DR. BARTHOLOMEW CLERK to WILKES.
The enclosed letters for you were brought to Utrecht, addressed
to the camp, and "lest in your absence they should become
good prize," I thought good to stay them and return them to
you in England.
News here there are none, save that our 2000 reiters with 3000
foot are at Breame and marching to us with all speed. "How
welcome they are to the country (already far surcharged), you
know as well as myself."
If you do not procure my coming home by Michaelmas, I
shall be half undone. And if (as I think) you do not wish to
come hither, I pray you send William Herle. You have left
behind you an honourable opinion which I will confirm to my
best. "If ever God and her Majesty allot you hither, you will
find yourself very welcome to all that are honest ; which is a
good comfort to all that are to negotiate in a strange country...."
"New fears do here daily breed new discourses ; viz : that our
excessive charge here of our great camp was to cause towns to
revolt unto us ; but now that charge will be lost (though we
overthrow the Prince) for that we have lost the opinion of justice."
May God turn all to the best.
When you take order for your own money in the hands of
young Smith deceased, I beseech you also make a little provision
"I pray you take your pleasure of my poor pleasures at Clapham,
where though you find a widow's life and cold cheer in
mine absence, yet if you vouchsafe to hasten me home, I will
make amends with philosopher's cheer and free discourse.—
Utrecht, 12 September.
Postscript. "Little Dannet is not yet returned. Here come
divers letters to his master, the which I would they were in his
hands. I beseech you inquire secretly whether her Majesty
did indeed write to the Count Newenar touching the banishing
of them of Utrecht. Here are many things fathered upon her
Majesty, which if it be not so it is great pity," for it may do
great harm if she mean to take on her the sovereignty.
Add. to Wilkes "at the court or at his house in Cornwall."
Signed. Endd. 1 p. [Holland X. 15.]
The ESTATES OF HOLLAND AND ZEELAND to ORTELL. (fn. 1)
(1). We have looked for your return these six weeks, which is
why we have not advertised you of occurrences here. You have
doubtless heard "of the erection of the Finances for the better
husbanding of the money furnished by the countries," of which
Jacques Ringout is treasurer. As also that Mr. Paulus Buys
was imprisoned at Utrecht and certain persons whom we have
always esteemed, and yet esteem true and faithful to their native
country, commanded to void the town :
That we and the deputies of Zeeland (finding ourselves much
aggrieved by his Excellency's placcard, concluded without our
knowledge on April 4), have sought moderation thereof you will
see by the Remonstrance hereto annexed, upon which he has
resolved to our contentment, but the resolution not effectually
performed, as Ringout and Steven Peret vaunt themselves.
Our remonstrance on other points you will see by the second
paper enclosed and what resolutions are taken thereupon. If
these are not better observed, we shall be driven once more to
make remonstrance to his Excellency.
M. Wilkes, her Majesty's ambassador has been particularly
informed by the Council of State of the good endeavours of the
provinces and namely those of Holland in performing all that
was promised as well in obedience as in furnishing of moneys,
for his Excellency has not only received all sums due, "but
likewise dealt upon the months to come," both for victuals and
We have informed his Excellency that we contribute as much
as is possible, and therefore hope that her Majesty, upon Mr.
Wilkes' report will augment her promised succours, and with
the first, make over some good sums for maintenance of the camp ;
for else it is to be feared the great number of troops in the countries
"will much sooner work the utter ruin and decay than the defence
of the same, for of unpaid men no service is to be had."
His Excellency and all the lords, both English and of these
countries have been in the field three weeks, with intent to raise
the siege of Berck, but the German horsemen not coming so soon
as looked for, his Excellency besieged and got Doesborrow and
certain places in or about the quarter of Zutphen.
We trust, on the arrival of the German horsemen (which we
look for from hour to hour) more good exploits will be done,
"but without money, men cannot be kept in office."
Doubtless you know of the imprisonment of Steven Perret,
a man who "played bankrupt" more than twenty years ago,
has often been imprisoned for debt, and has been driven to make
open cession and resignment of all his goods. For making a
seditious libel, in 1583, which was printed in Antwerp, he was
condemned to do public penance, whereupon he was released.
But presently "he set his spirit awork again, and by letters
of Ringout, employed the same against those that were in the
country's service, anno '84." After leaving Antwerp upon its
yielding up, when Ringout was in England, he corresponded
with him. Shortly after the coming of his Excellency, he sought
all means to bring him into suspicion by the Estates of the country ;
propounding many novelties to him for levying of money, wherein
he shamefully slandered the States by injurious and untrue reports.
After Ringout's arrival here, he hath found means to get in
better credit by his Excellency, and laying their heads together,
they agreed in April last that whatever they got by anything
propounded to his Excellency should be divided between them.
