Remonstrance of the Council of State to the States General, on
need of providing money.—The Hague, 11 December, 1586.
Fr. 1¼ pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 55.]
Memorandum, in the hand of Burghley's secretary, of certain
points (contained in the answer of the States General to the Earl
of Leicester's questions, of date 14—24 November, 1586, and no
doubt also) in the Instructions of the Deputies.
Endd. by Burghley, "1586, December. Out of the Instructions
for the States of the Low Countries." Translation. 1¼ pp.
[Holland XI. 50.]
WALSINGHAM to WILKES.
I pray you hold me excused for not answering your three last
letters ; my infinite grief for the death of Sir Philip Sydney
having caused me to withdraw from all public affairs. I have
dealt earnestly with her Majesty to credit no wrong reports of
you in your absence, who assures me "to stand therein your
gracious lady....so well is she persuaded of your faithful love
and zeal to her service.
"The Earl of Leicester arrived here the 24th of this month
[sic], who received very gracious usage and welcome at her
Majesty's hands. Notwithstanding the arrival of the two
deputies, Valck and Nievelt, the Earl doth persuade her Majesty
to proceed first in the great cause, which you shall understand
hath been thus far dealt with, that certain principal persons
being chosen as Committees out of both houses were sent to be
humble suitors unto her Majesty, to desire her that she would be
pleased to give order for the execution of the Scottish Queen.
Her Majesty made answer unto them that she was very loath to
proceed in so violent a course against the said Queen as the taking
away of her life, and therefore prayed them to think on some other
way that might be both for her own and their surety. Hereupon
the said houses, after long and deliberate consultation upon this
answer returned their committees again unto her Majesty to let
her understand that having duly considered upon the matter,
they saw no way of safety but by the execution of the said
Queen, and therefore prayed her Majesty to see the same performed.
Her Majesty is contented hereupon (though she yielded
no answer unto this their latter reply) to give order that the
proclamation shall be published ; and so also it is hoped that she
will be moved by this their earnest instance to proceed to the
'through' ending of the cause."
And whereas you desire to know whether you should advertise
from time to time of the state of things there, I think it convenient
that you should so do ; but to direct your letters to the Earl of
Leicester, as general of those countries, who might take it ill if
they were addressed to another ; yet you may also write privately
to the Queen as you shall see it needful.
I send you a cipher to pass between us (fn. 1) .—The Court, 3 December,
Signed. Add. Endd. by Wilkes. 2 pp. [Holland XI. 51.]
WILKES to WALSINGHAM.
This bearer, M. Caron, lately returned from Denmark, whither
he was sent in September last, is repairing to England to make
report to my lord of Leicester of his legation, as also to treat
her Majesty as deputy for the province of Flanders. He is very
wise and well affected in religion and to her service ; "and hath
made so good observation of the humours and proceedings of
the King of Denmark and his principal counsellors as he discovereth
them all to be so Spanish as he thinketh it were not amiss
that the ambassador presently in England be not much believed.
And for mine own poor opinion, considering that the principal
drift of his negotiation tendeth to make a peace for the King of
Spain, whereunto the ministers of Denmark by all probability are
'wrate' [wrought] with gifts and bribes, it will be necessary for
your honour and others that affect her Majesty's preservation
to oppose yourselves thereto ; because if her Majesty should accept
of a peace to 'conclude' these countries, this people will not only
refuse it, but her Majesty will be like to remain in the greatest
If you would be pleased to give me notice what her Majesty
intends for these countries before she concludes ; and her purpose
for the return of my lord of Leicester or some other, I would
deliver to you the causes of our present confusions and how they
might be reformed. I need not repeat what I have already told
you, but must say that from lack of money among the States to
pay the soldier upon this muster, reduction and cassation of many
companies and captains now presently to be made, it is to be
feared there will follow mutinies and danger to towns under our
"And further....these countries will not long abide the
absence of a wise governor. The Count Hohenlo is grown to
mislike of our nation for some disgrace pretended to be done him
in this our government, and hath even sithence my lord's departure
gone about to strengthen himself here by 'assuring' divers
frontier towns and places within these countries to himself ;
having them commanded with governors and garrisons at his
devotion. The man is violent and hateful to these countries
and people, and yet feared and favoured by the States and Council.
