SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
I have had to try my uttermost credit for the aid of Ostend,
which the enemy is about to besiege, and have, though with
difficulty sent them some powder and ammunition ; also some
small number of men from this town and the Ramekins. The
town, of itself, was utterly unprovided, and the States seem to
have no regard for the relief either of it or of Sluys, so that the
burden lay upon me. "The unwillingness and backward
dealing of the States give great cause to mistrust that their late
private factions were not so extinguished by my lord Buckhurst's
coming but [that] they begin to be renewed, with more dangerous
practice than before, wherefore I pray you to relieve them either
by some order from her Majesty, or by my lord of Leicester's
coming. . . ."—Vlisching, 21 May, 1587.
Signed. 1 p. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 252.]
G. DE PROUNINCQ to WALSINGHAM.
Thanking him for his reply and stating that he has received a
letter from his Excellency which he has answered rather in the
form of a discourse than of a letter. It is long, but without any
beating about the bush or dissembling ; moreover it is true. I
foresee that they will try to ruin us, by delays and new methods.
But I have confidence in your honour.—Utrecht, 22 May, 1587,
Postscript. This instant comes news that the enemy is about
to besiege Ostend ; having already fourteen pieces of cannon in
the field. It is said that he has intelligences there. The loss
of that place would be very bad for the reputation of her Majesty
and the English nation. However, rumpantur mores, rumpentur
et hostium conatus et nostrorum artes.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 254.]
Rough draft for the letter below, corrected by Walsingham.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 256.]
THE QUEEN to SIR JOHN NORREYS.
Is sending back to him certain soldiers who have borne office
in the field, whose names are contained in the enclosed schedule,
and who, being discharged, have prayed her to give some order
for their relief. Is informed by the Earl of Leicester that they are
all men of valour and sufficiency, and therefore desires Sir John
to dispose them into such bands as serve under her pay, their
entertainment to be furnished by the dead pays of the said bands.
And for their further encouragement, she has promised them
that if she should increase her forces there, they shall be preferred
to such places and degrees as they have already borne.
Copy. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 258.]
SIR THOMAS SHERLEY to BURGHLEY.
The lately sent treasure, though much less than was hoped for,
came in marvellous good time, for the other was almost done.
My lord ambassador and I practised with the merchants, but
could get promise only of 1500l. "Here is neither living nor
buying without ready money." Mr. Auditor and I will with all
expedition perfect and send the account, according to your letter.
I thank you heartily for remembering to me the cause of Norwich,
where I pray you to be, as ever, my good lord. At my last
being at the court, your lordship seemed so unwilling to deal in
it, as made me even desperate of the success. My long absence
wonderfully encourages the adverse party, "but I hope assuredly
that my being in her Majesty's service in the most troublesome
office that is, may be a cause the rather that your lordship will
please to have consideration of me. . . .
"I can tell you little from hence but that here is great poverty
amongst all. We are out of credit with this country, who begin
to esteem themselves in a doubtful regard of her Majesty, and
wandering without a head and governor, do go on with a many
headed government, wonderfully to the grief and mislike of the
people. Utrecht at this time standeth very 'tickely,' which
causes me to go presently from hence with the treasure." Unless
there comes resolute direction from her Majesty, I doubt you
will hear of some tragical confusion. In the mean time, the
Counts of Nassau and Hollock possess themselves of all they may.
—Utrecht, 24 May, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holland XIV. f. 260.]
SIR THOMAS SHERLEY to WALSINGHAM.
Burgomaster Deventer asks me to convey the enclosed to you.
[Concerning the treasure, and the "many headed government"
as to Burghley, above.]
These States "are sorry for the authority that they have given
unto my lord of Leicester, which, if they could be freed from, I
assure myself that they would never again agree that any man
should have that power and interest with them. Your honour
shall see, I doubt, that after they have enriched themselves, they
will also sell the country to the enemy, when they are able no
longer to retain their confused government. Hated of the people
they are exceedingly ; and certainly the people do much desire
and indeed do daily expect the return of my lord of Leicester.
