M. REINGOUT to WILKES.
Regretting that owing to his honour's sudden departure, he had
not been able to pay his respects to him, and assuring him of his
affection and desire to serve him.—Utrecht, "ce premier de
Juin," stilo veteri, 1587.
[The above only a covering for the following, written in invisible
The schemes of these good people are not yet at an end. I am
assured to-day that Count Maurice has been to Utrecht ; to get
himself sworn governor, but that those of the town refused him
flatly, saying that they desired no other governor than his Excellency.
But it is true that a certain gentleman of the said
Count was at Culembourg, where he said to Count Hollock
(Illecq) that those of Holland were resolved to have no other
governor than Count Maurice.
Add. Endd. June 21, (in error). Fr. ¾ pp. [Holland XV.
Answer of the States General to Lord Buckhurst's propositions
made on the last day of May, stilo veteri. (fn. 1) —The Hague, 11 June,
Fr. 3¼ pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 223.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to LEICESTER.
There has been of late such sending of victuals to the enemy
from Holland and Zeeland, that the burghers came to crave my
aid for the stay thereof. I wrote several letters to the Estates,
and myself stayed divers who would have passed, whereby it is
very well reformed. The enemy have long intended to besiege
Ostend or Sluice, and as they wanted victuals, ensconced themselves
at Blankenbergh with their artillery, but now, being otherwise
provided, have made show before Ostend and set down their
forces there. The Prince lies at Bridges, with nine or ten thousand
horse and foot, well provisioned for this action. I have written
often to the Estates to provide the two towns with necessaries, but
find them cold and backward. I have procured a company of foot
from Bergen for Ostend, and drawn as many from this place,
sending also such munitions, pikes etc. as we could spare ; but
the slackness of the Estates is such that I stand in fear of those
places unless your lordship come over speedily with some forces.
—Flushing, 1st June, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [S.P. Holland XV. f. 3.]
CAPTAIN EDMOND BANNASTER to WALSINGHAM.
"This day, being the last of May as we suppose, the Prince of
Parma hath presented himself before our town," but, as we hear,
with not above 7000 men ; of which force, we make no great
reckoning. If we be honest men . . . and if God do not for our
unthankfulness reward us according to our deserts, we need not
force, . . . but truth is we live here like dogs ; we never go to
prayers neither to the church . . . so that I fear . . . God will lay
his heavy hand upon us. Whose the fault is, I leave to your
honour.—Ostend, 1 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 5.]
SIR JOHN CONWAY to WALSINGHAM.
The vanguard of the Prince's forces on Tuesday came before
Ostend, and the artillery is coming after. Whether they will sit
down before the town I know not ; "sure I am, if he do attempt us,
through God his help he will be well beaten. Though we have
many wants to discourage us . . . yet have we men well contented,
in good state of health, and resolutely disposed to fight ; withal
willing of discipline and content to be commanded. . . I do assure
myself the general number be here true to her Majesty . . . [and
ready] to encounter any fury and with honour to die, if I fail not
in that becomes me. I hope God will assist me. The quarrel
is his, the commandment her Majesty's and the obedience mine.
I humbly beseech you, deem the best of me and despair not of
the place. The States of Zeeland have given it out it was besieged
ten days since and lost in twelve hours. It might have so chanced
for any care they had of the safety. They have promised much
to my lord Buckhurst but performed little.
"The best is, the prince cannot long endure. He must and
will do if he can do at the first and in fury. The country is not
able to relieve him a continuing camp twenty days.
"We lack munition and weapons. You shall have time to
correct this fault, but not to aid us." We are very slackly paid
and I must relieve them with half pay, though I live in misery,
or else suffer by the soldiers' discontentment.
"I have written to my lord of Leicester more at large, and
intended the same to you, but the enemy coming on strong . . .
betake me from my pen to a pickaxe" and take my leave.—Ostend
1 June, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 7.]
LORD BUCKHURST to WALSINGHAM.
We hear from Capt. Grunevelt, governor of Sluis that the Duke
of Parma in person is come to Bruges having gathered an army
of 16,000 men and 40 cannons, and that in two days they are to
be brought to Ostend or Sluis. That the most part have already
environed Sluis, where Capt. Grunevelt has already skirmished
with them and taken seven prisoners, by whom this much is
discovered. He [Grunevelt] has already put forth the superfluous
women and children, as he has not above eleven days victual.