It will behove us to have an eye to his actions, but to prevent all
mischiefs, I beseech your honour, hasten us hither a governor."
I desire to know the success of the action against the Scottish
Queen.—The Hague, 3 December, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XI. 52.]
WILKES to LEICESTER.
"At my return to the Hague from Dordrecht, I acquainted Mr.
Barnevelt with the delivery of the person of Ringault to my
hands, to have been by your Lordship's commandment, and
according to your promise brought back to the Hague ; but
because I understood that some direction had been given by the
States to the magistrate of Dordrecht to seize the person of
Ringault in case he should have come thither, and for that myself
had perceived them violently determined against him, seeking
means under colour of justice to bereave him of his life..... I
caused him to be conveyed to Utrecht, and there committed to
the hands of the provost marshal of the English troops, fearing...
that if I should have brought him to the Hague, the States would
forcibly have taken him out of my hands," being ready to testify
to them that your lordship had kept your promise and that, for
the not bringing of him here, I was contented to take the fault
upon myself and abode their censure. "Hereunto Mr. Barnevelt
answered that he was sorry that I had not brought him thither
with me, because he found the States and towns fort alterés
towards your lordship in respect of Ringault, and feared there
would follow some alteration of disposition in them towards
you, which he wished to be prevented ; and prayed me that I
would not be over hasty to deal with the States therein, until
he should upon better consideration advise me thereunto. At
his motion, I was contented to stay until some few days after,
that the deputies of the States General came to the Council to
move some matters, among the which they desired to know
whether your lordship had signed the letters appointed to be sent
into the provinces to signify your lordship's departure from hence
not to have been for any mislike or discontentment conceived of
the States ; at which time it was answered by M. Sosa that your
lordship had taken exceptions against some parts of that letter,
which by your commandment was appointed to be reformed ;
and that withal it appeared that your lordship was not very
willing to sign the letters by reason of some other particular
mislike which he could not specify. Hereupon I took the occasion
to declare to them the just cause your lordship had amongst other
things to be discontented even at your departing, with their
violent proceeding against Ringault, and the little credit they
gave to your lordship's promise for his return ; considering that
they, notwithstanding your said promise had given order to the
magistrate of Dordrecht, to the prejudice of your lordship's
authority, to seize the person of Ringault, in case he should have
been brought thither ; amplifying the same with such other reasons
as I thought fit, and prayed them to acquaint their masters
therewith, to the end they might understand that your lordship
had good cause to make stay of signing of the letters, for so much
as they were to testify your contentment of their proceedings
towards you, having such matter to the contrary. The poor
man hath sithence written unto me, desiring me that I would
give direction to the provost marshal to let him be at liberty and
to remain at his house upon caution, but for mine own part,
finding their fury to continue towards him, have advised him
yet for a time to continue himself under the guard of the marshal,
lest (being at his liberty) he might be caught up by some practice
and put into the hands of the States." The rest of his requests
I send to you, that you may command what you will have done
"Sithence your lordships departure, I have urged the performance
of the promises made by the Chancellor Leolinus and
M. Valcke for bonds to be given to the knights, gentlemen and
others, with whom there were several agreements made for pay
or money due unto them for transportation of soldiers &c., as
your lordship knoweth, wherein I took some pains before your
lordship departed hence. But....with much ado, I have only
gotten an answer from them such as I suppose will not content
the knights and gentlemen and much less your lordship (for whose
sake they came into these countries), which I send you herewith ;
assuring you that for mine own part, seeing their confusions and
irresolutions, I am already the most weary of my place that may be.
"The musters are already taken of all the forces, but not one
penny ready to pay them....so as what will follow thereof, God
"Many voyages are made by some of the Council, openly and
privily, to Count Hohenlo, residing still at 'Delphe,' and nothing
can be yielded unto here that may abridge any part of his authority ;
whether it be for love or fear I know not.
"The enemy assembleth about Breda, meaning, as it is supposed,
to take the advantage of the weather to attempt something
upon the parts of Holland or Zeeland. There were also left about
Wesel three regiments of the enemy, who are said to be marched
towards Frise, whither the Count William is gone, and some
assemblies of our troops are made about Swole, in the form of
a camp, to make head against him.