These countries are much alienated from us, and are offended in
the want of their expectation of her Majesty's strong entrance
into these wars. Ortelius doth daily advertise the secrets of
the court, and her Majesty's backwardness in this action and her
over-forwardness to peace, which doth much harm here. Utrecht
at this time standeth very tickely ; I am therefore presently removing
hence with the treasure.—Utrecht, 24 May, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 262.]
May 26./June 5.
The States General to his Excellency concerning his allegation
against the minister Viliers. Encloses a copy of reply made by
Viliers.—5 June, 1587. (fn. 1)
Fr. 1½ pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 218.]
May 26./June 5.
HOTMAN to WALSINGHAM.
The Elector has asked him to forward the enclosed letters, including
one to her Majesty. Begs his honour to let them be duly
delivered. The people are being discouraged by his Excellency's
long delay. Those of the opposite party turn it to their own profit
and the enemy can have no greater advantage than to see this
State without a governor, everyone wishing to command but none
having sufficient authority. His coming is more necessary now
than at any other season of the year ; but as this has been said
and written into England a million times, and your wisdom can
very well conceive the same, I will say no more about it.—The
Hague, 5 June, 1587, stylo novo. (fn. 2)
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 264.]
May 27./June 6.
Letter from the States General to her Majesty asking for the
return of H.E. or for something to be done for her service and the
preservation of the country.—The Hague, 6 June, 1587. (fn. 3)
Fr. ¾ p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 220.]
BUCKHURST to BURGHLEY.
I refer your lordship to Mr. Secretary's letters for news. And
assuring myself of your good favour, "I cannot but complain
of the unfortunate place wherein I serve ; in which it sufficeth
not that I seek and bend myself wholly to the service of her
Majesty, but I must also please the particular humours of private
men, or else to rest subject to many sinister informations made and
urged against me. I beseech your lordship, keep one ear for me
and do not hastily condemn me . . . for if ever I did, may or shall
do any acceptable service to her Majesty, it was in the stay and
appeasing of these countries here, even ready at my coming to
have cast off all good respect towards us, and to have entered
even into some desperate course. In the mean while, I am hardly
thought of by her Majesty, and in her opinion condemned before
mine answer be understood or heard, which grieveth me not a
little." I pray you to be a mean that I may return, and not
waste my mind, body, wits and wealth in continual toils, cares
and troubles.—The Hague, 27 May, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 266.]
WALSINGHAM to WILKES.
Finds his grant "very greatly impugned," none of the lords
being "affected" to it save the Lord Chancellor and himself, and
fears whether they will be able to qualify the dislike of the rest
to it. Owing to the absence of the Lord Treasurer and other
councillors, there has yet been no time to propound the matter.
That he may understand what the commissioners have reported,
sends him a copy of their certificate. (fn. 4) —The Court at Nonsuch,
27 May, 1587.
Postscript in his own hand. I will not fail to procure your
revocation if the Earl of Leicester come over, whom I find hardly
affected towards you . . . chiefly in respect of the goodwill you
profess to bear to my cousin Norryce ; and that you have been
held a practiser underhand with the States against the said Earl,
though outwardly you have pretended the contrary, by charging
the States with the wrongs done to the Earl. Ottoman doth
what he can to cause the Earl to think well of you, but his mislike
seemeth to be deeply grounded. I doubt not but that you will
carry yourself so wisely and warily there as no advantage may be
taken against you.
Add. Endd. by Wilkes "Mr. Secretary Walsingham, my
patent for salt. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Holland XIV. f. 268.]
May 27./June 6.
PHILIP D'ASSELIERS to LEICESTER.
Urging him to hasten his coming as much as possible, for if
he delays it much longer, great disturbances are to be feared
and much advantage to the enemy ; who may easily seize the
coming harvest. Prays him to have compassion on those desolate
countries, and Christ's flock therein, and to have no regard to
the small number of his illwishers and calumniators ; disturbers
of the public peace, who will be vanquished by his mere presence,
and against whom the writer and his fellows will gladly employ
both their bodies and their goods.—The Hague, 6 June, selon
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 270.]
