January 1587, 21-25


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Sophie Crawford Lomas and Allen B. Hinds (editors)

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'Elizabeth: January 1587, 21-25', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 2: June 1586-March 1587 (1927), pp. 326-336. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=75310 Date accessed: 23 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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January 1587, 21-25

Jan. 21/31. Act of the States General on the matter of the Admiralty, (fn. 1) appointing 5 or 6 persons to assist the Count of Nassau as Admiral in the conduct of the war at sea ; also for building a number of ships of war. No admiral, captain or official in the naval administration to act without the Admiral's commission. Financial provisions.—The Hague, 31 January, 1587. Fr. 3½ pp. [S.P. For Archives XC., p. 201.]
I have your letters answering mine, though not so fully as I expected. As touching the States' information concerning the accounts, I have already disproved them here openly in that and more shall do hereafter, I doubt not, in the rest. I understand how hardly the treasurer hath dealt with my men there in mine absence, which he shall very well hear of and of his partiality. For the money due unto me by the Council of State I understand they have paid only 500 guilders since my coming there. I pray you receive the residue of them to my use or let me have what is their answer. From the Court at Greenwich this 21st January, 1586. Sig. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XII. 30.]
It does not a little grieve us to write of the traitorous delivery of Deventer and the forts before Zutphen by Sir William Stanley and Rowland Yorke, effected the 19th of this present in this sort. Sir William Stanley, 3 days before the delivery of the town did possess himself of a great tower joining to one of the gates ... wherein he placed all his wild Irish ; keeping from that day forward continually his men in arms till the same 19 at 5 of the clock in the morning, he came to the town house, whence he took the keys of the gates by force, and opening the gate at the tower, himself with 5 or 6 more went out on horseback about twenty score off, where he found Taxis with 700 foot ... and some horse. Presently he brought them in and did put them in battle in the market place and then disarmed all the inhabitants. Sir Edmond Cary's company, who were not made acquainted with the treason, being assembled together, refused to serve the traitor and so were suffered to come away. Some few of the Protestants of the town saved them over the walls, the rest remain at the devotion of a most cruel enemy... The whole country remains wonderfully amazed at this so strange an accident, not knowing who to trust unto. If her Majesty tender the defence of these countries and desire to have them kept out of the possession of the Spaniard, it is time ... to give them some extraordinary assistance...or else fear will drive them to consent to their own ruin. We were marching to the succour of Wesel not out of hope to have had the town at our devotion, but this hath so altered our course as now being compelled to fill all the towns with great garrisons, we have no men left to put into the field, and if we be not supplied out of England, and that very shortly, this summer will 'were' us out of a great part of the country, whereas with her Majesty's favourable resolution to continue her last year's charge with some increase, it will be no hard matter to keep the Spaniard from prevailing any whit, for his case is as miserable as may be, their men of war decayed, their towns depopulated and ready to starve, their merchants ruined and all trade left off. Neither is it possible for them to continue it long if any head be made against them. These treasons do give them a little reputation with the people, or else their credit was diminishing apace. This practice of Sir Wm. Stanley was doubted a good while since, but my lord had given him so large authority and the Council or myself so little as we knew not how to remedy it." I ask leave to remind your lp. of the hard estate of the soldiers in her Majesty's pay, now over four months unpaid and no means to live, all things here being so dear. I have used all my credit for them but if we be not supplied in fourteen days I know not what to do. "The Prince of Parma hath his instruments in all places to suborn our men and I doubt necessity will cause them to make some false bounds. When I shall see what alteration this will breed I will further advertise your lp."—Utrecht, 21 January, 1587. Sig. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XII. 31.]
Jan. 21. The SAME to the SAME.
Encloses attestation of a Scottish captain. Understands that Sir Wm. Stanley sent some Irishmen into Ireland a month past to prepare a way for his entry there. It may be that the king of Spain, presuming on this traitor's credit there and finding the Irish so willing to serve him, may attempt to trouble those parts. "But if it shall please her Majesty to continue her countenance to these countries and the charges...so timely and aptly employed, I dare venture my life to give the King of Spain so much to do here that he should have little means to invade any other place." —Utrecht, ut sup. Sig. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XII. 32.]