The States here have taken order to supply what is necessary
and "do send a discreet captain called Monsieur Famois
[Famars] master of the artillery, to lie at Middleborow or Flushing
and see from thence to supply both men and munition and victual
as shall be needful." Heretofore, they have only supplied those
places with fair promises . . . now I hope they will perform it in
deed. I pray God it be not too late. It is said that both towns
will be besieged at once, and at Ostend also the superfluous
women and children are put out. By my earnest dealing, (and
staying of the money for Brill) it is well furnished with victual,
but Sir John Conway desires more men, though he cannot have
less than 1200, as besides his own companies, a hundred and
twenty are gone to him from Bergen, under Captain Veare, and
a hundred from Flushing by Sir W. Russell. As we have order
from you to furnish Ostend with victual in case the States should
be negligent, so if the like care is to be taken for Berges and
Sluis you must give us warrant for it ; for the order sent from my
lords is so uncertain that Mr. Treasurer is doubtful how to issue
the money, whether upon the warrant of those to whom my lord
of Leicester hath formerly deputed the same, namely Mr. Wilkes,
Mr. Digges, and Mr. Hunt, or that of Sir John Norris, Mr. Dr.
Clerk, Mr. Wilkes, Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Digges, Mr. Hunt and myself
all jointly, for so the words seem to inforce. If my lord wishes
me to be a joint commissioner, I must obey . . . but I beseech
their lordships to spare me from this intolerable access of trouble.
If they would commit the direction to some two of those that are
here, it will bring great ease to the service, for to depute it to so
many brings great trouble, and herein Mr. Treasurer is, not without
cause, scrupulous, considering that without sufficient
warrant, he dare not issue the treasure.
We hear that the enemy has violently seized part of the provisions
of sundry towns for his men of war, and is greatly helped
by ships of victuals lately arrived at Calais and Dunkirk.
Count Hollock is said to have slain 600 boors near 'Baldock'
[Bois-le-Duc], part being of the land of Luke [? Liége] and part of
Brabant. "The States are now presently addressing forth of a
petty army of some 8000 foot and 1200 horse, whereby either to
impeach the enemy, or, if it may be, to divert him. And they are
now also in talk of conclusion with Count 'Mures' for the delivering
of money unto him for the conduction of the 'rutters and launsknights.'
But those things come never to effect till it be too late.
If they had raised an army but one month ago into the field, they
might have impeached and endommaged the enemy so much by
this time as he should have little hurt them this year ; for they
might have gone where they would and done what they had
would ; yea the dearth and necessity of Zutfen, Nimegen and
Deventer was then so great as the only fame of an army would
have made them yield. But now I would our army, when we
have him, could but defend us from hurt, so as we forbear to
harm the enemy.
"There is no manner of present preparation ready to resist
the enemy ; for I doubt our petty army will not be ready this
month and our rutters about three months hence. Our hope
now must be si deus nobiscum quis contra nos.—The Hague,
2 June, 1587.
Postscript. "Utrecht was of late in tumult by the practice
of Count Mures to have kept out our English garrisons upon
colour of a private quarrel he hath against Herman Modet, a
minister there, and yet with all humble words of duty to her
Majesty." We believe it was a practice of those of Holland and
Zeeland to surprize the town and keep out all further English
garrison, "but by the great dexterity and wise handling of Sir
John Noris, our party in the town prevailed and so our bands
were re-accepted ; whereby now we are full masters and commanders
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XV. f. 9.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
I now hear certainly that the enemy is gone from Ostend,—
hearing that I had sent both men and victuals—and, as is thought,
is gone to 'Slues,' where likewise I have persuaded our burghers
to send 60 lasts of corn and some ammunition. I have also sent
an express to Sir Roger Williams—whom I dispatched this morning
with some of this garrison to Ostend—to put himself with all
speed into Slues with two or three companies ; for "the Estates
are so backward and so careless of those two places as though
they did not belong to the United Provinces" ; and as yet there is
neither men nor victuals in either save that sent or procured by
"The enemy is persuaded that my lord of Leicester cometh
not, the which maketh them the bolder . . . therefore the hearing
of his coming would do much good.
"I have received by Captain Huntley your honour's letter
with the good news of Sir Francis Drake. You daily bind me
more and more to love and honour you. . . ."—Flushing, 2 June.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 11.]
SIR THOMAS SHERLEY to WALSINGHAM.