"There is a contract passed between the Council and the Colonel
Shinck for the defence of the town of Berck and the over quarter,
with the assent of the States, by the which he hath undertaken
to entertain 3300 footmen and 700 horse ; having yielded unto
him the 'branschats' and contributions of that country and
frontier, the convoys of merchandizes passing upon the river
before Berck, and 20,000 guldens monthly to be paid unto him
out of the general contributions ; wherein they think to have
gotten a great pennyworth ; but all must be referred to the
performance, wherein I doubt they will find themselves deceived.
The man is yet here, and after many demands by him made and
assented unto by the Council and States, he findeth and frameth
many more, and hath seemed contented with nothing until the
conclusion of this contract.
There is fallen out at Utrecht sithence the return home of
Mr. Deventer a dangerous division between the town of Utrecht
and the gentry and clergy of that province. The magistrates
of the town have forbidden the Ecclesiastics their access and
appearance among the States of that province, meaning to cut
them off from the body of States.... The Ecclesiastics do
refuse to obey their summons (sic) and are backed by the nobles,
so as it is greatly to be feared that if some present order be not
taken to stay that proceeding, the town will be in hazard to be
lost." The States General have sent thither the Count Meurs
and M. de Meedkerche ; and at their instance I have entreated
Mr. Hotman to join with them, and have written to the burgomasters
and captains in her Majesty's name "to pray them to
temper their proceedings with discretion, laying before them the
dangers like to ensue and the readiness of the enemy's to take his
opportunities in this time of the absence of your lordship ; that
I take it to be a blemish to your lordship's authority that they
should meddle in altering the state of their government without
your privity. God knows what effect this interposition will
take, for I hear already that the Ecclesiastics and the nobility
upon this disgrace offered to them do go about to seize themselves
of the Vaert. I dare not be absent out of this Council finding
already that there is a course held to hide many things from
my knowledge. I beseech you therefore to hasten the return of
Dr. Clarke or such other as her Majesty shall think fit ; for I
am not able to go through these things alone, or else I would
have gone myself to Utrecht, to have travailed in this cause.
The fault and occasion of these garboiles is laid altogether upon
Deventer, as growing upon some revenge sought by him against
those that opposed themselves against his admission into the
assembly of the States General. Howbeit, by his letters to me
he excuseth himself, and yet alloweth of the proceeding for
reasons by him alleged, wherewith I will acquaint your lordship
more at large by the next."
Barnevelt assures me that the copies of Acts which you wish
for were delivered to Mr. Atye, but the declaration you gave me
in writing to be delivered by speech to the deputies of the States,
and by your order translated by Mr. Hotman, I send herewith.
M. Caron, now returned from Denmark is deputed by Flanders
to come with the rest to her Majesty. He will make report
to you of his legation with the King of Denmark, and discover
the cunning of those now come to her Majesty from that king,
whom you will find "abused by his ministers by corruption from
the Spaniard, and himself made a stale to undo and overthrow
these countries." I have advised Mr. Caron to hasten over
before his fellows. You will find him wise and worthy to be
cherished, and a man altogether at your lordship's devotion.
I beseech you, if any shall offer to do me any disgrace with you,
"as I know it is a thing proper to our English humour and malice
(whereof also your lordship hath largely tasted yourself in your
absence)" to hear my answer before I be condemned.—The
Hague, 3 December, 1586.
[Copy. 4 pp. Wilkes' Letter Book, S.P. Foreign Archives
XCI., p. 1.]
COLONEL FREMIN to WALSINGHAM.
Leaves it to Sir Roger Williams, to tell his honour particularities
of matters "here."
Writes touching a book on fireworks which he lent to the late
M. de "Cidene," his honourable lord and master, to be copied.
It is in folio, covered in black with green strings, and he had it
from the library of the late Cardinal de Grandvelle. Prays for
a copy of it, if he cannot have the original.—Middelburg, 14
December, 1586, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XI. 53.]
COUNT NEUENAAR to WILKES.
Has written to the Council of State of the excesses committed
by the garrisons of Doesborch and Bronkhorst ; but wishes to
send him also the copy of a letter, which will inform him of an
unhappy deed perpetrated by these garrisons ; praying him to
procure satisfaction for the poor prisoners, and punishment of
the malefactors, from the Council and from "Baron de Noritz."—
Utrecht, 4 December, 1586.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 54.]
The INHABITANTS OF VENENDAEL to [COUNT DE NEUENARR ?].