Jan. 21/31. Resolution of the States General on the proposal of the Earl of Leicester to engage 2000 German reiters, 3000 soldiers and 1000 pioneers, and a request to her Majesty to help bear the cost. The Hague, the last of January, 1587. President Wynbergen. By order, C. Aerssens. (fn. 2) Copy. 8½ pp. Dutch. [Ibid. XII. 33.]
Jan. 21. Deposition on oath before Dr. Reynier van Sandt and Arnoult Wyntgens, echevins of Arnhem, of Captain Thomas Nuiton. Convoyed the receiver of la Velewe the day Deventer was rendered. Col. Stanley went out towards Zutphen about 11 on the night between Wednesday and Thursday and returned with Taxis and 7 to 800 men, entering by the north gate about 2 o'clock. The common soldiers remained with Stanley, but the captains and reiters departed. Saw York in the town who told him he was going to find Parma at Brussels and if deponent would stay, he would have him paid every month by the King of Spain. Col. Stanley had said to him : I will act so that the country as far as Holland and between Wesel and Emden shall be completely ruined within six days ; and I will cause the biggest game and war in Ireland that the queen has had in her life. The Irish and English soldiers told him that Stanley's brother had recently left for England to take the Colonel's wife and children to Ireland and to stir up war. Had seen a passport on parchment written in French, dated about 4 months [back], to the effect that York might serve what master he pleased, signed by his Excellency, which he showed to Taxis who was greatly amazed and spoke in Spanish. Stanley had a passport to go where he pleased but declared he would give a finger to be out of the service and in Ireland. Had not seen the passport. Heard it quite 2 months ago. Stanley made excuse concerning the bad payment made by the Estates. Stanley wanted him to seize the receiver at Deventer, saying that one ought not to let the money slip. On the same day he had seen the cornet of Baron Sidney in that town and had spoken with him and several others of that company whom he did not know, only by a certain blue sleeve. Lieutenant Yorck told him that he wished all his goods in England were changed into money in Spain. The Governor, on the evening, had it announced that no citizen should appear in the streets for any tumult, having plundered all that the citizens had ready. He who held the chief intelligence between the Prince of Parma and Stanley, as the English have told him [blank] one might make enquiry of the other English, saying he had seen the same within the town. Showed a passport dated 20 Jan., 1587, signed Stanley, to enable one to leave Deventer without danger. The deponent took oath on the truth of above. The 21 January, 1587. Signed Sluysken. Copy. Endd. 21 Jan., 1586. The examination of Tho. Nuton taken at Arnham touching the loss of Deventer. 2½ pp. Fr. [Holland XII. 34.]
[Jan. 21.] The deposition of Marten Ruloffs, gunner, sent to the fort before Zutphen by M. de Fama. On Thursday morning between 7 and 8 the Governor Yorck ordered him to have the artillery of the fort ready, as he had invited the governor of Deventer and wished to do him honour. While Yorck was speaking heard many reports of guns at Deventer which he supposed to be the firing after the boats as they left. Half an hour later Yorck came with another English gentleman of Deventer, saying that the Governor Taxis has entered that town with 300 horse and some foot, and that Stanley was awaiting Yorck at the water edge outside the town, which news was taken to Yorck's room. Yorck had sent all his officers saying that he must go and speak to the governor, making several other remarks in the presence of the commissioner for provisions, Walter Pots, Lieutenant Grenn, Capt. Fermer's ensign and sergeant. Hearing that Yorck was going to meet the Governor deponent told him that it was not good to leave the fort and the sheep might stray ; to which Yorck replied, attend to your artillery, I shall do what I have to do, and mounting the horse of a sutler and taking his Irish page with him, he set out for Deventer. Yorck had most [of his things] out of the fort and had sent his horses and baggage to Deventer. York started at ten and returned towards evening, as promised, saying that he had seen Taxis on La Velue before Deventer and had not spoken with the governor ; that the enemy crossed with the boats to take him prisoner, but he escaped, firing after them, and if they did not believe him they should ask his servant. Arrived before his lodging the Ensign Mors of Capt. Fermer said : Soldiers of Fermer's company take arms and baggage. I must set out at once. He who will not come, let him stay. His sergeant, being English replied Ensign, if you wish to go I protest before God and the soldiers that it is not my wish to leave. The commissioner and deponent reported this to Yorck, having spoken with the Ensign in English who among other things remarked in Flemish, Rascally drunkard, and at once shut the gate of the fort, the ensign having asked for his flag and let himself drop with it from the ramparts. After this Yorck returned to his quarters to eat. After about two hours at table he sent for his officers. Commissioner was there but not deponent, so cannot say what was discussed especially as they spoke English and French. At the same time Fermer's sergeant and Owaen came and asked deponent if he approved of abandoning the fort. He replied it would be a great shame. They went together to this commissioner to ask him for how many days he had provisions. He replied for fourteen besides what the commanders had. Copy. Endd. Jan., 1586. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Holland XII. 35.]
