 of Spindola his principal galleys, the one being his vice-admiral, and both being laden with powder and oil for the Low Countries, which I sacrificed to the fire, having no leisure to heave it out. And I protest unto your Honours that two other of his galleys were coming unto me to have yielded themselves, but I, having then a fairer object in mine eye, and being ready to give the attempt upon the caracke, would not stay to receive them. [“400 gentlemen and gallant fellows were aboard her, sent from Lisbon.”—Margin.]
The scheme of operations by means of which the capture was effected is minutely described (p. 184). Leveson was a man
of generous mind and gave unstinted praise where he thought praise was due. He writes :—
But especially I do humbly desire that her Majesty may take notice of Sir William Monson, who hath showed himself in the business a very gallant worthy gentleman. Of myself I can say least, because I performed least, though I had a desire to rank myself in the number of those that did best.
He himself came home in charge of his prize, protesting that it was not love of his own ease nor fear of the King of Spain's power, but only a desire to preserve his prize in safety, that led him to take this course; and affirming his willingness to return immediately to sea in the ships accompanying the prize as convoy. He showed a fine spirit of patriotism (p. 185) :—
And I do humbly beseech your Honours to undertake thus much for me unto my gracious Sovereign, that whilst I breathe, I will refuse no peril nor pains that may do her Majesty one day's good service.
Rumour preceded him, tidings of his success coming “sundry ways.” His own despatch reached the court about the 16th or 17th of June. The “good news” was forthwith imparted to Lord Buckhurst, the Lord Treasurer, on the latter day. It filled him with elation of mind; news more welcome to himself than it could possibly be to any other, concerned as he was with the kingdom's ways and means. “Thus to our endless and exhausting expenses, we may yet find some comfortable means of support,” he writes (p. 197). His “good news” in reply, to be communicated to the Queen, was :—
that her loyal subjects do make it their joy and comfort to live and die in her service. And even when the messenger brought your joyful letter, he found my chamber full of Barons, Judges, all her Majesty's attorneys and many others, all labouring to advance her revenues with the yearly profit of many thousands.
Undoubtedly many a loyal subject did thus die : Lord Buckhurst's was no idle statement, though the loss now was not among those to whom he primarily referred. There is constant reference to “sick men” in the ships returning home and to “more to come.”
The “joyful news” had, it would seem, a somewhat immoral effect on the people. Commissioners were despatched to Plymouth without delay on behalf of the Queen, to look after the rich cargo, Fulke Greville, friend of Sidney, the Treasurer of the Navy, at their head. He writes humorously of the difficulties of his position, “every way envious” (p. 217) :—
My duty for the carricque having been first to watch, restrain and punish stealth and traffic universally, a distasteful course alike to fleet, strangers and inhabitants, and all sorts of men in these parts. In the ships again, this haste enforces me, according to the rule of Cyrus, first to distribute every captain, master and minister his several charge, and then to require a daily and curious account of them. What a gentle office this is, and withal to govern and command the dissolute mariner from his riot, your own infinite pains (whereof at your last being here my eyes were witnesses) can best inform you; besides the keeping in of the men-of-war, which is the principal trade of this whole coast, is to interdict them fire and water, yet so excellent a provisional caution in you, my Lord Admiral, as without
it the Queen's pressed men would hazard laws and lose their wages to go away in them. But the most heavy burden to me has been that while I stir up so many sharp humours in all degrees. I have hitherto had neither credit nor means to give just relief to any. Now I hope to go on more lively and give her Majesty better account. Yet while I neither breathe sound air, nor hear good word of myself, if there should any cloud hang over my poor endeavours, then have I no refuge but to make misfortune a wisdom; and as the falconers, when they beat their spaniels for running at sheep, cry “ware mutton” to them, so will I cry “ware caricque” to myself while I live; where, if it shall please her Majesty to make a favourable construction, then is her service perfect freedom unto me, and I shall return as rich and contented as any man living.
The business kept Greville and his fellow Commissioners at Plymouth until the end of July. By that time, they succeeded in transferring the cargo to three of the Queen's ships and three merchant ships, which sailed from Plymouth, under Greville's charge, early on Sunday morning, August the 1st, and reached the Downs on the following Monday evening. Here Greville came on shore, rode post to Chatham to see after pilots, boats and other necessaries, and then went on home to London which he reached late the same night; “and desired to have repaired to her Majesty's presence if the noisomeness of that place whence I come had not required me to forbear till her gracious pleasure were known” (p. 280).
Though so great a proportion of the cargo had been secured, report was rife that an equal quantity had been stolen. This estimate the Lord Admiral scouted as an impossibility. He writes (p. 282) :—
But this is strange to me, how it should be carried away, for you see there is six great ships laden to bring this away. Now, if there were as much stolen as is left, where could it be put? I see no possibility in it; and yet no question a great deal is stolen.
There is a hint that Greville did not find the ways of men in London very different from those in Plymouth. A short note from him, endorsed July 19th but more probably written on Aug. 19th (p. 233), tells Cecil :—
We have laboured so industriously as upon Saturday we shall have nothing to do except to watch thieves, whereof, thanks be to God, this city is not destitute.
Meanwhile, the Dutch fleet, though late comers, had sailed for the coast of Spain and had met with some success (p. 237). The Queen's ships which had guarded the prize carrack safely to England were without delay made ready for sea again and were put under the command of Sir William Monson. Once more there was a difficulty in finding men, who were enticed into the small private “men-of-war,” or preferred to stay at home. Monson relates the stringent measures he adopted, in view of the “incredible” number of sailors who had run away, since their coming home :—
I have (he explains) written to the chief officers of the towns where any presses have been, that if they find any pressed man returned from her Majesty's ships without a discharge under my hand, that they shall apprehend him, and cause him to be conveyed to the gaol, to receive his trial according to the statute. I have likewise writ to the judges of the Assizes,
that if any such offendors come before them, humbly to entreat them to execute the law with great rigour against them, and that if they find any such worthy of death, to sentence them to receive it at Plymouth, to terrify all seamen by their example.