THE PRIVY COUNCIL to SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL. (fn. 5)
Stating that her Majesty, for the better defence of Ostend, has
appointed four companies to be sent thither from Bergen op
Zoom, under the conduct of Sir Roger Williams ; their place to
be taken by four bands from England, under Captains Barton,
Sampson, Goring and Peu, for whom armour was to be provided
at Middelburg. Also that if necessary victuals were to be sent
to Ostend, and those of Zeeland called upon to furnish ships for
the guard of such as were to go from Flushing thither.
Draft, much corrected by Walsingham. Endd. May, 1587.
"M[inute] from the Lords here to Sir William Russell." 1 p.
[Ibid. XIV. f. 272.]
Another copy [Ibid. XIV. f. 277.]
THE SAME to COL. MORGAN. (fn. 6)
Stating that her Majesty has appointed the four companies of
Captains Basquervile, Veere, Udall and Hart to be sent to aid the
defence of Ostend, under conduct of Sir Roger Williams in lieu
of which, 600 men were being levied about London under four
captains [names as in previous letter].
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. (mutatis mutandis) as
the last. [Ibid. XIV. f. 274.]
The COUNCIL OF THE DUCHY OF GUELDRES and the COUNTY OF
ZUTPHEN to GENERAL NORREYS.
Regret to hear that owing to slanders her Majesty is inclined
to hold back the Earl of Leicester. The people of the United
Provinces should recognise with gratitude that, under God, they
owe their preservation to H.M. Distress at the situation. Beg
him to make the ambassador aware of the facts about the misunderstanding,
so that it may be possible to recover the goodwill
of H.M. and H.E., that she may be pleased to send back the earl.—
Arnheim, 28 May, 1587, stilo vet.
Postscript. The enemy is withdrawing his garrisons out of the
towns and sending them towards Wesel, and has defeated a convoy
sent out by Wesel.
Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 276.]
SIR JOHN CONWAY to the PRIVY COUNCIL.
"It hath been advertised me from the States of Holland and
Zeeland, Sir William Russell, the governor of Sluys and others,
that the Prince of Parma would have been some eight days past
with his forces and artillery before Ostend."
Sir William Russell, in his care for this place, sent us from
Flushing 48 soldiers, and from Bergen a hundred ; also some
needful weapons and 2000 weight of powder, "hardly drawn from
the States ; their care is cold of this place, howsoever it worketh."
The supposition of the Prince's coming grew from his drawing
some forces down about Bridges [Bruges] and bringing thither
twenty-two pieces of artillery, all to furnish and strengthen two
new forts making at Blankenburg, which it is said, shall receive
800 soldiers. By such as know the country these forts will
receive all the loring drawers which relie[ved] the enemy with
victual, cause an unsafe passage between Zeeland and Ostend,
and hold our companies here in shorter liberty. They intend
withal to fill up the haven of Sluce.
"All this, I suppose, worketh but to save their harvest from
spoil, which is wonderful "fer" upon the ground. They fear
her Majesty will presently send my lord of Leicester with forces
to land here and at Sluce to spoil their harvest, which if her
Majesty vouchsafe to do, all Flanders will easily and soon be
hers." The Country desires it, and will wholly turn to her
upon the first sight of her forces.
"If her Majesty will but take a course to restrain the enemy's
relief of victuals from England, Holland and Zeeland . . . and
put from [sic] Sluce and Ostend but six thousand horse and foot
in one month she will have all Flanders, at more ease, with less
charge and bloodshed this year by three parts then she shall come
by it hereafter, if she suffer them quietly to enjoy this year's
harvest and profit.
"Their men be weak and discontent ; daily they come away.
If I durst retain them, I need not to trouble your honours for
supply of men. . . . They be in misery and want. Within
eight days past they have had some supply of corn come to
Gravelines, Calles, Dunkyrck and Newporte which hath well
relieved them, but little to able them to hold wars or to besiege
Ostend, if our relief be held from them.