Another copy. Fr. 2 pp. Endd. with year date. [Ibid. XII. 36.]
Jan. 22. Entertainment of the Governor of Flushing with the officers and companies there, also of the Brill. Total, 1021l. 1s. 4d. per mensem. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Ibid. XII. 37.]
Jan. 22./Feb. 1. Points and articles concluded and granted between the Council of State on behalf of his Excellency, with the consent of the States General, and Adolf Count of Neuwenar and Moeurs etc., commander Jehan van Plettenborch, Thom. Walle, lieutenant, Joos vander Werde, Frederick Rantzouw and Frederick Schultis, both for themselves and the other rittmasters of 2,000 reiters, concerning the expenses, losses, services and pretentions claimed by them and the said reiters for their equipage and mounting, and for their services yet to be rendered.—1 February, 1587. Fr. 4 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 139.]
Jan. 22./Feb. 1. Letter from the Council of State to his Excellency. Concerning the betrayal of Deventer by Stanley and the fort of the Veluwe before Zutphen by Yorck. They had not the smallest cause of offence as shortly before the troops had received a full months' pay besides 6000 florins to buy provisions. Fears for Arnheim. Have got the Count of Neiwenar and General Noreys to take steps to secure the frontier towns. Respect and obedience are much diminished by the act restraining their authority, wherefore they ask him to renew it by another act. Also to urge her Majesty to assist the country.—The Hague, 1 February, 1587. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. XC., p. 143.] [Printed in Bijdragen etc. van het Hist. Genootschap, Utrecht Pt. xxxiv., p. 153.]
The town of Deventer...upon Friday morning last, somewhat before day, being the 19th of this present, was most traitorously delivered to the enemy by Sir William Standley, as likewise the forts before Zutphen by Rowland Yorke. It is a thing that hath been long feared here by the manner of his government and the continual intelligence between him and the enemy. Taxis, the governor of Zutphen, entered himself into the town, with 600 'landsknights' and three hundred horse. The gates were opened to him, and he and his troops marched directly into the market place, where Standley received him with great joy and courtesy, and after they had walked awhile together, and disposed certain Corps de garde of the landsknights and Irish at every carfours of the town, and at the gates, bulwarks and other strengths within the same, Standley with the whole regiment took their oaths to the King of Spain. The company of Sir Edmund Carie did only refuse to be traitors and were thereupon suffered to depart out of the town. From the market-place, Taxis and Standley went to the town house, whither the woeful magistrates were called, and made to welcome Taxis and were there required with all expedition to furnish and make ready so much money as should pay all the arrearage due to Standley and his regiment sithence their coming into these countries, who had received a month's pay of the States not eight days before he received the enemy into the town. They were also required to furnish and deliver as much more money as might give three months' pay to the troops of the enemy then newly entered. It would grieve your lordship to understand the conceits of the people had of this accident, and the dishonour and discredit grown to our nation thereby. Rowland Yorke is said to be the practiser of this treason, who, as soon as the enemy was entered at Deventer, came to the gates to enquire whether the enemy were quietly possessed of the town, and upon notice thereof, being on horseback, galloped to the fort, where he made the companies to leave their colours and forsake the place. There were two companies of strangers which would have held the place if ours would have assisted them, but the enemy being at hand, they departed towards Campen, and Yorke, with such as would follow him, into Deventer. "Upon the advertisement of the loss of the said town and fort, the whole College of the States came into the Council, and there charged the Councillors with extreme negligence and wilful loss of the town in suffering Standley to continue within the same after they had received so many advertisements of his evil government, and arguments of his familiarity with the enemy. It was answered that the Council could not prevent