But there was also another hindrance, not of man's making—a continuous southerly wind and “most extreme foul weather.” When, however, the wind at last changed to a favourable quarter, the north east, on Monday night, the 30th of August, Monson was ready to take advantage of it, and sailed early next morning with all his ships “as well manned as any that ever went out of England” (p. 334). Although by this time there was little likelihood that the Spaniards would carry out their designs upon Ireland, Monson's instructions were to visit the Groyne and Lisbon, his proceedings being left much to his discretion. Two lengthy despatches, of date respectively October 4th and October 19th, relate his adventures. He succeeded first of all, in heading off “two gallant ships,” Frenchmen, each of 300 tons burden, coming from Newfoundland, laden with dried fish and carrying 150 men, thus preventing “the Spaniard of his three principal wants, ships, men and victuals” (p. 418). Then he established relations with the Governor of Cezimbra, on the Portuguese coast, obtaining a secret promise from him
that when I, or any from me, shall come hovering before the harbour with a white flag in the main top, to send to speak with me and to deliver what he knows touching the Spaniards.
One night, late in September, espying a light and giving chase, he found himself, with only two of his ships in company, within pistol shot—not of one of the Brazil fleet as he had hoped—but of the “admiral” of the Spanish fleet, with Don Diego de Borachero, the Spanish commander, on board. He escaped by means of a ruse. The English ships were pursued, but showing fight, were left alone (p. 419). Later, he had news that the Spanish Don “frets it was I that came so nigh him amongst the midst of his fleet and escaped in the manner I wrote to you” (p. 447), as well he might since he had ultimately to re-enter Lisbon, after a long time spent at sea to little purpose, not having taken one English man-of-war “though at several times met with us many as are at sea, . . . . with some of his masts spent, most of his ships leaky, and one of them sunk.” Subsequently Monson learnt that Suriago, with eight of the least ships of the sixteen under Don Diego, had put to sea, his design unknown. But it might be to convoy the Brazil fleet, prevented from reaching Lisbon by the easterly wind, the non-appearance of which
puts the Portingals in such fear of their miscarrying as they hold the whole city undone if they come not in safety this month, and have daily processions and solemn prayers that they may escape the Englishmen.
Monson could report at the same moment :—
The King's want of mariners and all provisions to sea is such that you need neither fear Ireland, nor any great fleet of his to be employed
anywhere; for he was not able to furnish those eight ships without taking sails, cables and anchors from such Easterlings as were in the harbour. Sailors of all nations seek to avoid his service, and either run away in shipping or fly to hide themselves in the mountains.
Monson's hope was that he might take one or other of the ships expected in Spain, and until he was sure they had all escaped him, he was “resolved to fare hardly rather than to return home.” But he feared that the rest of his small fleet might be sooner forced home. Ultimately, with all his ships, he returned to England at the beginning of December (p. 510).
An estimate of the cost of keeping the squadron at sea is given on p. 487.
This narrative of naval operations, set out more in detail in the papers themselves noticed in this volume, though the chief, is not the only vein of the history of naval enterprise of the year and a quarter which the volume covers. There are “other stories,” pertaining to the same subject. There is abundant reference, for example, to proceedings connected with the rich prizes taken by Sir John Gilbert's Refusal and two other vessels out of which Sir Robert Cecil, as one concerned in the adventure, reaped large profit. There are also letters from Sir Thomas Fane, at Dover, and from Sir Robert Mansell, aboard The Hope in the Narrow Seas, and from others, bearing on naval matters.
Army. As in 1601, so in 1602, calls for men for military service out of the country were made from two quarters, Ireland and the Netherlands. Letters from the mayors of Barnstaple, Bristol and Chester, from which places the embarkations for Ireland took place, tell the story of the difficulties experienced in carrying out the orders of the Privy Council. In these letters there is, as in previous volumes of this Calendar, information with regard to the kind of men who formed the levies, whence they came and what was their spirit and behaviour; with regard also to their apparel and how this was supplied, and to the delays in their despatch, that occurred through tempestuous weather, alike in winter, summer and autumn. It is somewhat striking to notice how often report came that men had been embarked and sent to sea and then brought back, to the infinite chagrin and trouble of the authorities on shore, upon whom rested the burden of finding supplies, preserving order and preventing desertion. It is the philosophic mind of a mayor of Bristol which enunciates the truth : “No remedy but patience” (p. 407). Of the character of the men furnished by the counties, it is said, for example, that “Northampton has sent very ill men, not 40 good ones : never a county send such men hither as they” (p. 164). Sir Edward Wingfield expressed the wish that he “might have been a painter that he might have sent a picture of those creatures that have been brought to him to receive for soldiers, and then Sir Robert Cecil would have wondered where England or Wales
had hidden so many strange, decrepit people so long, except they had been kept in hospitals” (p. 169). From Bristol came the protest (p. 169), that out of twelve shires appointed to bring eight hundred able men thither “excepting some two or three shires, there was never man beheld such strange creatures brought to any muster. They are most of them either old, lame, diseased, boys or common rogues. Few of them have any clothes : small, weak, starved bodies; taken up in fairs, markets and highways to supply the places of better men kept at home.” This letter also tells the story of the mutiny of the Gloucestershire men because they were not given money to pay for their “washing” and the mending of their shoes, and how it was put down :—
The course we took was to seem careless of their strength, and by violence to overrule them. We took first one out of troop and committed him, commanding all the rest to their quarters. The whole company set on by one lewd fellow protested they would die but they would have their fellow again, but we took him that was ringleader and carried them both to prison. The rest made a show of going to their quarters, but waited their opportunity and set upon the officers that were guarding the prisoners, but were beaten back, and another of their chiefs taken. Having no martial law, we thought good to make them believe we had, and kept all that night strong guards, and sent a preacher to the prisoners to prepare themselves to die in the morning, which they did believe. When the time was come we brought them to the place of execution with halters about their necks, and caused them to go up the ladder, all the troops standing by. After they had said their prayers and expected no life, we caused them to [be] “bedyed,” which example we hope will do much good, for now are they very quiet.
In April of 1602, Sir Francis Vere was in England, having come over from the Netherlands for the purpose of raising three thousand voluntary recruits, but of his operations in connexion with this endeavour, there are in the present volume but few notices.