This good bearer can very sufficiently inform you of the small
hope of any good to ensue in this country. "We behold here
the right image of confusion :—a people divided in faction,
irresolute, fearful and apt of conceit, standing in a kind of doubt
of their best succours, remaining without a chief ; expecting her
Majesty's pleasure and determination therein, are in the meantime
disabled to make any other choice.
"The enemy sleepeth not, nor wanteth good means for himself,
neither is he ignorant of our case as it is. I see no good end
possible to come of this distraction except your honour have some
good present resolution there, whereof we know not."
"This Mr. Allen is a very gallant and worthy gent, and deserveth
all favour. He is all your honour's."—At the Hague, 2
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 13.]
WILKES to THE QUEEN.
"I have been required by my lord Buckhurst in your Majesty's
name to signify my knowledge of a report lately delivered to my
lord of Leicester by Mr. Aty, his secretary, concerning the Count
Hohenlo, as charged that when Villiers the minister declared to
Mr. Dr. Clarke a conceit of the Count touching my lord of
Leicester, in that matter I should be demanded whether I had not
formerly heard thereof, and thereupon, I should affirm the same.
I do protest unto your sacred Majesty, on my allegiance that as
I never heard of the matter before the same was reported by
Villiers to Dr. Clarke, so was I not by Villiers demanded, nor ever
heard thereof by any but by him at that time, neither did I give
any faith or credit to the report of Villiers because of the unlikelihood
of the thing, being so foul, and of the improbability that the
Count Hohenlo should ever have uttered any such speeches, for if I
might have learned by Villiers any particular appearance of truth,
I would have challenged the Count for the same as I have done
the States General and others for other matters concerning your
Majesty and my lord ; but I could then gather no ground by the
discourse of Villiers, whereupon to have framed my proceeding,
as Mr. Clarke can best testify. Moreover your Majesty will
consider how tender and delicate a thing the reputation of so
great a person as my lord is, and how unfit it had been for me,
upon so slender an information, to have brought the matter in
question publicly, and to have filled the ears of such as do not
well affect my lord in these countries with a matter so far from
show of virtue to my seeming, either in the Count Hohenlo to
have spoken or in my lord of Leicester to have purposed. Howbeit,
sithence my lord by his own letters to the Council of State
and States General, to Monsieur Sonoye in North Holland to
Monsieur Deventer at Utrecht and to others hath published the
matter, and signified that Villiers should have opened the same
to my lord Buckhurst and me, as sent for that purpose from the
Count Hohenlo (which, under correction, is not so) and that the
same is the cause why his lordship doth not return hither, I have,
as commanded, required and searched after the authors thereof,
and have at the last found out that the Count Hohenlo hath
indeed uttered some speeches to the effect of Villiers' reports,
which I leave to my lord Buckhurst, to advertise your Majesty.
And whereas I understand that my credit is by all indirect means
impugned, and my services performed here most strangely
construed at home to mine infinite grief and discomfort ; so as
it might either withdraw me from serving with that faith and
loyalty that becometh a good and true servant, or make me
altogether wary of this kind of services, if reports against me in
mine absence shall prevail before I be heard, and I am threatened
by those whom I have not justly offended, I implore your Majesty's
favour and defence against them ; and that, I may be rather
cherished and encouraged than terrified and depressed by the
endeavours of any that shall attempt to disgrace me.—The
Hague, 3 June, 1587.
Copy. 2 pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 104.]
WILKES to LORD CHANCELLOR HATTON.
My heavy adversary perpetually travails with her Majesty to
undo me, and I doubt may prevail against me, "considering the
goodness of her Majesty's nature to be induced to believe whom
she favoureth, and his subtlety to persuade," wherefore, in
respect of the great unequality between us, I must either be held
up by my friends, assisted with the wings of my own integrity,
or fall to the ground with disgrace and infamy.
I therefore humbly beseech the continuation of your favour to
counterpoise the harm that shall be done by such as may possess
the princely ear of her Majesty to my disadvantage.
I cannot conceive the purpose of my lord of Leicester "in
feeding the expectation of many here by his letters with a certainty
of his return, and on the other side in showing to us that
serve here the coldness of his disposition thereunto. The time
of the year is now well worn away wherein his presence might
have most advanced the good of these countries, whilst the enemy
through his manifold wants hath not been well able either to
assail or defend.