Bridges stands still distressed yet well disposed towards her
Majesty ; and as for Ostend, I do verily think he will not come
before it so long as it is defended with Englishmen, unless he can
corrupt any man in the place, from which untruth I hope all this
garrison stand free from. . . . Some lewd spies I do assure
myself he hath in this town. I hope I have them in hold under
such guard as they shall sooner answer their treasons than the
Our principal traitor, who should have practised the surprise
of this town with M. La Motte was lately a burgher of Rotterdam.
I apprehended him here and sent him to Sluce. On the way he
escaped, but I took him again at Rotterdam, and his letters going
to M. La Motte at sea. The townsmen of Rotterdam, against
my earnest request to return him to me or keep him safe till my
lord of Leicester's return, have cut off his head, to conceal others.
The States proceed crossly many ways with her Majesty, but
all would be well if she would vouchsafe his return. What they
now deny would then be granted by the towns, and they would
be put to silence. It is wonderful to hear how the towns cry
out against them, protesting obedience to her Majesty, and desiring
to be "as well defended against the civil oppression of the
States as the tyranny of the Spaniards."
The States have promised Lord Buckhurst much for the relief
of this garrison, but as yet have performed little, and I doubt
not but Sir William has told you of their small care of the place.
"If her Majesty commit the care of her frontier towns to them,
when the enemy shall be strong, they will deceive her.
"I doubt not but that your lordships are well advertised of
the late proceedings of the Counts Maurice and Hollock, as also
of their forces assembled. The Count Maurice moved the States
of Holland to give me warning that I should carefully look to
the scouts which I did nightly put forth, for every other night,
he told them, he was informed that our scouts ran away with
intelligence to La Motte. There hath no scout run away since
I came into this place ; the matter was but a feigned occasion
to send his messenger with their letter" ; who required a note
of our stores, and to know the strength of the town and what
artillery we had ; and withal brought a special letter to the
engineer to come to Count Maurice, who knew well that we could
not spare him. "I said upon the first face of his messenger's
arrival that we should hear of the enemy's approach presently,
and so we did on the morrow. And so proceeded it before.
Within two days after he sent to have two Dutch companies out
of the town, and to send the like intelligence, La Motte presented
himself before this town with 3000 foot and horse.
"If these men who daily render themselves from the enemy
may be believed, there is neither Count Maurice nor Count
Hollock to be trusted. . . ."
As to this town, it does well, and will so continue, I believe, so
long as it is garrisoned with Englishmen. Some wants we have
which I will not trouble you with, as I have been referred to
Lord Buckhurst. I hope they will be speedily supplied. "In
the mean, I hold no doubt of the place, nor dread of the enemy."
We are much disappointed in the re-inforcing of our companies.
One hundred of the men you sent us never came here, and those
who did "were such loose persons, taken up by my Lord Mayor,
that he did the City of London better service in delivering the
place of them than he did her Majesty in strengthening this
garrison with them. They are most of them gone to the enemy."
We beseech you to allow us a hundred horsemen. "We have
our cattle daily taken by horsemen of Newport, and we cannot
remedy it. So do our companies repine in nothing but their
hard watch. The circuit is so large that we watch half companies
every night, . . . unless at spring tides or when the moon is light.
Nevertheless, as we have endured, so will we, until it shall please
you to give us better help.—Ostend, 29 May, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. close writing. [Holland XIV.
THE EARL OF LEICESTER to SIR JOHN CONWAY.
"After I had written my other letters, we had intelligence that
you are indeed besieged ; which myself imparting to her Majesty,
it pleased her forthwith to give orders for the dispatch unto you
of Sir Roger Williams, with such comfort to you as he bringeth.
And six or seven days hence, 1000 men shall follow. Her
Majesty's ships in the mean time shall lie before Ostend, to hinder
an enterprize which we understand the enemy hath to stop the
passage to you by water.