As in respect of men levied for service in Ireland so of the train bands, complaint is made of their unsatisfactory character, and that “reformation” was necessary. Viscount Bindon represented (p. 181) that within his jurisdiction, the numbers were made up of “base, poor men crept in there to hide themselves from foreign service. The most able sort are neither of train nor troop, though commandments have been received to make the trained bands of the most substantial sort both for their abilities of body and wealth. Many captains also of the train bands are unworthy of government.” Lord Hertford also animadverts upon the “disorders crept into her Majesty's county of Hertford” (p. 478). He reported that he had found the train bands “compact of many hired persons, men-servants, and of the inhabitants of the meanest sort, such as have ever been held fitter for foreign employment than by their home service to be shrouded from the same,” wholly contrary to the directions of the Privy Council, who upon the first erection of the train bands, “ordered them to be raised of gentlemen, of farmers and of the best enabled yeomen and husbandmen, exempting such from foreign service by their home attendance.”
It is interesting to note a scheme devised early in 1603 (p. 590) for the establishment of a permanent paid militia in England, employment and a training ground for which were to be found in Ireland.
Campaign in the Netherlands. The course of military events in the Low Countries is recorded with some measure of detail in many of the pages of this volume. During the whole period the siege of Ostend was in progress, but it is not to the prolonged operations in and before this town that the information afforded in any great measure relates. Sir Robert Cecil, however, in a letter to George Nicolson, the Queen's agent in Scotland, does explain the views held by her Majesty and her advisers as to the important issues that hung upon its defence, and why it was that she, “whose hand is not sparing therein,” was supporting the besieged. He writes (p. 34) :—
But we must not desist. For if we can still engage and waste that army, which is the garland of Spain, before that place, he will be at little ease to think of other enterprises; it being sufficient reason for us to value that port at a high price, seeing he could be contented to purchase it at so dear a rate.
An obiter dictum of his in this letter, in connexion with a pamphlet about the siege whose style was not to his entire liking, is perhaps worth extracting. It is expressed thus : “Such is the greediness of printers as they will never refuse anything that is brought to the press.”
It is the progress of the campaign in the interior of the country that the correspondents on the spot describe most fully. These correspondents included Captain John Ogle, Lord Grey, Sir Robert Drury, Captain John Ridgeway, Captain Throckmorton, Sir Edward Cecil, and others. It should be premised, however, that Sir Edward Cecil's letters are not set out in the following pages except in one or two instances, since, exceptions excepted, they have been already printed in extenso in Dalton's Life and Times of Sir Edward Cecil, Viscount Wimbledon. In general, the letters of these men, themselves engaged in the operations, give very full details. A forward movement of the army of the States General in three divisions, one of these under the command of Sir Francis Vere, with the Count Maurice of Nassau in supreme command, was begun on the 10th of June, 1602, old style. The advance started from Nijmegen in a southerly direction along the river Maas and leaving that river at Maastricht and trending westward, came to an end a day's journey beyond St. Trond. The nature of the advance may be gathered from the following description (pp. 222, 223) :—
In the whole progress of the journey small or no encounters found. The greatest enemies we met with were scarcity, and, once, an extremity of heat, whereof there died on our day's marching very many of all nations, notwithstanding the great care and providence for the carriage and relief of weak and sick men. From the beginning has ever been observed a kind of faction among the chiefs, and opposition in counsels; for the Counts Maurice and William were never anything affected to the enterprise.
Unhappy was the fate of the countryside through which the army made its way (p. 260) :—
In their march by estimation they had contribution of seven ton of treasure, besides the corn which they wasted, which was exceeding much. Such as refused contribution, and fled before the army, had their dorps and houses burned with fire. Such as refused contribution and stood on their defence, as did the town of Leeuw, with divers other holds, were forced, and put to the sword.
Even so the expedition was far from being successful. Sir Robert Drury's criticism is (p. 222) :—
I may be bold to conclude that the masters or guiders of this journey and this army were either too hasty or too peremptory in their counsels in the setting forth, or else too unsteady in the prosecution, for fortune, it is said, has that feminine nature that she loves to be forced.
When the army at length came into touch with the enemy the latter refused to bring matters to the test of battle. But Count Maurice on his part did not ardently desire such an issue, and did not take means to force the Spanish commander to meet him. Instead, he at once withdrew, and retracing his own footsteps, planted his force before Grave on the Maas, and laid siege to the town, a task both beneath the ability of the army under his command and also not pursued with any great determination. Count Maurice, indeed, was ready at any moment to raise the siege for adequate reason arising out of the movements of the enemy (p. 235) :—
The Count Maurice seems now to be of the resolution to follow the enemy if he engage himself before Berke, quitting the siege of this place. I think that he will neither attempt Berke to besiege it, nor will the Count Maurice too deeply engage himself here, if he may rise without dishonour when occasion shall call him away. For it should seem they both watch their advantages. The enemy, in my poor opinion, will certainly not go to Berke, unless Count Maurice be settled so here as his honour must tie him to stay. Count Maurice (it should seem) will not bring himself to any such conditions, having a strong enemy attending him, till he see what course he takes.
The views of Englishmen in the army may be judged from the comments of Sir Robert Drury (p. 259) :—
So strange must it needs seem that our invincible army, which should have marched clean through the enemy's country, now lies still entrenched at the siege of a little town, and suffer their army to lie in open fields within three leagues of us. But it is well excused, for we have sent 15 companies to Berke. Of the condition of this army, the head and great General discovers it plainly that he will never make other war but by sieges, except such great advantages of an army as he shall never have but by the absolute decay of the Spanish power. The several ends and ambitions of the chiefs and captains are infinite, neglecting for their private end the public business; the disagreement of the diverse nations great; but the especial dulling of all active spirits is that everybody knows they serve a state from which no gallant action can ever expect a brave reward.
Before Grave, the States General's army was not left unmolested. At the end of July, the Spanish army under the Almirante of Aragon advanced to “within an hour and a half's going” of the quarter of Count Maurice, throwing a bridge across the Maas, and threatening an attack and an attempt to succour the town. It was not a very hopeful description of the situation which Captain Ogle gave (p. 277) on August 2 :—
Weakness overtakes our troops with much watching, sickness, and extremity of ill weather. I do not see how the Count Maurice, if he do not get the town, will make a safe retreat with his army, the enemy being ready to attend him on either side.