The state of these countries for lack of government (the authority
remaining with my lord in England and not exercised here)
is grown into confused and dangerous terms, and like to fall into
worse if her Majesty have not compassion of them, either by
returning of him or appointing some other course, according to
the contract for the governing and preserving of the State, and
the re-uniting of that which by our errors is disjointed ; wherein,
if her Majesty take not some speedy order, the States, for their
own preservation, must be constrained to remove the authority
from my lord and to lay it elsewhere, which will not only disgrace
him, but displease her Majesty. . . Men of the best judgment
here do strangely discourse of the delays used, doubting lest the
same be done of purpose to overthrow this poor commonweal.
Her Majesty is not free of men's concepts in this case though the
fault be chiefly laid upon his 1p. You will do good service to
move her to resolve speedily either to send him or direct some other
course for the government until another may be sent in his place.
If H.M. means to withdraw, it cannot be done on the sudden
and mean time these countries, by neglect, fall into irreparable
danger, of which the enemy is like to take advantage and frustrate
her expectation to wind out of the defence of the countries
with honour. I trust Lord Buckhurst (moved by the States)
to write hereof earnestly to H.M.
H.E. hath so stirred the coals here upon a report brought by
Atye concerning Count Hohenlo, that all the world speaketh
thereof, and now the Count must produce the informer or be
charged of being the author himself. I fear this will breed implacable
hatred in him towards my lord who is now followed
extremely with the affection of the States and better sort of men
(to whom before his departure he was as hateful) and be an
occasion to breed some unlooked for alteration among us here.
—3 June 1587.
Copy. 2½ pp. [S.P. For. Archives XCI., p. 106.]
WILKES to WALSINGHAM.
Her Majesty's answer to the petition of the States for a loan of
50,000l. has given them small comfort. Their contributions are
more than ever before, and even if with difficulty adhered to, will
not serve without the other third part from her to put a sufficient
army into the field to make head against the enemy, so that they
must rest entirely on the defensive. Yet they still hope she will
not let so good an opportunity be overslipped.
Seeing the further delay in his Excellency's return, and that
her Majesty gives no directions for the government, they begin
to say that they must establish another in his lordship's place,
and in truth they can hardly subsist a month longer without a
governor, considering their confusions, and divisions and the
disobedience of their men of war, together with the small regard
had to the authority of the Council of State.
Is sorry to see that on so slight an information as was given
him by Atey, of speeches said to be uttered by Count Hollock
affirming that Themistocles has appointed certain persons to
murder him, his Excellency has written letters to the States,
Council of State and divers towns, alleging it to be a practice to
terrify him from returning. [Details as in other letters.] Believes
it to be a device, either to set Hollock by the ears with Lord
Buckhurst and himself, or else to work them some mischief with
the people. But finds that Hollock has used such speeches
as were delivered by Villiers, and persons are produced who offer
to avouch the same.
Lord Buckhurst has made stay of propounding the peace to
the States-General, not only in respect of the difficulties like to
ensue but also because of Sir Fras. Drake's exploit upon the
Spanish navy which may cause that king to alter his humour of
peace to a resolution of revenge. Believes however that the
States and principal persons will never accept a peace, and that
Holland and Zeeland would rather abandon their neighbours
and make their defence apart ; who indeed have to bear the burden
of the defence of all the provinces.—The Hague, 3 June, 1587. (fn. 2)
Copy. 3¾ pp. [Ibid. XCI., p. 108.]
THOMAS WILKES to WALSINGHAM.
Entreating his honour's favour and countenance for his brother-in-law,
Mr. Lewys, "a young man of very good hope in his
profession and now lately stepped to the bar."—The Hague, 3
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XV. f. 15.]
GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
My last was sent by Mr. Aty, and I should not have been
silent so long had I not known that my lord ambassador and
others write very largely.
The affairs of this country continue much after one stay, all
the people longing for the return of his Excellency "or some other
of such note and so authorized as the better government of the
declining state of this country requires ; without which, though
they were never so able and provided of means and men, all the
proceedings will grow to nothing and waste time and money."
For the course entered into since the loss of Deventer by the
governors and States of the particular provinces is such as without
difficulty will not be altered, "every one of them ruling to his own
The enemy hath eased his men in garrisons a long while, and
having now gotten victuals, will undoubtedly go into the field,
and as this side cannot make head against him without some
personage to command over all, "what will ensue may be easily
judged." It is credibly supposed that no one will command over
the other, but each in his own province, which is the more dangerous
as the enemy, "overpassing them in strength of men, both
in number and experience, will drive them to extremities.