Stating that yesterday some of their neighbours, men, women
and children, went to Renen to hold their fairs, and coming by
Remerstein, were attacked by about forty horsemen, issuing
from the houses behind the mountain, who fired their pistols and
charged upon them with their cutlasses, so that ten or twelve
were wounded, having made no resistance, but voluntarily
surrendering themselves prisoners.
Being tied together, two and two, they were marched towards
Doesborch and Bronchorst, letting the women go back. Being
arrived at Wolfhezen, the horsemen put them into an empty
house, and seizing Gilbert Janssen Hespell, demanded 600 daelers
ransom, which he said he had no means to pay, whereupon they
shot him dead on the spot. Then, with pistols at their breasts,
they forced the others to promise great ransoms, which they have
to send, within five or six days to Wagening. After this they
sent the wounded back home, Claes Gherritssen Lam remaining
answerable for a thousand florins or thereabouts, whom with
five or six others they carried with them to Doesburch or Bronkhorst.
Pray their honours to consult touching these matters,
and place them before the authorities that the prisoners may be
released, and that they may all enjoy the benefits of the safeguards
given by his Excellency, Count Maurice, the Count of
Moeurs and Count Hohenloe.
The horsemen wish to make out that those of Venendael had
first shot one of their war horses, and that it was for this that
they demanded ransom, but they can never prove this to be
true.—2 December, 1586, stilo antiquo. Signed Alain.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holland XI. 55.]
LEICESTER to WILKES.
Touching the Low Countries, little has been done, by reason
of the business of the Queen of Scots. Has only had private
speech with her Majesty, as the rest of the States are not yet come.
It would have been better to have sent only three or four than
that the business should be so long delayed. Prays that they
may be hastened away.—Court at Richmond, 4 December, 1586.
Postscript in his own hand. "I have had a most gracious
welcome at her Majesty's hands, as ever I had since I was born.
Ortell doth deny to deliver any matters of weight from the
States. Her Majesty shall be satisfied of all my doings, I doubt
Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XI. 56.]
HUDDILSTON to BURGHLEY.
Concerning the receipt and distribution of the treasure received
from England or lent by the merchants. Expects that it will
"come short" about 5000l. Is going into Holland on the morrow,
it being the first day boats dare put out thither, by reason of the
ice. Prays that money to make up the full pay may be sent
without delay.—Middelburg, 5 December, 1586.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XI.
WILLIAM BODENHAM to WALSINGHAM.
In reply to his honour's letter in favour of Stephen le Sieur,
he has solicited his release from his Highness together with that
of the son of the Escoutette of Dordrecht, in exchange for Pedro
de Cubiaur, but his Highness has finally replied that the said
son is prisoner of the Count of Mansfelt, and he does not wish
to exchange him for Cubiaur, so that it will be needful for his
honour to aid this poor fellow [le Sieur], and rescue him from this
misery, by arranging that Cubiaur may be given for him, seeing
that there is no other remedy to be found. This having been
promised but not fulfilled appears very strange to his Highness,
who almost conceives it to be Bodenham's fault that it is not
accomplished. Prays his honour, for the good of the poor
prisoners, that this exchange may take place.—Dunkirk, 15
Add. Endd. Spanish. 1 p. [Flanders I. 105.]
HUDDILSTON to BURGHLEY.
There being 1800l. owing to Thomas Brune, her Majesty's
victualler, and the States also being indebted to him for victuals
delivered to the English companies in their pay ; he prays his
lordship to pay the said Brune 1000l., for the saving of his credit,
and the rather that he is the Queen's officer ; the money to be
put to his (the Treasurer's) account.—Middelburg, 6 December,
Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XI. 58.]
WILKES to LEICESTER.
Since writing mine of the 3rd, "I have received advertisement
from Mr. Hotman from Utrecht, that by the good endeavour of
the Elector [Truchsess], the Count of Meurs, himself and others,
there is good hope conceived that the present dissension between
the town of Utrecht and the Ecclesiastics and the gentry of the
province will be brought to some provisional accord without any
further mischief, until her Majesty and your lordship may have
knowledge thereof, and shall set some convenient order between
Mr. Ringault entreats me to beseech you to bestow on him
(in recompense for that taken from him) the office of Receiver-General
of the province of Utrecht, void by the decease of M.