On August 12, Lord Grey thus sketches the position of affairs (p. 291) :—
The Admiral's works to impeach and dislodge us are yet to no purpose, only on the other side of the Maas he has begun one which if he advance, may shortly force us to seek a new quarter. We are divided into three several camps, the distance between which, and duties enforced to nourish our approaches, and receive so strong an enemy at every hour ready to gain upon us, has extremely harassed and worn our army, especially our new English, impatient of endurance, and worst accommodated in quarter.
The next day occurred an incident which vitally affected the English division of the army. Sir Francis Vere, its commander, who is characterised (p. 259) as “engrossing so absolutely all authority into his hands as leaves no corner of his army for any man to lay hold upon,” was wounded in the face by a musket shot, the bullet lodging at the back of the neck (p. 296). The wound was more troublesome than a serious danger to life, but necessitated his withdrawal from the army to the quieter scene of Dort. In the meanwhile the Spanish forces had drawn off from Grave and were threatening Ravestein, which lay between Grave and the mouth of Maas, with intent to intercept supplies coming by this route.
A few days afterwards events took another sudden turn and disclosed a fatal weakness in the army of the Archduke. The rumour spread (p. 319) :—
that the enemy's army is fallen into a strange confusion, namely, that their bands of ordinance have disbanded themselves and are gone; that the whole army being generally discontented, 2,000 are already mutinied and have taken a place called Haman, whether appertaining to the Duke of Cleves or Bishop of Luke, I cannot yet learn. Lastly, the noblemen being altogether distasted of the present state of things, and the Admirante himself in a very great distraction of his mind, are all of them lately retired to the Archduke, who is said to be at Brussels. Their army they have left near unto Venlo.
The rumour had good foundation, though it was not true in all its details. The town of Hamont was invested by the Almirante, who had not withdrawn to Brussels, the town was burnt to the ground and most of the mutineers put to the sword. The Almirante himself, “with his very much discontented troops,” remained in the neighbourhood of Maastricht.
The conduct of the summer campaign by Count Maurice and his brother was little to the liking of the States General, and less to that of the Queen of England (p. 327). Sir Francis Vere dissociated himself from any responsibility for its ineffectiveness. Captain Wigmore, writing on his chief's behalf, as he lay “wounded in his bed,” says (p. 327) :—
He hath desired me to signify unto you that he did never yield his voice unto the army's return until that Count Maurice and the States themselves had desperated all hopes of proceeding forward through a want of victuals. And he most humbly desireth he may not undergo the burden of that whereof the States, whom it most nearly concerneth, do clearly discharge him.
Grave finally surrendered to Count Maurice on the 8th of September, on terms honourable to its defenders, who (p. 369) :—
came forth with their arms, flying colours, bag and baggage, and 300 wagons of ours to carry it to Diest, and some horse to convey them; for these were the conditions of yielding the town. The enemy marched out almost 800 able soldiers and 20 horse.
Nothing of moment was attempted after this. The Archduke's army remained in a continuous state of mutiny. The position towards the end of October was summed up by Captain Ogle thus (p. 453) :—
The troops being all in their garrisons, save only the greatest part of the horse and some selected foot, which on the 2nd of November, after this style, set forth from Nimuegen under Count Louis de Nassau to make a journey into Luxemburgh; a journey only for the benefit of the horse, that in the spring they may come the fairer into the field. Next year, the Estates intend to bring the Archduke to the ground, who is already upon his knees by the mutiny of his troops and the spoil they make in his country. They have made raids into Brabant and the country of Namur. They are strengthened lately with two companies out of Flanders, and are in number 5,000. Their proceedings towards the inhabitants of the country are more than ordinarily violent. Two Spanish companies that encountered them upon their journey they bastenadoed man by man, passing them through their troops that stood guard-wise on each side of them.
The views of the States General are stated in propositions to the Queen put forward by their agent M. Caron in November (p. 475).
On September 4, died at his post at the Hague, George Gilpin, the Queen's agent in Holland—an event of importance, of which early communication was sent to Sir Robert Cecil by several correspondents.
Church. In March, 1602, the see of Hereford became vacant through the death of Dr. Westphaling. Among the candidates were three bishops who put forward their pretensions without loss of time, and almost together, namely, Dr. Vaughan, Bishop of Chester, Dr. Rudd, Bishop of St. David's, and Dr. Robinson, Bishop of Carlisle. The last named, in Carlisle, was unhappily placed (p. 78) in his “own country in the midst of spoils and bloodshed.” None of these succeeded, though Dr. Vaughan did receive a “comfortable answer” from Sir Robert Cecil (p. 109), and was subsequently translated to London. The other two died a good many years later in the seats they then occupied. Dr. Bennet, Dean of Windsor, was ultimately chosen, though not until he had passed through many anxious months, during which, in common with other “preachers of the gospel, he had been subject to the tongues of the wicked” (p. 158), producing in him in the end a mind distracted with suspense. A rumour was spread to the effect that he had refused to accept the bishopric unless he might also retain the Mastership of St. Cross, Winchester (p. 160), a proviso he hastened to disclaim. His rival was Dr. Vaughan. When the see had been vacant for six months, the Archbishop pressed for an appointment (p. 437), naming these two as the
fittest he could think of. Lord Cobham actively moved in support of Dr. Bennet (pp. 163, 424). The matter was finally decided in Dr. Bennet's favour on the turn of the year, and about the same time appointment was made of Dr. Jegon to the see of Norwich, which had not been vacant for nearly so protracted a period. The Archbishop of Canterbury put forward a numerous list of worthy men for the Norwich see, Dr. Jegon standing first, and possessing also, in common with one other on the list, a qualification which possibly might still have rendered him not less eligible, namely, that of being then unmarried (p. 437).
Among other ecclesiastical places concerning the filling of which correspondence will be found, were the Deanery of Windsor and the Deanery of St. Paul's; and other matters also discussed were the right of patronage of the parsonage of Bangor, to which no less than eight titles were set up (p. 669), and the position of “singing man” in Westminster Abbey (p. 143), a church “more in the eye of all comers to this great place of the land than any else; near her Highness's chief seat and Court; near the terms and parliament; daily frequented and visited in regard of the beautiful monuments of her Majesty's progenitors, not only with resort of subjects of all sorts at their coming up hither from all parts of the land, but even with foreign ambassadors and many strangers of other countries who repair to take view of it in a manner continually.”