"Moreover, the divers questions that grow between or in the
provinces, without the means of a chief or governor general . . .
will grow more daily, not without apparent peril of a division."
If this summer pass without anything done in field, the like opportunity
will not soon return.
The rutters and landsknechts, joined to the forces out of these
garrisons may make a camp of 14,000 men, but will serve to small
purpose without a general commander, and a purse so well filled
that matters may be dealt in roundly, "which I doubt these
countries are not able of themselves to furnish ; for the enemies'
encroaching doth diminish their incomes, and the nearer the wars
fall out to the passages of the rivers, the more is the danger for
merchants, and so the traffic of force must decay ; which already
is brought to that pass as causeth the chiefest merchants to draw
their doings hence into other countries, and more will follow
daily, especially if her Majesty embrace not the cause further,
and return his Excellency or some other personage presently."
The people long to know her resolution, for they "grow weary
of the long wars, by reason of the heavy contributions and extreme
prices all things are at ; the calamities they see and hear among
the poor, both here and on the other side, their late friends and
now their forced enemies, the evil payments of soldiers and lastly,
the small likelihood of amendment ; besides the infinite number
of miseries that follow civil war, whereof a short end might be
made with a strong force in camp ; being certain that if the enemy
were once put to the retreat and forced to abandon the field, [he]
should not be able to keep long in the towns, but a revolt and
surrender would follow presently."
My lord Buckhurst endeavours by all means to do good offices
for the cause, but I leave his proceedings to his own and others'
Sir John Norris is here, not able to continue in the field for want
of money, munitions and victuals. Count Hohenlo is at Gertrudenbergh,
and hath made a road in Brabant to force the villagers
there to bring in their weekly contributions, which being performed,
he will come hither. Counts Maurice and Mœurs are
also here, the latter urging the States to dispatch him, "that the
money may be ready to be sent for the Rutters.
Schenck continueth in his government of the high quarter of
Gelderland and 'Barck,' but cannot do any great matter, the
enemy being so strong about Wesell and in those parts, and he
and his in some sort discontented for want of payment. Count
Willem remaineth in Friesland, where the enemy doth attempt
nothing, so as they are quiet on both sides. The most wars are
about Sluys and Ostend, whence I am sure your honour is certified
of all things."—The Hague, 3 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. 3¼ pp. [Holland XV. f. 17.]
SIR JOHN NORREYS to WALSINGHAM.
By your last letter, it appears it has been reported to my lord
of Leicester that I seek to make him odious to the soldiers by
imputing to his device the payment by the poll. I pray you be
assured "that I have used all possible means to induce the
captains not to oppose themselves to that manner of payment,
having myself been content that my companies should be the
first paid after that sort ; though it were a strange course that
being trusted with the commanding of her Majesty's forces, I
should not be trusted with the paying of my own companies.
But those reports are so grateful to his lordship that it is no
wonder if many such be carried him. The best is, such tales
can no more irritate my lord's anger against me than it is already,
for since his lordship affirmeth that I am a fool, a coward and a
hinderer of all the services, I know not what worse he can be provoked
to ; of all which, at my return, I hope to give your honour
"For the estate of the wars, the Prince assembleth two armies
the one in Flanders, the other by Wesell. With that in Flanders
it is thought he will first block the Sluys and then besiege Ostend.
The other threateneth Arnhem and those other towns of Guelderland.
Ostend is furnished both with men, munition and victuals,
so that it is like to abide his fury a good time, and may be succoured
by water, which is the way we must trust to, for I fear by
land there will nobody be hasty to levy the siege. His Flemish
army is thought to be already 6000 footmen and ten cornets of
horse, attending the bands of 'ordinance' of Artoys and Henault,
which may be ten cornets more. They bruit themselves far
stronger, but about this number we esteem them.
"About Wesell they are 18 cornets of horse, but those very
weak, and 46 ensigns of footmen, which do not amount to 4000
men. It is high time that my lord do give order for provision
to refit these forces lest some disgrace do happen before it be
"Our Council do attend the coming of the Count Holloc to
make an estate of their forces and to advise where to assemble
them. . . ."
Recommends Captain Allen, the bearer.—The Hague, 3 June,
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XV. f. 19.]
SIR WILLIAM BORLAS to WALSINGHAM.