it, in respect of a special act of restriction, made before your lordship's departure from hence, by the which they were inhibited to change any governor or principal officer in your lordship's absence, whereof divers copies, as it now appeareth, were given abroad even at your lordship's going ; and that Standley himself did protest always that he would be commanded by none but by your lordship or her Majesty, which is true. Hereupon the States entered into extreme speeches against the said act, alleging that the same was and would be the loss of their whole estate, requiring to know who were the authors thereof ; persuading themselves that your lordship did not establish the same but with the privity of some of that Council. They all disclaimed any assent given or privity thereunto ; then were the Secretaries and the clerks called ; and the matter so narrowly examined that in the end it was found that M. de Bracle had given the said act to one of them to be written out, which I fear will lie very heavy upon him although by chance he was now absent at Utrecht. In this conference, the States called to their remembrance that your lordship had nominated Sir William Standley with Sir John Norreys and Sir William Pelham to have been a very fit man to take the charge of all the English forces in your lordship's absence, and that likewise upon some petition by them made unto you not to commit any trust to York, in respect of his perfidious dealing with them before, your lordship answered that you would undertake for his fidelity as for your brother, whereat they seemed extremely to marvel. To all these things I made answer as became me, that touching the establishing of the act, I could say nothing, but did assure them that your lordship therein meant nothing but their good. And for Standley I knew her Majesty herself reposed as great trust in him as in any gentleman of his sort in her realm. But all this served for no payment being (as they said), too late to allege reasons when the mischief is not to be remedied." I will once more reiterate, and protest, if there grows any further harm, I have not neglected to give admonition thereof ; that if your lordship's absence be not speedily provided for, I see the apparent loss of all at hand ; from the dissensions in these provinces ; the lack of discipline among our English soldiers, and the want of money for her Majesty's forces ; most of whom are unpaid since the beginning of September, and their poverty so great that they daily commit such disorders as make us hateful to these countries. I beseech you to consider this and remedy it before it is too late.—The Hague, 24 January, 1586. Copy. 2½ pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 46.]
I have written at large to my lord of Leicester of the giving up of Deventer, and of the forts before Zutphen ; which I trust he will impart to her Majesty and the lords of the Council that some speedy order may be given to save the rest ; "for sithence Sir William Standley hath failed (whom all men thought so loyal) I know not whom we may trust. The loss...doth endanger the whole provinces of Overyssel and Utrecht to the very gates of the town, which we fear extremely, considering the enemy is already coming into the field and we not able to draw out against him above 3000 men at the uttermost and leave the towns provided. The enemy groweth strong in all places, and prevaileth against us daily by practice and corruption ; and the State here, through the absence of a Governor, so disunited and distracted, the obedience so slender and the wants so great, that unless it may please her Majesty to send over a Governor and enlarge the succours with speed, it is like that all will run to ruin whereof I beseech you to take some care." I have often written....of this to my lord of Leicester, and I trust he will further the remedies.—The Hague, 24 January, 1586.
Postscript in his own hand.
I humbly beseech you not to credit any sinister reports against me ; praying your lordship to remember "that at the first I declared to you that if I dealt faithfully with her Majesty in this service, it would be my undoing ; which I have now just cause to fear, if your lordship should abandon me." Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XII. 38.]
Copy of the above (but without the postscript), in Wilkes' Letter Book. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 48.]