It is characteristic of the period that one occupying the place of the “poor deanery of Gloucester” (p. 456) should speak of himself as lying “in the dirt and dust of indignity and disgrace” for lack of further promotion.
The function and influence of the preacher were at this period highly esteemed.
The Bishop of London relates how he had prepared the preachers in the churches of London for their ministrations on Sunday, January 24th (p. 29).
In Lancashire, preaching was largely utilised for the purpose of “converting of papists to the true religion,” and four preachers were specially appointed and paid with this object in view. For many years in the exercise of their public preaching, which had been consistently “against the Pope's doctrines and his ceremonies in apparel disguised,” they had forborne to wear “cape, surplice and tippet” (p. 142). But now, so it was represented, the Bishop of Chester was proposing to forbid their preaching and put them out of their livings unless they donned these things. “And although they do know that religion is not tied to any apparel, yet they do think, if they should wear it, it would be a great stumbling-block to the weaker sort converted, by seeing worn such apparel they have so much spoken against.” As a consequence one of their number made the journey to Court to interview Sir Robert Cecil, and to protest that “rather
than they will wear that apparel they have so much spoken against, some of them will leave living and life too.”
An outspoken sermon at St. Paul's Cross, by Mr. Richard Stock, later in life Rector of All Hallows, Bread Street, in the city of London, here attributed to the date March 1603 (p. 672), gave much offence to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen.
The Universities. The references in the volume to the University of Oxford are few. A letter from the Vice-Chancellor (p. 337) throws some light on the Irish students there. But as regards the University of Cambridge it has more to say. There are allusions to the religious and other contentions proceeding there (pp. 43, 52), and a list of the Heads of Colleges who accompanied the Vice-Chancellor to London to wait upon Sir Robert Cecil with the presentation of the Chancellorship of the University. There is also an explanation in detail, for their Chancellor's information, of the plan of the Senate to relieve (p. 224) “the University's great need, never pressed with the like in the memory of any, being, besides the stock wholly expended, above 250l. in debt, for 100l. whereof borrowed, divers of us stand bound in obligation for payment within this half year next following,” a plan which Sir Robert, as Chancellor, first held over until he was better satisfied of its justness, and then absolutely vetoed. The scheme of the authorities, for which a “grace” had been obtained, was (p. 224) to levy something “under one penny a week from scholars and pensioners in the lower commons and twopence a week for pensioners in the higher commons” for the three terms of each year for a period of five years. It is naively added, “The superior graduates of better ability are now spared until some fitter occasion, when they may be better prepared, for that we had intelligence it would not have passed the houses to have charged themselves, which caused this beginning to be at the lower sort.” Cecil's considered reply (p. 443) is emphatic. “So unjust and unequal an imposition to be laid on them who do reap least benefit in the university and are less interested in the occasions of the expenses by which the present necessity hath grown, . . . . I cannot, as your Chancellor, by any means give my consent to it.” In coming to this decision he had in his mind the “poor sizar.” The alternative he not only recommended but commanded was, first, an examination of the expenditure by which the debt had been incurred, and then a general contribution to meet it, “in which it shall best beseem such to yield most as do owe most to the University.” If they chose to carry this out by means of a “grace,” then well and good, let it be so done; but the grace must be proposed in one congregation and granted, if granted, in the next.
College affairs were also submitted to Cecil in his capacity of Chancellor of the University.
The matter of the reading of students and the manner in which study was pursued are referred to in the letters of young William Cecil and his tutor at St. John's College, already noticed.
The general aspect of the University, when Sir John Harington revisited it (“the nursery of all my good breeding”) in after years, he thus depicts (p. 187) :—
In this University, I saw not only the colleges increased in number, beautified and adorned in buildings, but all orders so duly observed, disputations so well performed, all old controversies, both with the town and among themselves, so appeased, as I rejoiced at much.
Roman Catholics. Little need be said here on the subject of the papers in this volume having reference to the policy, activities and treatment of the Roman Catholic party in England, and the strife which was proceeding not only against those professing that faith from outside, but also within their own circle, amongst themselves. The papers here are but ancillary to others more voluminous elsewhere. A few matters may, however, be shortly noticed.
In the eyes of provincial mayors, the mere possession of a crucifix might expose a man to suspicion and magisterial examination (p. 32), even though he was, to all other appearances, a “dutiful subject.” Such a suspicious possession must needs be explained, and its possessor, in order to clear himself, must make acknowledgment of the Queen's supremacy, and express his abhorrence of “all popish trash and trifles.”
There is a letter from one of the Jesuit missionaries, who started from Portugal for Brazil to “spread the Christian faith.” The mission's lofty purposes were early frustrated (p. 44), the ship in which the missionaries sailed being captured by Sir John Gilbert's men on “the second day of the voyage, while still almost in the port of Lisbon.” Seven out of the nineteen priests, one other dying on the way, were landed at Plymouth and lodged in prison there or in the Gatehouse in London, whence one of them, Ferdinand Cardin, writes to beg for freedom, setting out particulars of their losses, the nature of their equipment and the object of their mission. He also pointed out :—
As religious men we have never done any harm to any of your people; nay more, to English in Portugal we have always shown kindness, bestowing alms, caring for the sick, freeing the captives, as they themselves declare. So now we beg for a like treatment, that to the loss of our goods the loss of our liberty may not be added.
This is one aspect of Jesuit missionary activity. The society was accused of quite another in a long letter to the Council from William Vaughan, Welshman, poet, and later in life colonial pioneer, which was written from Pisa (p. 211). In this he conceives it his duty to expose “certain caterpillars, I mean Jesuits and seminary priests, who . . . . are to be sent from the English seminary at Valladolid . . . . to pervert and withdraw her Majesty's loyal subjects from their
due obedience to her”; and he gives, with detail, the names and personal history and appearance of the English and Welsh members of the seminary.
A dozen letters or so from the Bishop of London, Dr. Bancroft, show how alert he was to the proceedings of Roman priests and recusants in England, from his opinion of whom and of the purposes they had in view, he was not to be moved, “let men say what they list to the contrary” (p. 204). To Sir Robert Cecil, it appears, he felt he could confidently appeal for justification in that he emphasised the warning to the State : “You will bear with me herein, if I be too scrupulous.”