He sought of his Excellency the twentieth penny of all yielded
by his pretended inventions, and Ringout drew up an octroi
or warrant, and got his Excellency to sign and seal it, without
knowledge of the Council or secretaries, that he should have the
"They have also taken great pains to charge the course of the
common means which so laudably and with such great trouble
by authority of his Excellency of worthy memory [were] brought
in train, and so to bring it into collectation, thereby to intrude
themselves....to farm any of the said general means."
They have also travailed by all means to set misunderstanding
between his Excellency and the Estates and the Council of State
and so to get him to do what served their intent, "applying
unto themselves and their friends....many offices and receipts."
All this we have imparted to Mr. Wilkes, that he may show her
Majesty and her Council what these two spirits are ; and have
also sent deputies to his Excellency, with request to have Ringout
also imprisoned "and the law pass over them both as disturbitors
of the common peace and estate of the country....It seemeth
that the proceedings begun at Utrecht which they have vaunted
shall go forward in all places, are wrought by the advice of these
and like spirits."
We would gladly know if you do not mean to come over, that
we may take better order for our correspondence with you.—The
Hague, 22 September, 1586. Signed C. de Rechtere.
Postscript. Desiring him to aid John Simons, skipper of
Amsterdam, touching his goods, "robbed" by a pirate named
William Wyse, from the ship called the Great Culenborch, in
which their "brother in Council," Dirick Jhonson Louck is a
English translation, 3¾ pp. [Holland X. 16 I.]
(2) "Demonstrations of those of Holland and Zeeland unto
his Excellency concerning the navigation and negotiation."
English translation, 7½ pp. [Ibid. 16 II.]
[Calendared from a Dutch copy under its date, July 16/26. See
p. 88, supra.]
(3). "Articles set down by the States of Holland and the
deputies of Zeeland unto his Excellency, favourably to consider
of the placcard of the navigation." (fn. 2)
1. Pray him to consider that the prosperity of their countries
depends upon the maintenance of navigation, whereby their
trade of merchandises and handicrafts are carried on ; so that if
it ceased, Holland and Zeeland would be the miserablest of the
Low Countries, as his Excellency will more at large understand
by their "Demonstrations." So that if in time their subjection
and contributions to their princes and governors have been
given on condition of being allowed free navigation both east
and west, it being understood that without it, their State could
not have been maintained and consequently they could have
paid no contribution.
They well understand that the Interdiction to frequent or
traffic into the Low Countries held by the enemy is not only
against the inhabitants of these countries but all nations, and so
make no difficulty in regard thereto.
2. Even so they are resolved (though to the great prejudice
of the countries) to make no difficulty "of the Interdiction done
to the inhabitants of these countries not to traffic in any haven
of Portugal, Spain or other in possession of the enemy, so as her
Majesty's pleasure be to make the like Interdiction unto her
subjects and execute the same."
3. But considering that she does not think good to hinder
the inhabitants of France, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Eastland
and other countries from navigation into Spain, Portugal and
other havens held by the enemy to the westward of France ;
and that those countries cannot themselves hinder it without
her authority and aid ; so that the inhabitants thereof will bring
(as they have already begun to do) all sort of merchandises into
Spain, &c., and from thence to the neighbouring countries, and
will pass by these lands, (which from their situation have been
as a barn and warehouse for these goods) and consequently that
the interdict will not prejudice the enemy but only affect these
lands which will be deprived of their shipping, merchants, sea-faring
men, cunning artificers and almost all those who depend
upon the sea-traffic and trade : (fn. 3) —it is necessary in all equity
and for the preservation of these countries that the placcard
should be modified, and that the aforesaid people should bring
the said merchandize into these countries as is permitted in
4. It is also right and reasonable that the inhabitants of these
countries, who heretofore have traded into Spain &c., and who
through the arrest of their goods in Spain, have not been able
to get their goods and outstanding debts, should be allowed to
receive the said goods again in these lands, without their being
subject to arrest and confiscation, according to the said
5. Likewise it is needful for the conservation of these countries
that all goods, as well victuals as others, brought from strange
countries hither, may be carried into allied and neutral countries,
both by the inhabitants of these countries and strangers, upon
such convoy money as shall be agreed upon.
6. Otherwise, such goods not being allowed to come in, not
only would the enemy have no hindrance, but these countries,
and others by means thereof would come into penury and lack
of such goods, as daily is found by experience. Also, by this
placcard, rye, in this country, has gone up from forty-seven
gulden to sixty-three.
7. Touching the export of grain and munition to allied and
neutral countries, the States agree that his Excellency should
license or prohibit it, at his discretion.