"You shall now perceive the fruits of our government here. Sir William Standley and Sir Rowland Yorke had either of them a commission apart, whereby they were exempted from the commandment and authority of Sir John Norreys, to whom the charge of the English forces was committed at his lordship's departure. These two men, to requite my lord for the honour and favour he did them, have sold and delivered over to the enemy the town of Deventer and the forts before Zutphen ; being two or the principal parts of his lordship's endeavours and victory here." ... By this dishonour...we are all grown hateful to this people, having nothing in their mouths but the treasons and disorders of the English." Unless her Majesty sends better succours, and a person to command with better method and discretion, they must be wholly lost or seek to the Spaniard for a peace, to her great disadvantage. I have formerly written of the likelihood of these accidents, but can hear nothing what is thought thereof, or what purpose there is to go forward in the matter of these countries.—The Hague, 24 January, 1586. Copy. 2/3 p. [Ibid. XCI., p. 49.]
Concerning the loss of Deventer, the discredit of the English nation, the need of a governor and the misery and lack of discipline among the soldiers, as in other letters above. Has written "the manner of the treason" at length to the Lord General, and hopes his honour will be made acquainted therewith.—The Hague, 24 January, 1586. Copy. ¾ p. [Ibid. XCI., p. 49.]
The Count of Niewenar is back here from the Hague, where he has been about the German reiters. He would have never arrived at anything therein but for the loss of Deventer. Those of Arnhem, Swol, Campen, remain constant, except that they fear the English garrisons. We, on the other hand, ask for no other, being very content with Lord Audley. Paul Buys is appearing as usual in the Council of State. We shall protest against it, but they take no notice of our letters. I also hear that St. Aldegonde has arrived at the Hague with fresh talk about the wrong done to the Prince of Parma in Portugal by the king of Spain, in sort that if the king should die the prince would think of compensating himself with the Low Countries in exchange, and we should thus reach a good and stable peace. They say that St. Aldegonde is to turn up in this district, but I do not believe that it will be suffered. Your Excellency may now judge how necessary it is either to abandon the cause or to return at once. Without dishonour we may not be abandoned ; without danger your Excellency's return may not be delayed.—Utrecht, 24 January, 1587, old style. Add. Signed. Endd. 1 p. Italian. [Holland XII. 39.]
Jan. 24./Feb. 3. The STATES GENERAL to the QUEEN.
Notification of the release of Paul Buys, imprisoned at Utrecht since the 19th July, upon security of 25,000 florins, several towns of Holland having appealed for him, as well as the town of Leyden, and no one having appeared against him ; his Excellency also declared several times that he had no charge to make, so that the arrest and detention of Buys appeared contrary to the rights and privileges of the country, to preserve which they are at war. They hope her Majesty will interpret their action in good part and not give ear to any reports and calumnies that may be made by ill wishers.—The Hague, 3 February, 1587. W. Roelsius. By order : Aerssens. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Fr. [Ibid. XII. 40.]
Jan. 24./Feb. 3. The substance of the letter written by the States to Her Majesty touching the release of Paul Buys. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Ibid. XII. 41.]
Jan. 24./Feb. 3. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
By my last I spoke of the inconveniences like to fall out if not prevented. The disaster is fallen out of the loss of Deventer. I send a copy of the particulars. "The loss is of most great importance as the town is a principal place and victualled for a great time, as also that other towns which depended chiefly thereupon and were thence victualled are in danger to be lost, being so situated that without strong force they cannot be succoured. But the greatest loss is that hereupon a general dislike and discontentment groweth among the people, of our nation. Many odd speeches of mistrust being used and few or none towns, where English soldiers be, but are had in jealousy ; many complaints coming in from all places daily of the disorders which in part I think be true and for want of money, by reason of the evil payments whereby the poverty is great, which causeth poor men to make shifts or else must perish, also the absence, which is too common and used almost of all captains, from their charges, causeth disobedience and neglect of duty. But I perceive likewise that there be some who wish all were worse, and make their profit by the disaster, having in public companies showed their inward joy by words and otherwise. Besides practices are laid and wrought that with more honesty and wisdom might be forborne ; but I doubt not but we shall meet with them well enough, and all shall not have their wills that enter into factions. There were of late in open assembly used speeches by one (fn. 3) proceeding of abundance of passion that were afterwards wished unspoken, and would have made a colour over them but I ...bear them in memory...having acquainted Mr. Wilkes therewith, as I do with all I can learn.... It is most needful and more than time to send some chief person over that be of such calling and of that authority and so accompanied as may bear some sway and countenance even with the best, for here is such huddle dealing that it cannot thus long endure, for these Hollanders would incorporate and rule all, so as authority, commandment, trade, traffic, gains, quietness and what they would else should be theirs, and all others used as their instruments to serve their turns... There is order taken to assure all towns and places with garrisons, each governor to his quarter, and I perceive will commit the custody of none to Englishmen...so as your honour may easily perceive how the world here goeth." Asks that his suit may be remembered. The people would be glad to be rid of him out of the Council because he understands their language so perfectly, as well as their nature, fashions and humours. Would gladly resign, but if he is to stay suggests a letter from her Majesty recommending him to the Council of State.—The Hague, 3 February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. with date 23 January (sic). 3 pp. [Holland XII. 42.]