A declaration of one John Ellys, a tailor, taken before Chief Justice Popham, professes to make disclosures from personal knowledge (p. 366) :—
As the common report is amongst them, they have in several parts of the realm a plot, which they call a card or map, in which their practices do consist, and there is set down what they be that have conspired against her Majesty's person and the State, how many priests have come into this realm, what particular persons have been converted by them, whereby they that have done most service that way may be best rewarded when their time serveth. In which card is set down also what wellwishers they have to join with them when their time doth come, for so they term it, and how they are then to divide themselves. . . . the general map for all England remaineth, they say, in Lord Montague's hands, upon whom they all principally depend of any great person.
It is also Sir John Popham, “the greatest minister of justice,” who is warned no longer to tolerate (p. 499) :—
the intolerable and dangerous impieties of them that live in Court amongst you (who daily entertain, relieve and maintain seminaries and perverse papists). Many your Lords and Ladies are popishly affected, and use a common phrase. “We must learn to draw homeward.” Their attendants are papists, seminaries and intelligencers for Spain. They plot against your counsels and study to destroy both the Queen, yourselves, and the whole land. Your remissness and neglect of justice has given them heart against you; and being grown strong, they care not to front you.
There is evidence that this letter was written in a spirit of fanaticism, but it may indicate a point of view current in the “West country,” whence it appears to have come. A letter from the Chief Justice (p. 513) shows that he was not unmindful of any danger to the Queen or kingdom that might arise from the activities of the Jesuits.
Scotland. The papers relating to Scotland, not very numerous, touch upon current events in that kingdom and the jealousies and animosities that prevailed among the nobility. A correspondent writing early in 1602 finds little to dwell upon with satisfaction as regards the state of the country. He draws this melancholy picture (p. 5) :—
In one word there is nothing among us but plain confusion, no respect neither had to God's glory, nor care of our poor commonwealth, the burdens of all laid over upon the shoulders of few feeble and weak persons, only our last created Treasurer, my cousin, and his companion the Controller, governs absolutely all things within the country, and has both the King and Queen at their devotion.
And again :—
I find, being in conference with sundry noblemen, a great misliking and miscontentment in their hearts, but who shall take upon them to reform this misorder, I cannot yet copy him out, but to my judgment the cup is so full it “man” shortly run over.
The relations of the King and his consort provoke admiring remark. “Never such love and concord among themselves as now”; and again (p. 90), “The King and Queen agree exceedingly.” A long letter addressed to the King, of which a copy appears here, contains advice of a frank character on the subject of the relations between himself and the Queen of England whom he looked to succeed. He is told (p. 18) :—
For it is certain at this present, through advertisements of your practising with foreigners, she is as far alienated from you as you are from her. And albeit at this time she have perhaps more freely sent you your annuity than customably she hath heretofore done, it is that, when matters shall fall in reckoning, she may have for her to say that in all points she hath done duty to you, and you the only breaker.
This correspondent bears his testimony to Sir Robert Cecil's loyalty to his sovereign and the correctness of his attitude :—
If your Majesty shall fall again in sound amity with the Queen, Mr. Secretary shall prove one of the best friends you shall have in England, but that ever he will be yours otherwise, look not for it. I never saw any about the Queen that loved herself better, and less mindful of future fortune than he.
King James's own sentiments are delineated by George Nicolson, the agent of the Queen of England in Scotland. He informs Cecil (p. 110) :—
At Kynnard the King was well entertained, and the laird of the house thought to have pleased him by drinking to the joining of the two kingdoms in one, saying he had 40 muskets ready for that service. The King said 'twas a fault in him to wish soon or by force, and he wished long and happy days to her Majesty without any abridgement for his cause. In going thence to Montrose, he protested, in his discourse with me, his true heart to her Majesty, and that as her kinsman he aught her and would perform her allegiance, albeit as King of Scotland he was not so bound, with many better words than I can write, acquitting her of the Queen his mother's death.
The number of unauthorised Scottishmen and Englishmen found in England and Scotland (pp. 612–613) respectively, is discussed by Sir Robert Cecil as a matter of weighty concern. On the one hand, there were many of the Scotch King's subjects swarming in England, having no passport, no certain trade of living, “merchants of lies from and of both the countries,” and on the other hand, “so universal a thing amongst our English that have no business in Scotland as merchants, nor passport of councillors or Wardens, going into Scotland.” Cecil cites statutes for prevention and precedents for punishment of this offence, and warns Englishmen in Scotland, having no passports, to look to themselves. But in a few months' time, with the happening of the event which brought to pass the fulfilment of the toast of the laird of Kinnaird, such considerations ceased to have any force, and Scotchmen swarmed in England more numerously than ever, and that without let or hindrance.
Borders. Papers relating to the Scottish Borders do not disclose matter of more than ordinary interest, but the relations between King James and Lord Scrope, Warden of the West March, were somewhat strained in consequence of Lord Scrope's proceedings, and there are several lengthy letters, one in particular from the Queen (p. 599), on this subject.
Ireland. As regards Ireland, during the period under consideration, the storm and stress from the point of view of the English Government was much mitigated, tending towards an “end of the wars” as time progressed. The failure of the Spanish expedition at the close of 1601, and the capture of Kinsale, (in connexion with which a “merry jest” passing between the Lord Deputy of Ireland and Don Juan d'Aquila, the Spanish commander, is related on p. 39), though it did not absolutely remove the danger of Spanish aid or of another direct attempt to succour the rebellious Earl of Tyrone—who was also fed with hopes of aid from Scotland—was, as a matter of fact, a practical set back not to be overcome. But in order to “make sure,” and to counter any movement on the part of the King of Spain, two steps were taken in England : a fleet was despatched to watch the Spanish coast and to fight the Spanish ships on the high seas (with what successful result has been already related) and preparations were made to send reinforcements to Ireland. In January, considerable bodies of men were brought from the various English and Welsh counties to Barnstaple and Bristol. All were not utilised, however, numbers of them being sent back to their homes, and only a smaller and selected force at that time sent to the South of Ireland.