Potter. If it be in your gift I pray you bestow it upon the poor
man, who has now no means to maintain himself, and signify
your pleasure by writing to the States of Utrecht.
"Sithence your lordship's departure, Colonel Balfour, with
divers captains of his regiment have (as I am credibly informed)
taken bread and wine (as the manner is) with the Count Hohenlo,
and protested to be wholly at his devotion, and to join with him
in all things that he shall enterprise in diminution of your lordship's
authority ; upon notice whereof, with the privity of Sir
John Norreys.... I thought it fit in the reduction now made of
the Scottish companies, to urge a division of them into two
regiments, meaning ... that one of the regiments should be
conferred on Mr. Patton, whom I know to be at your lordship's
devotion and well-affected to our nation ; wherein with much
ado I have prevailed, but with a great inequality of their companies,
for Balfour hath ten companies and the other hath but
five. Howbeit, in the sorting of them I have gotten the four
companies under Patton to be of the honestest captains. This
is done provisionally, until your lordship dispose otherwise
thereof. The ten companies under Balfour do contain but 150
to every company saving his own of 200 heads, and so likewise
Patton's company—colonel of 200 heads, and the other four of
150 ; so as the whole number of both regiments do not contain
above 150 more then the 2000 appointed to be entertained of
that nation. I trust your lordship will not mislike thereof,
although it vary something from your direction, considering for
what purpose the same is done. The reduction was made by the
whole Council, assisted with Barnevelt from the States.—The
Hague, 6 December, 1586.
[Copy. 1¼ pp. S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 7.]
GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
While the Earl of Leicester was in this country I forbare
writing knowing that you had particulars of all things, and not
doubting but that you know my best endeavours have been
employed to serve my Prince and country, as they ever will be.
And now I know Mr. Wilkes will write at large, whom by all
means in my power I assist and second.
The country grows daily poorer by the great charges needed
to maintain the number of soldiers which the defence of their
frontiers requires. "So as to make any offensive war it will be
hard, and to keep it defensive serveth only to lose one place after
another, and so either be conquered in time by the enemy or
else to yield and make our composition, which many wish. How
much it importeth to look hereunto I need not discourse, but
may say thus much, that it is needful to take the cause to heart ...
so as the enemy be overcome in this present weakness of want
of victual and long warring, ere he ease himself, provide for his
relief and strengthen his forces, which undoubtedly he will do
this next summer.
I have written more largely to my lord of Leicester, and as
touching myself have besought him to move her Majesty "for a
small yearly pension or daily allowance for my better maintenance,
being impossible to continue this service without some help ;
for my stipend is but 100l. sterling per year, and all my profits
not so much more, and must keep three clerks at least besides
one servant ; all things extreme dear, and my office extreme
painful ; so as if it were not in respect of the service I hope my
being here may be for my Prince and country .... I would give
myself to some other course of living." Ever since your honour
employed me, I have spared no travail or cost, yet never had any
recompense save from your own benevolence, for which I shall
be ever bound to you. Her Majesty spends large sums in this
action ; and so small a matter as would content me, I believe one
word from you may help me to. I love not to be an importunate
suitor, but crave your favour ; which, but for want of means, I
would have sent a servant to solicit.—The Hague, 7 December,
Postscript. Praying for three or four lines to himself, in answer ;
and "so many" to Mr. Huddilston, for bestowing such help as
his honour shall please, until her Majesty's grant for further
allowance be passed.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XI. 59.]
SIR JOHN NORREYS to WALSINGHAM.
"My lord at his departure hath used the same hard dealing
towards me that he did before, having sent unto me a very slight
commission, and a larger to Sir William Stanley ; so that it
appeareth he will refuse to obey anything that I shall order
him. If it prove no hindrance to the service, it shall nothing
trouble me....neither will I seek by indirect means to caluminate
him or any other (as hath been done by me) but will let them
show themselves." If his lordship seeks to remove your honour's
good opinion of me, I pray you to suspend your censure till I
may answer for myself, "which I trust shall be shortly, not
meaning to serve long among these factions and presuming
that my lord would not have left me in these terms if he had not
meant to send some other shortly in my place" that may better
please him.—The Hague, 9 December, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XI.
SIR EDW. NORREYS ............