8. But they would have such export to be allowed not by
licence but only by convoy-money, as during these wars for divers
reasons has been customary ; albeit the convoy-money of any
goods brought into places very near the enemy may be brought
higher, as, to convoy the vessels to the said places, more ships of
war must be maintained.
9. They understand that the present state of affairs requires
that double certificates, bills of lading and charter-parties must
be used for those who trade into France, because the inhabitants
of these countries have suffered reprisals and arrests by the
French ships of war, both of the French King and the King of
Navarre ; so that touching the same, some modification ought
also to be made.
10. It is also to be noted that most of the great ships of these
countries, are already sold and out of these lands ; by means of
the publication and execution of the placcard, and that these
countries have always occupied themselves with building, buying
and selling of ships, wherein the wealth of some of the towns of
Holland doth wholly consist ; so that the interdiction of buying
and selling of ships is not serviceable but hurtful.
11. And they cannot think it well that the poor fishermen,
who in peril and hazard catch their fish and herring at sea
at great charges, should be forbidden to bring them into other
countries, to their undoing and contrary to solemn promise,
if they should be hindered directly by staying or indirectly by
so intolerable burdens as imports no other than a direct interdiction.
12. They do not think it convenient that any placcard for
navigation should be made or published otherwise than provisionally,
as war brings many alterations.
13. In like manner they hold that in consideration of the
export of fish, herrings, butter and cheese, which of old time have
been accounted as the mines of Holland, and which are taken or
made in such numbers by the inhabitants of these countries that
of some the hundredth and of others the fiftieth part cannot be
consumed therein, so that they must be wasted if not transported,
it is absurd that the export of these goods into allied or
neutral countries should be restrained under pretext that they
would be transported to the enemy, for it is not likely that, so
resolute an enemy who can well provide himself with victuals,
and has all France and Germany from whence to draw what he
needs could by such means be brought to reason.
14. To prevent the dearth of butter and cheese in these
countries order should be taken that so soon as a half barrel of
butter should reach the price of 52 shillings sterling, and a
hundred-weight of cheese, 14 shillings sterling, (fn. 4) which is a
reasonable price, the transportation thereof might be stayed.
15. Upon all which points the States and deputies aforesaid
pray his Excellency to have a favourable regard, protesting
that in the moderation sought by them they have no other
thought than the furtherance of the service of her Majesty and
his Excellency and the conservation of the state of these countries,
which, they are assured, without moderation of the said placcard
must fall into uttermost ruin and misery.
English translation. 4½ pp. [Holland X. 16 III.]
[The original Dutch version printed in Bor, bk. XXI, f 46.]
(4). Remonstrance by the States of Holland and deputies of
Zeeland to his Excellency, concerning certain points of the
treaty between her Majesty and the Low Countries.
English translation. 7¼ pp. [Ibid. 16 IV.]
[Calendared already from a French copy. See p. 90 supra.]
WALSINGHAM to WILLIAM HERLLE.
The enclosed being written to her Majesty by Count Edzard
about some private cause recommended to him by my Lord of
Leicester, wherein he finds himself grieved by my Lord's usage
of him ; and we being unacquainted with the matter, I desire to
understand what you know of the said cause, "and that you will
set down a brief extract, out of the enclosed declarations, of the
substance thereof."—Windsor, 15 September, 1586.
Copy. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. 17.]
JOHN GILLES to THOMAS STOOCKES, merchant of London.
"By yours I understand of the great threatening of our cause,
and how dangerous it should be for me to come into Zeeland.
I am sorry, for I shall not be able to do the good service I would,
nor to maintain my poor family, if I must lose my trade. [Concerning
certain speeches which he had been persuaded to make
by one who is of kin to his Excellency. Mentions the Lady
Arenburg and "Sir Francis"].
For news, about eight days ago there was a small skirmish
between our men and the English, "so as the Prince lay underfoot,
but after the coming in of his horsemen, the matter went
hard, and....there is three ships with hurt men brought to
Maestricht and to 'Ackon' [Aachen]. For certain in the camp
hath been a great mutiny, for money and for victuals, so as two
Spaniards of good house are beheaded and one High Dutch captain."
The Prince was in great danger in the mutiny. The town
of Bergen is said to be in some distress, but the Prince is risen
from it, leaving three strong bulwarks, "and with them the
beseiged to 'hough' it out, but I hope God will assist them,"
The Hollanders have sought to rescue it by water, but of ten
ships of war they lost five. Forty mariners are gone hence to
man the ships and twelve good pilots are going overland to
Hamborow to bring certain ships to Calais, Dunkirk or Newport,
which are laden with corn by merchants of this town. They are
all assured, so if one of three come in the merchants shall gain.