Jan. 25./Feb. 4. The STATES GENERAL to LEICESTER. (fn. 4)
Complaint of the trouble caused by ambitious, avaricious and pernicious persons, as for instance over the forging of the rose noble of England at Amsterdam ; the injurious placart ; the neglect to secure the service of German reiters for which they had been encouraged to hope. Also since H.E. came no muster has been made of the horse and foot sent by her Majesty to their aid, though the horse has been paid at the charge of the country from 12 November, 1584, when it was not half ready to pass muster three months later. The troops have been so ill paid and ill treated that the like was never heard, and the country thereby reduced to great confusion. Hypocrites and Hispanophiles have been improperly appointed to important positions. Public authority has been taken from those to whom it legitimately belonged and encroachments made on the rights of the country. An Act of 24 Nov. was also produced removing from the Council of State some of the most important matters and reserving them for H.E. The consequence is seen at Deventer. The like might happen at Bergen op Zoom, Ostend and other places. They were warned about Stanley and Yorck but could do nothing for lack of commandment, which was reserved to H.E. He had prescribed Stanley to them against their remonstrances. They have thus been compelled to take control of the Government. They feel confident her Majesty will continue her aid to redress what has occurred. They also notify the release of Paul Buys. —The Hague, 4 February, 1587. W. Roelsius, President. Copy. Endd. Fr. 6½ pp. [Holland XII. 43 ; also S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 156.]
Jan. 25./Feb. 4. Act of the States General for the continuation of the Council of State for three months.—The Hague, 4 February, 1587. (fn. 5) Fr. 1 p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 145.]
Jan. 25. The tribunes of the people of UTRECHT to LEICESTER.
Express the desire of all good men for his return, there being no one with full authority to rule. They look for their safety in the present tempest to God, Her Majesty and his Excellency. They will shed their last drop of blood in defence of their homes and only beg her Majesty and H.E. to consider their cause and this just war which concerns the glory of God, their holy faith and the tranquillity of Belgium and her Majesty's own realms. Utrecht, 1587. VIII. Calendas, Feb. stylo veteri. Eight signatures. Signed. Add. Endd. 20 January (sic), 1586. Latin. 1½ pp. [Holland XII. 44.]
Jan. 25./Feb. 4. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
Recommends the bearers (fn. 6) and their cause, which proceeds from dutiful affection to her Majesty. They come from the chiefest part of Friesland, called Oestergoe, to offer her Majesty the sovereignty or protection, without restrictions. Their good will deserves well and may be a means to provoke other provinces to the like ; the common people generally being well affected and none oppose but the deputed states, who being in Government would still continue.—The Hague, 4th February, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XII. 45.]


1 Printed by Japikse (Dutch text) Resolutien der Staaten Generaal, Vol. V, p. 597.
2 Dutch text in Japikse Resolutien, Vol. V, pp. 676-7.
3 Apparently a reference to Oldenbarnevelt's speech on the 1st Feb., N.S. It is given by Grimstone, Hist. Netherlands, p. 944
4 The text, in Dutch, given in Bor, lib. xxii., fol. 65.
5 The Dutch text in Japikse : Resolutien, Vol. V, p. 712.
6 Wybrant Aylva and Dr. Richeus de Postella were sent to Elizabeth from Oostergoo. Broersma : Het Tusschenbestuur in het Leycestersche Tijdvak, pp. 95-6.