The garrison of Flushing having suffered greatly this last year,
and been fain to feed only upon bread and cheese, and these at
excessive prices, and having nothing wherewith to relieve their
sick, "which hath greatly discontented the town, seeing the whole
pay fall into the hands of three or four victuallers,....I think
means may be found that each company may be relieved with
20l. weekly and the money neither transported out of the realm
nor her Majesty at the charge of exchange," it being paid out of
the Exchequer as part of the full sum due, whereby the garrison
will be relieved and the town satisfied.
Memorandum in his own hand, without date, signature or address.
Endd. by Burghley's secretary with date "9 December, 1586."
1 p. [Ibid. XI. 61.]
Reply of the States General to the propositions of the Council
of State on payment of the troops. (fn. 2) —19 December, 1586.
Fr. 2¼ pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 57.]
WILKES to LEICESTER.
I have by my other letters, by M. Caron, advertised you of
divers things happened since your lordship's departure.
"The reduction of the Dutch companies is now made after the
fantasy and mind of the Count Hohenlo ; wherein almost every
man that is well-affected to your lordship or her Majesty is
cassed, and only those retained that are at his devotion. There
are cassed ten companies of horse and about 48 of footmen,
wherein there is no observation had of the order taken by your
lordship before your departure. The foot companies are not
reduced all to 200 heads, as was appointed, but some are of 200,
some of 300, some of 150 and some but of 50 heads. Likewise
our English companies retained in their pay are the one half at
200 and the other at 150 heads every company ; and the places
of garrison assigned for the English by a list signed by your
lordship are likewise altered, and Dutch appointed unto many of
them." And albeit we showed them an Act whereby you commanded
your Council not to suffer or make any such alteration,
we could not prevail. Barnevelt and divers others deputed to
join with the Council in making the reduction seemed to dislike
the Act, "saying that it was strange your lordship should mislike
or so much mistrust your Council as to restrain them by the same ;
that unless the reduction might be made in that sort, they knew
the States would not yield to give any money for the present pay
of the soldier and that without this kind of reduction, the countries
were not able to maintain the charge of the wars &c. ; so that
Sir John Norreys and myself, having but two voices in Council,
the reduction was in this sort concluded by plurality of voices
among them." I trust your lordship will use your knowledge
of this neither to discomfort yourself or to be occasion to hinder
her Majesty's goodness towards these countries.
The magistrates of Deventer have sent great complaint against
Sir William Standley their governor ; "that he seeketh to take
from them the keys of their gates ; that he taketh upon him to
intermeddle with their civil government ; that he infringeth their
privileges, seizeth and holdeth their strengths within the town
by force, and doth them many other injuries. And albeit for
my own part I do hold Sir William Standley to be a wise and a
discreet gentleman....yet when I consider that 'the magistrate'
is such as was established by your lordship and of the religion and
well affected to her Majesty, and that I see how heavily the
matter is conceived of here by the States and Council, I do fear
that all is not well, and therefore do most humbly pray your
lordship to have good consideration thereof for even the very
bruit of this doth begin to draw hatred upon our nation and
government." Yet I hope myself to persuade Sir William
Standley to carry a mild hand over that people, and to that end
have written earnestly unto him. I find great want of Mr.
Clarke, not daring ever to be absent from the Council, lest they
should do things without my privity ; otherwise I might by my
presence help to pacify these garboils ; therefore I beseech you
to hasten his return. "God send your lordship good success
and speedily to revert, or else I fear you shall hear of worse
accidents ere it be long."—The Hague, 9 December, 1586.
[Copy. 2 pp. S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 5.]
WILKES to BURGHLEY.
By the contract between her Majesty and the States, the pay
of her forces was always to be made with the privity of a commissary
appointed on their behalf, and that of a company of
150 foot, was to be 1700 florins per month and no more. But the
provision as regards the payments has not been observed by
either mustermaster or treasurer and the pay to the foot companies
has exceeded the 1700 florins by 3l. 5s. sterling. This
I thought good the rather to tell your lordship as at some late
conference here with the States concerning the pay of her
Majesty's forces (this error being found) they "refuse to allow of
that kind of pay in prejudice of the contract." Wherefore some
order should be taken therein with the deputies now coming to
I have asked the Muster-master why the contract on that
point was not observed, considering that for the three months'
of Sir John Norreys' command the pay was made agreeably to
it and he answer "that there was direction given out of England
from your lordship and others of the Council that the pay to her
Majesty's troops should be as it had been in all other times and
"Sithence my lord's departure from hence, our confusions
are increased, by reasons of divers dissensions daily rising in
some of the provinces, which cannot well be pacified for lack of
the authority and presence of a governor, which these countries
cannot long suffer without their apparent ruin ; and therefore
if her Majesty shall be pleased to continue her succours towards
them it will be more than necessary that (if my lord do not
return) some person of quality and wisdom be speedily sent
hither to take the charge upon him."