The dreath grows daily greater ; wine at 40s. the verdell [i.e.
quarter] and wheat at 50s. the [? cwt.].
The Prince has drawn his camp nearer Wesel, to be better
victualled and near the Hollanders' camp. Some think he will
fight ; others that he will not so venture all, "for all the country
depends but upon one overthrow, for there are no towns victualled
and the whole country gapes for a better world, they care not
which way." Doesbourg is taken by the English and it is reported
that his Excellency lies before Zutphen (Sytfyn) and that the
Prince is gone to recover Doesbourg, but I think not. Here is
extraordinary news from England, but by what means we know
not. The Dutch post went first to 'Carrel Lanfranches' [Carlo
Lanfranchis] and was there two hours before any merchant in
the town knew of it.
There ought to be some regard taken of some conference in
the town of Ameence [Amiens] (fn. 5) in France, for there assemble, all
the spies, to wit out of Italy, from Paris, out of these countries,
out of England and Scotland and from all parts....and there
are all things concluded and shut. There come to this town daily
soldiers, Walloons....which make up all the ancients [i.e. ensigns
or companies] full both in this town and all other places. What
the meaning is we know not. Also all entertainers and soldiers,
Scots, and Englishmen and of all sorts are warned to go to the
camp. There would [i.e. should] be some order taken for our
English soldiers, for they run away from Barrow [Bergen] to
Breda and so come through this town, with ten, twenty, thirty
at a time ; and as many as comes, "Dragonne" (fn. 6) gives them
passport and sends them through France away to Calais and other
places. They 'would' [i.e. should] be talked with in England,
for it is a great shame....There is one William Mydeltonne,
which is a great dealer with one Hugh Owen. Yet was this
Mydeltonne about five months past with his Excellency, and....
hath sent certain things to his Excellency by one Hans van op
Bergen. This Opbergen is but a spy for some on this side, and
he is now in Holland." The matter should be looked into.
"Here begins persecution again, for a professor of the Lutherian's
religion is taken upon sufferance of preachers in his house
and christening of children. The man is sore 'pyned' [qy. pained
i.e. tortured] and hath confessed much, so as he is like to die for
it. Ca[pt]. Pygot remains still prisoner in the castle of Gaunt,
and we know not what will become of him. It is done upon
[torn] the running away of two or three Englishmen without
I earnestly pray you to let me have a letter to his Excellency
or to "Justinus or Morysyous" [i.e. the Counts Justin and
Maurice], for passing 20 verdels of corn for my house. It will be
to victual my own house only and I doubt not but that those who
show me the favour will shortly think it well bestowed. "If our
friends need anything from hence, either disbursing of money or
tapestry, spare me not for I can do it....[for] though my ability
be small, I have good friends.
"There would [i.e. should] be respect had to Andres de Loo,
for I know there is dealings between him and 'Lanfrancke.' I
could wish some good answer concerning the lady of Arenberghe,
for that is the mean to pass other matters.
"The force of the Prince for certain is but 3000 Spaniards,
mingled with divers nations, which are his chiefest footmen, and
many musketeers among them ; more 4000 Walloons and 2000
Germans. So as 9000 foot is the most ; and for horsemen 30
cornets, most Albenes and Spaniards. These are the lances that
he doth trust unto. Ten cornets Walloons and Netherlanders ;
this is all. And every cornet is sore diminished, for from 60,
they are come to 30 in a cornet, one with another.
"For this two or three days, since the news of the coming of
the post and of the treason revealed in England, they are sore
discouraged ; and this day news is come that Sutfine is like to
give over and that those of 'Gertogenbourg' hear the cannon
play at it. Also....that the Prince of Portingale's son is sent
for into England, to take some enterprise in hand. This news
our English Catholics have, but I have not seen the like discouragement
on this side among the Italians. Now is time, if we had
men in Flanders."
Again I pray you to remember my corn, and the Lady Arenborg's
matter, as also my boy.
Postscript. The host's name in 'Amyence' is called Jan
Couverner at the sign of the Cardinal. There all spies resort."
Dated in headline. Endd. as "answered 5 November." 3 pp.
[Flanders I. 96.]
LEICESTER to WALSINGHAM.
Recommending the bearer, Richard Smith, who "being aged
and weak for service" and an old servant of her Majesty, is
a humble suitor to her "for a knight's room in Windsor."—Camp
before Zutphen, 20 September, 1586.
Postscript in his own hand. This poor man has painfully
served her Majesty in the wars, and "seeing so many less worthy
persons do come to those reliefs, I pray you be good to this man
that hath deserved so well."
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland X. 18.]