There was constant difficulty to get the reinforcements conveyed across the Irish Sea. Soldiers were embarked; the ships put to sea; and then put back again, to the infinite cost and trouble of the local authorities. It would seem that bodies of soldiers which assembled at Barnstaple in the second week in January were kept there by unfavourable winds for at least a month. And a similar condition of affairs appears in the autumn of the year, on the occasion of another reinforcement sent from Chester. A large body of men were held back at Chester for nearly the whole of September and October. There were like delays at another port of embarkation, Bristol, whose Mayor writes (p. 407) :—
The soldiers have been often times embarked and have been down our channel of Severn twice or thrice, and now are returned by means of contrary winds, and must of force be landed again; no remedy but patience.
But delays such as these, which under other circumstances might have been serious, did not now greatly affect the situation, and when the month of July arrived, Cecil could complacently write to one correspondent after another,
“In Ireland, all things go well,” or, “Out of Ireland, nothing but well.”
The Spaniards at Kinsale by the terms of the capitulation agreed to surrender the castle of Dunboy, at Berehaven, well seated and strongly fortified on a rock. It was seized, however, in spite of them by an Irish force which, with the aid of a few Spanish cannoniers, held it for several months. Early in May, Sir George Carew, President of Munster, advanced against the place. There was, it may be said, a general expectation that it would be taken without difficulty, for “though of good strength and long to be maintained by another enemy, yet the Irish are very bad in defending a stone wall, and less skilful in matters of fortification as men unused to the practice thereof” (p. 138). But on this occasion, expectation was at fault. The garrison, 150 strong, well provided, “held out to the last hour” (p. 271), aided by the Spanish cannoniers who were “excellent marksmen and obstinate villains.” But the efforts of Irishman and Spaniard alike were in vain, as perhaps they knew they would be. After a day's battery, the place was carried, with consequences for the defenders which were pitiful, but which excited little pity in the Elizabethan mind. “They were hanged and put to the sword, every mother's son”—a phrase which, in this connexion, Cecil uses repeatedly and apparently with satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the Deputy, farther north, with the forces at his disposal, penetrated into “the bowels of Tyrone” (p. 271) with utter waste and spoil, and placed a garrison of one thousand men at Dungannon. It was in this garrison, doubtless, that detection of illicit coining by Sir John Brockett was reported to have been made in the spring of the following year. As regards the country of Ireland generally, it is little to be wondered at if the condition of the people became miserable in the extreme and that a “general dearth of all necessaries” followed (p. 646).
Curious is it to note some of the consequences which were expected to follow from the cessation of fighting in Ireland. In this connexion a letter from Lord Chief Justice Popham is interesting (p. 314). He discusses the position at some length. The end of the wars in Ireland, he surmised, might breed some interposition of quiet at home. “Many of those who cannot live but by the wars there, will not content themselves to live according to their callings here.” The composition of the regiments in Ireland was, he suspected, unsatisfactory, not consisting altogether of “mere English,” but reinforced by the Irish, “who upon any accident are thereby made ready to become opposite to her Majesty, whereof we have already had too dangerous a precedent.” At the best, the demands of the regiments would be importunate, and if not yielded to, might lead to their taking what they required by violence from “the honest and good subject.” And he suggested as a remedy that :—
the new supplies might be of gentlemen of the best sort, to be accompanied with their friends, neighbours, and tenants, who would keep their companies full for their own safety, and expedite the service for their speedy return.
English Commissioners at Bremen. In July, 1602, Lord Eure, with Mr. Secretary Herbert and Dr. Daniel Dunn, Master of Requests, were appointed members of a mission sent to Bremen, there to enter into negotiations with the agents of the King of Denmark and certain of the princes of the Empire (p. 241). Lord Eure was chosen to be the principal Commissioner as having “both the language and other parts necessary for the same.” He was promised the customary allowances, and it was also pointed out to him that his journey would be “in no ill time of the year,” since the rendezvous at Bremen, at latest, was to be before the 26th of September. The letters announcing his appointment were received by him on his way home from the assizes at York. The news was clearly unwelcome. Affirming his desire to do the Queen all possible service, he yet deprecated the choice of himself (p. 249), who by reason of his long “discontinuance from the Court” was “disfurnished of such courtly respects as fitteth a messenger to so worthy a princess.”
Further, the affairs of the country and delights hath withdrawn me from the practice and exercise of languages, and hath long deprived me of the society of men of that quality, so that I neither can deliver message or entertain discourse with foreigner in any language save English. Likewise my poor estate of living will not afford me means to furnish myself in that sort in so short time, fitting such a service and the society of honourable worthy and grave gentlemen, except her Majesty, more than her ordinary allowance to men of my rank, do enable me thereto.
To Sir Robert Cecil he wrote more explicitly (p. 250). He represented that the cost of such a journey must be from 2,000l. to 3,000l., and that he did not know where to borrow the necessary sums without Cecil's assistance. Writing from Walton later on (p. 288), he says, “I have found this country barren and my fortune such as I cannot provide 100l. here.” Lord Burghley interested himself in Lord Eure's effort to raise money (p. 537). Ultimately it was obtained by successive loans from the merchants in London, Sir Robert Cecil standing as personal security.
In the event, being commanded to go, he obeyed, begging only to be allowed to remain in the country until the end of August (p. 276). Before the mission started on its errand, the views of the Merchant Adventurers were canvassed regarding the points in dispute (p. 283) and information collected from the fishermen of the eastern ports (p. 287). Learning of the sending of the mission, the mayor and aldermen of Hull begged (p. 296) that “the great wrongs committed against our poor neighbours by the King of Denmark” might not be lost sight of.