I have written also to Colonel Morgan to send you three or four
companies of his best and most trusty soldiers in Bergen. I will
not omit to procure you all other things necessary as soon as
may be."—30 May, 1587.
Copy, one of the Conway Papers, with the original covering
sheet. ¾ p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 282.]
[A pencil memorandum states that the original letter is in the
Marquis of Hertford's collection ; but there is no mention of it in
the (very scanty) notice of this collection in Vol. IV. of the Reports
of the Hist. MSS. Commission.]
STEPHEN LE SIEUR to WALSINGHAM.
Announcing his arrival at Bergen-op-Zoom. The conditions
of his liberty are somewhat hard, but unless he had yielded to them,
he must have returned to prison. Col. Morgan advises him to
see Lord Buckhurst before returning home, to whom on the
morrow he means to repair with speed. Prays his honour, if he
wishes to command him in anything, to write to Sir William
Russel, as he will go to Flushing to embark. Finds great favour
and assistance at Col. Morgan's hands.—Bergues-up-Zoom,
30 May, 1587, stilo Anglo.
Postscript. Sir William Stanley and York have received three
months' pay, and are departed for Deventer again.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Flanders I. f. 278.]
Propositions exhibited by Lord Buckhurst to the States General.
(1) In view of the extremity of the enemy to reduce the army
to 10,000 foot, 4000 horse and 1000 pioneers
(2) To withdraw 4000 men from the garrisons for service in the
(3) That they shall maintain this force without further charge
on her Majesty ; it need not keep the field for more than three
(4) They shall guarantee the payment of 135,000l. sterling as
5/6 of the extraordinary contribution for the army this year.
(5) They shall show how they mean to do this.
(6) They shall pay the sum to Netherlanders nominated by
(7) They shall guarantee prompt payment. (fn. 7)
Fr. 1¼ pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 221.]
LEICESTER to the COUNCIL OF STATE.
The continual solicitations to her Majesty to determine upon
the defence and maintenance of the United Provinces have been
so effectual that notwithstanding all hindrances she has resolved
to send me back thither. And as I have always loved those
countries so much as to set their welfare and prosperity before
my own convenience, so now nothing shall prevent my continuing
this good will, forgetting the past, in order not to prejudice the
common cause. Her Majesty will send with me some ready
money of what she is to grant, but as the fruit of this will be useless
if those of the country are not ready, at any rate in part, I have
advertised the States General, that they may give the required
order ; desiring you to lend a helping hand, that we may not,
through delays, lose the season, which is already too far advanced.
Ostend and l'Ecluse must be furnished without delay with the
necessary provisions ; for her Majesty is advertised, of many
designs of the enemy and amongst others of what he has projected
and concluded in order to possess these places this summer.—
Nonsuch, 31 May, 1587, stilo veteri.
Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 283.]
Another copy of the same.
[S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 235.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
Four or five hundred of our burghers came to me of late, desiring
me to make stay of all victuals, "being as it were ready to
take arms ; whereupon, as well in respect of their contentment
as also being thereunto desired by the governors of Sluys and
Ostend, I presently wrote to the Estates of Zeeland . . . that I
thought it not good to let pass any manner of victuals, the enemy
being ready to besiege two of our principal towns . . . since which
time the enemy hath not had means to victual his soldiers, so
as yet he hath not attempted either of those places.
"I assure you, Sir, I find the people very well affected to her
Majesty, and myself in so good opinion with them as I am afraid
the Estates will grow jealous of me. There is no doubt but that
my lord of Leicester's coming is very necessary, and a thing greatly
desired of the better sort." The wants of the enemy are very
great ; if some corn had not come out of the East country, they
could not have kept the field.—Flushing, the last of May.
Postscript. "The first of this present [June], arrived here Sir
Roger Williams and Captain Huntley.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Holland XIV. f. 285.]
May 31./June 10.
ARNOLT DE GRUNEVELT, Governor of Sluys, to WALSINGHAM.