The States General have granted 38,000l. for a month's pay
to the soldiers, which has stayed the mutiny of those at the
States' charge, and we are proceeding to reduce their numbers
to so many as may be maintained with the ordinary contributions
in the year to come, "whereby, as by some other reformations
of common disorders among the martial men now in hand, it is
hoped that the state of things here will be much the better settled
and kept in order.
"The enemy hath attempted nothing upon any of our towns
or strengths, notwithstanding the late great frosts and ice in all
places in these countries, and we are advertised that all the
Spaniards and Albanesies are drawn out of Brabant into Luxembourg
and Limburg to refresh themselves for this winter ; and
the country of Brabant, to be eased of them for the time, hath
yielded to the Prince of Parma a certain contribution. There
hath of late assembled at Steken in Flanders two or three thousand
of the enemy, having some purpose of enterprise upon the forts
of Lillo, Lifkinshoeke and other fortresses upon the river on the
side of Flanders, but the present thaw hath interrupted them."
I beseech you be a means for Mr. Dr. Clarke's return forthwith,
for he knows both the State of these countries and the present
government, of which I am as yet wholly ignorant ; and this
Council "being compounded of sundry humours"....wanting
experience to discern their courses and purposes.—The Hague,
9 December, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holland XI. 62. Also
copy in Archives XCI., p. 8.]
WILKES to SIR WILLIAM STANLEY, at Deventer. (fn. 3)
"Upon a late complaint made here by the magistrate and
burgesses of Deventer, there was written unto you, in the name
and by the authority of his Excellency derived unto the Council
of State, a letter by the which you were required to make answer
whether the information delivered were true, and withal prayed
to innovate nothing in your government that might breed disorder
or dissension between you and them. Sithence the writing of
which letter, they have complained again to this Council, showing
that you have as it were by violence wrested from them the keys
of one of their gates ; that you assemble your garrison often in
arms to fear and terrify them ; that you have seized one of their
forts ; that the Irish soldiers do commit many extortions and
exactions upon the inhabitants ; that a soldier drew his sword
upon a woman with child because he might not have what he
listed ; that you have imprisoned some of their burgesses and
done many things against their laws and privileges to the wonderful
discontentment of the whole inhabitants ; so as it is feared that
even the best-affected to her Majesty and our nation within the
town will, for their discontentment, forsake the same. Whether
any of these things be true or not, yourself doth best know, but
I do assure you that the apprehension thereof here doth make us
and our government hateful.
"For mine own part, I have always known you to be a gentleman
of 'value,' wisdom and judgment, and therefore should
hardly believe any such thing to happen where you command.
Howbeit, in respect of the rumour and conceit had of these
proceedings, and my duty to her Majesty and the love I bear to
yourself, I could not omit in her Majesty's behalf earnestly to
require you not only to take heed of the consequence thereof,
but to be careful of the honour of her Majesty and the reputation
of our nation. That you will consider that the means of obtaining
the late possession of the town grew by them that are now in
office, which being of the religion and well-affected to his Excellency's
government, wrought his entry into the same, and
therefore would be sorry they should receive any just cause of
discontentment by his governor established among them. I
know that his Excellency would never suffer any governor out
of the cautionary towns to possess the keys of any of the gates
of any town, although the same hath been often attempted.
I know also that his Excellency is sworn to maintain all the
inhabitants of the Provinces United in their ancient privileges
and customs. I know further that your commission carryeth
no authority to warrant you to intermeddle any further than with
the government of the soldier and good of the town. Well, you
may in your conceit 'conster' some words to authorize you in
some larger sort, but believe me, Sir, they will not warrant you
sufficiently to deal any further than I have said, for I have seen
and perused the copy of your commission for that purpose.