The Commissioners set out on their journey from London on Tuesday, Sept. 7th. The previous day, Monday, was
avoided “for that this year Christmas Day fell on it” (fn. 1) (p. 360). Tuesday was chosen as being “the happy day of her Majesty's nativity.” For one of the travellers it was, notwithstanding, not altogether a propitious start. Between Gravesend and Rochester, the coach carrying Dr. Dunn, travelling at night, was overturned, and he received some hurt. This was not suffered to delay their journey, however, and they put to sea from Margate on the 10th, to go through the experience of a tempestuous voyage of seven days before they landed at Stade. Here they were “entertained and lodged by the Magistrates with many signs of affection which they professed to her Majesty and hers” (p. 379). After a few days' rest, they passed on to Bremen. There, their personal reception was all that was pleasant and desirable : “Joy and congratulations . . . . for their safe arrival and for her Majesty's gracious intention to end all controversies between her and these northern princes,” and a “respective” carriage of the Danish Ambassadors towards the Englishmen. The real business of reaching a settlement did not, however, progress so favourably. There were “fair speeches” on the part of the Danes. But after some weeks of negotiations Lord Eure arrived at the opinion (p. 471) that they
esteem profit more than Christianity; pride and hope of greatness is more esteemed by them than religious and worthy friendship with true and well affected princes.
while Mr. Secretary Herbert's views were almost more emphatically expressed (p. 472) :—
As to the negotiation for effecting a good respondency between England and Denmark, with all our care and patience, such vehement debates, contradictions and disceptations have of late fallen between us and them as, for my part, I conceive of little good to be effected.
after which he enters into details with regard to their proceedings. At length, on November 26th, there was nothing for it but “to fall to an agreement of a recess.” Herbert's pious reflection at this point is (p. 487) :—
Even at th'instant the artillery played at the parture of the Danes. I pray God to bless her Majesty and never to need that nation.
Two other matters were included in the scope of the mission of Lord Eure and his companions : a conference with representatives of the Emperor, and the composing of the quarrel between the Count of Emden and the people of that city. For the latter of these two purposes Stephen Lesieur, who had accompanied the English Commissioners as assistant, was, by directions from home, sent to the scene of disquietude.
Foreign. This volume contains a series of newsletters concerning European affairs, which is a somewhat new feature in the Hatfield collection. They are dated either at Venice or Rome, and from evidence supplied by the letters of George
Limauer in the previous volume, would appear to have been sent to England by him, whether directly to Sir Robert Cecil, or reaching the hands of the latter through some intermediate agency, is not clear. For their contents, the student may be referred to the full abstracts which will be found under the proper dates. In addition, among correspondents in various parts of the Continent who report the news, are Aurelian Townshend, Matthew Greensmith and Thomas Wilson. There are “advertisements” also from Antwerp, Brussels and Valladolid. A subject of the English Queen, Christopher Reitlinger, writes (p. 172) to inform Sir Robert Cecil of his appointment as physician to the “mighty monarch of all Russia,” than whom “there is no potentate in the world that more highly esteems and more affectionately regards the Queen.” Though so advantageously placed, the physician was anxious to be recalled and to be delivered out of his “golden fetters” at Moscow and to enjoy once again “the sight of so precious a jewel” as his sovereign.
To conclude : attention may be directed to the following items of a miscellaneous character, namely :—
The illness and death of the young Lord Burgh, who had been placed under the charge of the Bishop of Winchester in his palace at Waltham, the symptoms of whose sickness and the treatment of it by the physicians are set out with a sufficient degree of detail in letters from the Bishop (pp. 59, 65), which also state the results of the post mortem examination. The medical treatment described on p. 66 is such as would without doubt “thoroughly sift” this “so noble an imp” (p. 60) and “send him one way or other.” As a matter of fact, it caused him to “give up the ghost” in a sufficiently distressing manner :
The mention of Dudley Digges as a young man about to set out on his travels (p. 141) :
The riots at Kesteven in consequence of the draining of the fens, in which the women of the district took a leading part (pp. 177. 187) :
The mention of the jewels of the House of Burgundy in pawn to the Queen for a debt (p. 227) :
The complaint of the Earl of Lincoln against the “villainies and outrages” of Sir Edward Dymock (p. 234), and certain consequences therefrom (p. 344), with Sir Edward Dymock's story (p. 410) :
The scheme of the Queen's Council to reserve from execution for employment as rowers in the galleys, condemned men of able bodies, justly deserving of death and yet not dangerous nor notorious offenders (pp. 243, 244) :
The precautions to be taken to prevent infection from the plague raging in Amsterdam (p. 247), and their ineffectiveness (p. 438) :
The list of records delivered by Sir Robert Cecil for preservation in the Receipt of the Exchequer at Westminster (p. 255) :
The account of the treatment of a patient suffering from tertian ague (p. 264) :
The spirit of English loyalty as displayed by Sir Richard Hawkins in the common gaol at Madrid (pp. 285, 590). He was released and set foot in England after years of exile towards the end of 1602 (p. 526) :
The story of the mad youth at Plymouth and of Sir William Monson's connexion with him (pp. 290, 551) :
The arrangements made by Lord Buckhurst to send a son—of all his children, “the finest and comeliest boy in nature, with such a rare curled head as her Majesty pleased to take a very special liking to him” (p. 309), but who became deranged in mind—to Padua, that place furnishing above all the world the “most rare and excellent physicians” to effect a cure if any cure were possible :
The visit to London of the Duke of Pomerania (p. 373) :
The fortification of Plymouth by the engineer Frederico Genebelli (pp. 393, 555) :
The Queen's discovery, at length, of a young lady, nobly descended, a pure maiden, adorned with graces and extraordinary gifts of nature, of convenient years between eleven and twelve, communicated to the Emperor of Russia as a somewhat belated response to his offer of one of his princely children to be bestowed in marriage (p. 421), and the means adopted to bring it to the Emperor's knowledge (p. 425) :
The statement of expenses of a traveller on a journey from Plymouth through parts of Brittany in the autumn of 1602 (p. 449) :
The account of the lapis Malacensis, or stone of Malacca, and its qualities (p. 537) :
Two letters from Dr. William Butler, the Cambridge physician (p. 538) :
The petition from the English prisoners in the galleys at Sluys (p. 561) :
The story of Henry Saunders' adventures (pp. 568–570) :
The note of plate from New Year's presents to the Queen sold and the price obtained (p. 630) :
A letter from John Lyly (p. 636); and
The “desperate” state of the town of Southampton, as represented by its mayor and aldermen (p. 637).
R. A. Roberts.
This volume has been edited and passed through the press, on behalf of the Historical MSS. Commissioners, by Mr. R. A. Roberts, the Secretary of the Commission. The abstracts
of the letters and papers included in it were prepared in the first instance from the originals by Mr. E. Salisbury, the late Mr A. Hughes, Mr. C. G. Crump, Mr. J. V. Lyle, and Mr. M. S. Giuseppi, all of the Public Record Office, and Mr. R. T. Gunton, private secretary to the Marquis of Salisbury, the last named having also rendered most valuable assistance during the passing of the volume through the press. The Index has been compiled by Miss Maud H. Roberts.