Since my last, of the 4th inst., I have had many advertisements
of the preparations of the enemy. To know surely what they
were, I sent a captain of my regiment, with some officers and 150
soldiers to catch some of their men. Last night, near Ecloo, they
found themselves amongst 40 Spanish companies, however they
managed so adroitly that after dispatching some of the foremost,
they brought seven of the troop back with them. And in their
return, they met, on the Lieve [river] going from Gand towards
Damme several boats laden with 22 siege pieces and a quantity
of munitions needed for a siege or blockade, escorted by some
Burgundians who also were scattered and put to flight ; many
casks of powder and great quantity of shot thrown into the water
and two or three boats sunk. It was impossible to burn them, as
five or six companies immediately came up, but our men returned
without loss. The prisoners, being examined, said that the Prince
of Parma arrived the evening of the day before yesterday at Bruges
with fifteen companies of horse, and there were following him three
German regiments which were to be at Bruges yesterday with the
40 companies mentioned above and other troops from the countries
of Limburg, Valckenbourg, Liége, Namur, Brabant, Hainault,
Artois and Flanders. M. de La Motte had returned to the Prince,
having been to assemble the Walloon troops whom he had disbanded
round about Dixmuyden, to the number of three thousand,
all ready to come to Oudenbourg ; towards which place the Prince
of Parma set out yesterday evening, with fifty-one ensigns and
the above-mentioned fifteen companies of horse ; making his
approach towards Ostend, which on one side he hopes to carry
by a fierce battery, and on the other, to blockade us and close
the haven ; having, besides the battering pieces from Gand,
brought thither the cannon from St. Omer, Gravelings and Dunkirk,
which have arrived at Newport to the number of 22 pieces.
So far we have received no comfort, either of money or victuals
and ammunitions, all very necessary for a town besieged, notwithstanding
the constant warnings given. For all reply, the Council
of State exhorts us to be assured that they will not fail to take
order that we may be well supported and succoured in case the
enemy should attack us, which, however, they did not think he
would do, or even remain there, in his state of famine. This
however, is much greater in the town than in the enemy's quarters,
for we are now destitute of everything. We yesterday made a
general search for victuals, and found, both in the magazines and
amongst the burghers no more than would serve for ten or twelve
days at most, even if we turned some useless persons out of the
place. The captains and burghers are so very poor that they
cannot make provision even to the value of a groat. Consider
our state. We are reduced to the lowest straits and are forsaken
by all the world. It is a grievous thing to any man of honour,
loving the true religion and the service of her Majesty, to see her
good and loyal servants perish before one's eyes. If her Majesty
do not send us without any further delay both succours and
money, it will be impossible to avoid the troubles which must
follow ; wherefore we pray you to urge her not to leave us without
aid, and to send over his Excellency, whose return is daily more
desired by these poor people.—The Castle of the Sluys, 10 June,
1587, stilo novo.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holland XIV. f. 287.]
LEICESTER to the STATES GENERAL.
The queen has decided to continue her succour and to send
him over. Expects to reach Dordrecht in a few days. Hopes
nothing will cause him to lose the goodwill he has always had.
Asks them to have enough money ready for use at his arrival to
be employed with that of her Majesty. Informed of enemy's
designs on Ostend and Sluys, to which they should send all
necessary provisions. Nonsuch, 31 May, 1587, stil. vet. Received
[5-] 15 June.
Copy. Fr. 1 p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 234.]
[THE QUEEN] to LORD BUCKHURST.
Divers complaints being made by the French of spoils committed
by certain ships set out by those of Holland and Zeeland
upon ships of theirs lately come with grain from the East parts,
we have, at the earnest request of the French ambassador here,
written to the States "for redress not only of the spoils already
committed, but of such as may be committed hereafter ; as also
to have a care for the good usage of the French merchants ; in
requital whereof, the said ambassador doth promise to procure
that the merchants of the United Provinces shall receive in all
parts of France the like courteous usage" ; also that the carriage
of all victuals whether grown in France or imported, and of
munitions of war to any place in the Low Countries possessed
by the King of Spain shall be inhibited.