I know the name itself of a governor of a town is odious to this
people, and hath been ever since the remembrance of the Spanish
government, and if we by any lack of foresight in our demeanour
should give the like occasion, we should make ourselves as odious
as they are, which God forbid. You are to consider that we are
not come into these countries for their defence only, but for the
defence of her Majesty and our own native country ; knowing
that the preservation of both dependeth altogether upon the
preserving of these.
"Wherefore I do eftsones intreat and require you (as having
authority thereunto) to forbear to intermeddle any further
within your town than your commission shall lead you unto ;
which I can assure you is but weak to carry any such power as
you may suppose. And therefore if there shall follow any
dangerous effect of any your further proceeding after this my
friendly advice unto you ; as I shall be heartily sorry for your
sake, so shall I nevertheless be able to testify unto her Majesty
that I have done my duty in admonishing you upon the complaints
exhibited here ; whereof I trust you will have consideration, and
seek by some friendly means to satisfy the magistrate and to live
there with the people in good terms of amity and love. The
want of your soldiers shall be presently supplied, and should have
been sooner if money could have been sooner had.—The Hague,
9 December, 1586.
Copy. 2 pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 10.]
WILKES to the QUEEN.
"I have forborne to advertise your Majesty of the state of
things here sithence my coming hither by reason of the return of
my lord of Leicester, by whom your Highness may best receive
knowledge of all that concerns these countries. Since his departure,
as by reason of the anticipation of the ordinary contributions
and the consumption of the extraordinary, there
remained no money to content the soldiers, the Council of State
deputed some of themselves to repair to the States General
"to lay before them the present necessity of the State, and the
dangers like to ensue of the discontentment of the men of war for
lack of pay ; who, after many difficulties made, and significations
of mislike of the managing of the further contributions by the
Council" condescended to furnish them with so much ready
money, within twenty days, as should give a month's pay to the
horse and foot at the charge of the provinces, with condition that
before it was delivered, the Council should reduce their forces
to a number likely to be maintained by the ordinary contributions.
The money sufficient to satisfy the month's pay amounts to
about 40,000l. sterling, the greatest part of which is received
and presently to be disbursed to the soldiers. The States cass
about 12 companies of horse and 48 of foot, Dutch ; your Majesty's
50 companies are reduced to 26, some with 150, others with 200
to an ensign, being altogether 4500. The 24 companies to be
cassed are assigned for filling up your 5000 foot decayed in the
late services, and others not complete "so as of all the English
here in their pay, there will not be sufficient, as it is supposed,
to fill up the companies in your Majesty's pay, and the rest of
our nation continued in theirs. This reduction being made level
to their abilities and uttermost contribution, the present confusion
will be avoided, and their government cleared of many dangerous
difficulties, wherein this Council doth labour day and night with
a wonderful industry and diligence."
We already find the lack of a supreme governor and with what
labour persons and things are kept in order, therefore your
Majesty should either send back the earl of Leicester as speedily
as you may or appoint some other of quality and wisdom to take
his place ; for since his departure, we have been more troubled
by intestine dissensions than by any attempt of the enemy.
As lately at Utrecht, whereof I have written at some length to
my lord. The Council are not able to redress these disorders,
"by reason they are not for their persons respected as appertaineth."
And I being a stranger to this government and to the humours
of this Council and people, cannot alone "run through the
service" committed to me to your Highness' satisfaction or my
own poor credit, wherefore I beseech you to return hither Mr.
Dr. Clarke, who being already acquainted with things here, and
of judgment, learning credit and good opinion among them, is
much better able to judge of them and their actions than I can
be without more experience.
One other petition I present to your Majesty : not to admit any
alteration of your gracious opinion of my fidelity, by sinister
informations delivered against me, but according to your promise
at my departing, to spare an ear for my answer, and consider
of the persons who attempt to disgrace me and of the reasons that
move them thereto ; whereby your Majesty will encourage me
to serve you with plainness and sincerity (which few men do)
and to hazard my life with as good a will as I pray to God to
preserve you from all treason and send you a long and most
happy life.—The Hague, 9 December, 1586.
Copy. 2½ pp. [S.P.F. Archives XCI., p. 11.]
Declaration of points delivered by the Deputies of those of
Zeeland to his Excellency and the Council of State, touching
the accounts of Mannemaeker the treasurer, and praying for
redress and answer. Together with apostiles on each article.
Dutch. 8¼ pp. [Holland XI. 63.]