"The enemy is departed from 'Hostend' the second of June,
leaving behind him all his gabions. He made a show that he
would set down his camp before the town three days together,
but now he is come before the 'Sluase' meaning to besiege it,
for this morning he is entered into the Isle of Cassand with most
of his forces and doth mean presently to block up the haven ;
and that done it is not possible to succour the town any way,
but only to put a 'harmy' into the islands. He is shut up in
such sort that if we had any power to put into the field, he is
never able to come out of that place where he is. He hath thirty
battering pieces and doth mean to do all that he will do with
great speed. We have sent in victuals and munition good store
to defend the place ; also this night there goeth in four companies
that come from Bergen, which are Vere, Udall, Hart and Baskerville
(Basskefealld). They shall have much ado to get in, for
that the enemy lyeth so upon the haven. I assure your honour
he was never at such a place to break his neck at as he is now,
if there may be any aid in time, and that his Excellency were
come. . . . If he come not, all will be worse than ever it was.
It is wonder to see how forward the people of this town be in
sending aid to the Sluese. I pray God it may be succoured in
time."—Flushing, 3 June, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Very eccentric spelling.
[Ibid. XV. f. 21.]
THE PRIVY COUNCIL to SIR JOHN CONWAY, Governor of Ostend. (fn. 3)
Assuring him of her Majesty's "good acceptation" of the constant
resolution, courage, good judgment and discretion which
he shows in acquitting himself of his charge, wherein she doubts
not but that he will persevere, so that by his means the garrison
being the better encouraged and directed, the town may be
preserved against the attempts of the enemy. Albeit his wants
ought to be supplied by the States, yet in respect of his deserts
and her care for his safety, her Majesty is contented to be at the
charge herself, wherein order is taken accordingly, and he may
also hope for such a thankful regard of his services as may be to
his satisfaction.—Greenwich, 3 June, 1587. Seven signatures.
Copy, among the Conway papers. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 24.]
ROBERT PETRE to BURGHLEY.
Stating that of the 2000l. lately remaining of the warrant for
the Low Countries, there is paid to the four captains appointed
by Sir Roger Williams the sum of 900l. [details of expenditure],
and so there remaineth 1100l.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 25.]
THE QUEEN to LORD BUCKHURST.
Having perused your letters, dilating what you have done
touching the matter of peace, as also touching your intent for
your further proceedings, "we find it very strange, considering
the difficulties that you yourself have set down likely to arise in
the further proceeding therein, especially in diverting the people's
hearts from yielding necessary contributions for the maintenance
of the wars and setting an army into the field, the only mean and
way to work such a peace as might be accompanied with good and
advantageous conditions, that you should resolve of any further
proceeding therein before you had first acquainted us with the
said difficulties, especially considering that our direction was
chiefly given unto you to have sought to frame the minds of the
people there to content themselves with the toleration in our
letters mentioned, and deal for such purpose with men of judgment
and best affected to the state of those countries, how they
have been inclined to a peace." And although we had given you
ample direction to proceed to a public dealing, yet your own
discretion (seeing the difficulties) should have led you to wait
until you had acquainted us with these difficulties and received
our directions. Therefore our express commandment is (if you
have not already propounded this matter to the general assembly
of the States, as it appears you were determined to do) that you
forbear your further dealing therein, either with the general
assembly or the towns, until you know our further pleasure.
Postscript, said to be written (in the letter as sent) by the Queen
with her own hand :—"Oh weigh deeplier this matter than with
so shallow a judgment to imperil (fn. 4) the cause, impair my
honour, and shame yourself. Use your wit, that once was supposed
better than to lose a bargain for the handling." (fn. 5)
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endorsed with date. 2¼ pp.
[Ibid. XV. f. 26.]
CAPTAIN HARRY ASTELL to WALSINGHAM.
My duty emboldens me to signify to you the state of this afflicted
country. The Prince of Parma himself in person before 'Slose'
has ten thousand horse and foot as my lord governor is advertised,
part being on one side of the river or haven and part on the other.
My lord seeks by all means possible to understand certainly how
his camp is quartered, but if my lord of Leicester's coming is
hastened, with convenient force, "it is greatly to be presumed,
with good directions and leaders, there may a noble service be
done upon the enemy." His lordship has also taken great care
"to give all supplement of men, victuals and munition, so far
as his credit can reach unto, wanting the government of the
island." The place is of great importance to be kept, both for
England and for this town and country and as your honour hath
had a chief care of this service, "so now to hasten my lord's
coming with forces as the cause and time requireth, and God
blessing the action, there is great hope of most honourable and
good success.—Flushing, 4 June, 1587.