And we have put them in mind that if they do not yield to
our request, they will incur the enmity of the French, who, in
revenge, may join with the King of Spain against them which
would fall out (to man's judgment) to their utter ruin. Wherefore,
both for their own good and the gratifying of the French
King, "with whom we are of late entered into some course for
the removing of former unkindnesses between us," our pleasure
is that you urge these reasons and any other that might avail to
the States, to draw them to yield to our request ; letting them
understand that if upon their well using of the French merchants,
the promise shall not be kept for the like usage of their merchants
in France, and for restraint of the carriage of goods to the enemy ;
they may with better reason "proceed to the staying of such
victuals as the said merchants shall lade in foreign parts."
Draft, undated, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. "May, 1587.
M[inute]. To the Lord of Buckhurst." 1¾ pp. [Holland XIV.
"A note of such forces as may be drawn into the field"
In her Majesty's pay. Footmen.—Out of Bergen-op-Zoom,
Ostend, Utrecht, Arnheim, Doesburgh and Amersford,
In the States' pay. The Lord Audley and two other
In her Majesty's pay. Horsemen.—The Cornet-General ;
General of the horse ; Sir Wm. Russell ; Sir Robert Sidney ;
Lord North ; the Colonel general ; Sir Philip Butler ; Sir
Thomas Cecil ; Sir Thos. Shurley ; the Lord Marshal ;
Sir Roger Williams Total
In the States' pay. Footmen.—Lanz Knechts, 3000 ;
out of garrison towns, 2000 Total
Horsemen.—To be drawn out of garrisons 1200 ;
Reiters 2000 Total
Sum of footmen, 8850. And of horse, 4100 Total
Memo. That there will be lacking of the English footmen at
least 1500, and of the horsemen 400.
Endd. May, 1587. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 294.]
Paper endorsed "Estimate of the charges of an army to be
employed in the Low Countries, May, 1587."
Viz :—for 1000 pioneers for four months 4000l. ;
3000 lansquenets 14,000l. ; 4000 Walloons 17,600l. ; 2000
reiters 28,800l. ; the levy of the reiters and the lansquenets
The artillery, 10,000l. ; the charge of transporting of
victuals 1600l. and of 400 waggons, 14,400l. ; other extraordinaries,
In Walsingham's hand. ¾ p. [Ibid. XIV. f. 296.]
"A note for the distribution of the 126,000l. to the contentment
of the soldiers, the payment of the principal officers, and the defraying
of the extraordinary charges."
Endd. "May, 1587." 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. f. 297.]
LORD BUCKHURST to the [Towns of the United Provinces] (fn. 8) .
I understand from letters of her Majesty that the king of Denmark
for a year and more has been urging peace on the queen of
England and the king of Spain, and the affair has now reached a
point when her Majesty may begin to treat with good hope of
securing an honourable peace. But as in the past treaties
between the king and these countries have always been turned
to his advantage and their detriment, her Majesty has been
greatly perplexed, seeing the injury that would be done if the
hope of peace proved vain, as the Provinces might become slack
in their contributions and allow the enemy to take sudden
advantage of them ; she also considers the miseries of war, the
slaughter, devastation and heavy taxation. But seeing that
the Duke of Parma has full authority to treat and conclude and
seems to be sincerely inclined to negotiate a durable peace, a
peremptory refusal to treat would be unworthy of a Christian
prince. After mature consideration her Majesty has therefore
judged it expedient to treat with the Duke. Before entering
upon negotiations she has commanded me to notify the United
Provinces of her decision, with the hope of obtaining honourable
terms, including the restoration of their ancient liberties, release
from armed force and from foreign governance, with oblivion
for all that has passed. You may rest assured that she will conclude
nothing before the articles have been communicated to all
the Provinces for ratification. At the same time she urges you
not to relax in any of the preparations for war, but to continue
as if there were no thought of peace, keeping a good army in the
field to avoid the danger of a feigned peace and to secure better
terms, for which her Majesty will show herself as careful of the
good of the Provinces as of her own estate. I hope that by the
success of this negotiation this poor country, so long afflicted, may
enjoy the benefit of peace.
Endd. May, 1587. Translation of a letter sent by the ambassador.
Fr. 3½ pp. Draft. Much corrected. [Holland XIV. f. 299.]
Letter from the COUNCIL OF STATE to LORD BUCKHURST.
When his Excellency left they undertook the government, in spite
of their insufficiency, in the hope that he would not be absent long.
Their powers expired, but have been renewed by the States.
They have several times informed H.E. of the state of affairs,
requesting his speedy return or that he would state his pleasure
but have received no reply. As the affairs of the country are falling
into ever greater confusion ask his leave to draw attention
to certain points : Constitution of Council defective through
action of Utrecht and lack of public authority, as nothing can be
done to reform its government with respect to the changes that
have taken place during H.E.'s absence. The gathering of
troops ordered by H.E. cannot be effected ; her Majesty's
auxiliaries are very attenuated and cannot be filled up by the
English in the pay of the States. Many officers and even towns
and districts recognise no orders that do not come from H.E.
Many other disorders occur daily through the absence of H.E.
Ask him to advise the best and most prompt means to remedy the
deplorable confusion. Signed : Leoninus. Countersigned :
Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 213.]
"Remembrances for the captains."
1. Whereas order has come from the lords of the Council that
there should be eight less in a company than has been accustomed,
of which the captains had no orderly knowledge before the last
musters, the said captains humbly desire that the pay of those
eight men may not be defalcked before the time of their said
2. Seeing that there is an intent to make payment by the poll,
we pray her Majesty to have consideration of the times past
wherein at great charge we have contented our companies without
having received the money, "whereby they are now paid to a
further time than she has made disbursement of ; so as this kind
of payment shall be the utter undoing of the captains, who in
honest care of their duties towards her Majesty and love of the
poor men under their commandment, have laid out all their own
and extended their credit to the uttermost. Besides, there be
many of our companies slain in service, dead by sickness and run
away from us, being far in our debts, whose pays if we have not
allowed unto us, at the least till the time of their deaths or
departures . . . we shall be wonderfully damnified thereby.
3. We also beseech her that—"there being but two months'
pay made this year in ready money, it was diverted from the
captain to the merchant to make provision of clothes withal,
which being delivered at a higher rate than we could ourselves
provide it, the hazard thereof is laid upon us, we giving our bills
of debt to the merchant for the whole," and then delivering it to
the soldiers ; and if they die before by their service they have
satisfied us, we bear the loss, which is but to assure the merchants
of their profit by our certain loss.
4. If this manner of payment is laid upon us, we humbly pray
to know when it shall begin, and that order may be given that the
merchant in every garrison may have a store of shoes, stockings
and arms ; and also a treasurer to disburse money for ransoms of
such as are taken prisoners and for relief of the hurt and sick,
all which have been heretofore the care of the captains ; "wherein
if some few have been found more careless than the rest, we
humbly entreat that the just may not bear the burden of the
unjust, but that there may be an equal censure had of every man,
according to their deserts.
"Which suit we present, fearing, without these cares, lest
our bands do sooner decay than can be thought on by them who
are not acquainted with these inconveniences.
Endd. "Ostend." 1 p. [Holland XIV. f. 202.]
Justification of the edicts issued by the States General forbidding
traffic in arms and such things with the enemy, even as
affecting the people of neighbouring states, and applied to goods
destined for the enemy sent to such places as Calais, Emden,
Bremen etc. Such edicts are the only way to prevent fraud by
merchants and the cunning of the enemy. The king of Denmark
will no doubt suffer the continuation of such edicts from his good
will to these afflicted provinces and to check the ferocity of a
most cruel enemy who seeks universal dominion.
Latin. 3 pp. without date, cover or endd. [Holland XIV.