Postscript. On Saturday, the 3rd the boats and two men of
war which my lord governor sent to 'Sluose' with victuals, took
18 of the enemy's boats or scuts brought to stop up the haven,
"but these men of war with their artillery beat the musketeers
from their scuts and drove them back to Blankenburg from
whence they were sent."
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XV. f. 28.]
"The Lord Wyllowbye's requests concerning his Colonelship."
That his commission may be as large and ample as that to Sir
John Norreys. Margin. "Sir John Norrice's commission to be
That all pays and entertainments which Sir John had or ought
to have had may be allowed to himself, whose expences will be
greater, "for that they will expect more from one of my coat."
Margin. "Thought reasonable."
That he may have a regiment of English foot, a private band
of foot and a company of 200 lances, all in her Majesty's pay and
of like number as Sir John had, for any abridgement thereof will
abridge his reputation, "the world measuring and regarding
much those outward favours . . . and lightly taking occasion to
condemn where they find any small declining of such testimonies."
That he may have allowance for a chaplain, chief secretary,
physician and surgeon.
That he may continue his government of Berghen-op-zoom,
as the Count of Hohenlohe does that of Gertrudenberghen, and Sir
William Russell (being Lieut. General of the cavalry) his of
That he may have letters of credit to the States for full pay and
contentment, as well for the entertainment of his government as
of his company of horse. Also an order for restitution of all such
rights and duties as appertain to his government and have been
or shall be "received by any which used or usurped the government
there ; the rather because it will be a good precedent of
Unsigned. ¾ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 30.]
Act of the States General upon the state and number of the
troops.—15 June, 1587. (fn. 6)
Fr. 1 p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 229.]
Act of the States General for setting up a camp and appointing
the superior officers.—15 June, 1587. (fn. 7)
In the margin. As the proposition is not addressed to the
ambassador he is not called upon to make any reply. If asked
his opinion he will say he has no authority from her Majesty to
treat of the matter and leave it to their discretion to do what
they think best for the country, provided they do nothing in
contravention of the treaty or to the prejudice of his Excellency's
Fr. ¾ p. [S.P. For. Archives XC., p. 230.]
The same without the marginal note.
Dutch. 1¼ pp. [Holland XV. f. 43.]
ELIZABETH of NASSAU to LEICESTER.
"Monsieur, sen retournant monsieur lembassadeur vers su
majeste, je nay voullu faillir mon debvoir de vous supplier
tres humblement par ceste, me continuer en lhonneur de vos
bonnes graces, et me vouloir tenir, comme il vous a pleu le me
promestre pour vostre bien humble fille et filleule, qui desire bien
destre ung jour si heureuse de vous pouvoir rendre bien humble
et agrable service. Toutes mes seurs et moy nous essayrons
dapprendre toutes choses qui nous pourrons faire parvenir a ce
bon heur, et que par vostre moyen il plaise a sa majeste nous
honorer de sa bien veuillance. Nous prions dieu tous les jours
de conserver sa majeste en toute prosperite, et de nous tenir
toutes du nombre de ses tres humbles et tres obeisantes servantes. . ."
—Flexigne, 15 June.
Holograph. Add. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 31.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
The enclosed from Sir Roger Williams, shows the present state
of the town of Sluise, which being of such importance for this
country and also "of greater danger for all passages out of
England than either Dunkirk or any other town, ought with all
speed to be succoured and preserved. Captain Pallende hath
done good service in conducting the soldiers and placing one of
her Majesty's pinnaces within the haven, where the enemy,
before their coming, took certain of our small boats, and the same
day took a little sconce near the town, where they have placed
three hundred soldiers and some artillery. Mr. Blount, so soon
as he arrived and heard of the danger of Sluise, went presently
thither, where he shall find very valiant gentlemen of our nation.
The States will not yet be persuaded to do anything for their
succour, so that except her Majesty do send present supply, the
town can hardly endure." I pray you either hasten my lord of
Leicester's coming, or procure some present supply of soldiers,
to enable us so to annoy the enemy as would draw him from Sluis
to defend his own ; or at least keep the town against them.—
Vlisching, 5 June, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 33.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
Since writing my last, the enemy has removed his forces from
Ostend to Sluise, where he is with ten thousand horse and foot,
and great store of artillery. The town was in great distress for
men, munition and victuals, and asked the States for them a
good space before these troubles fell out. Since the enemy's
coming I have used all earnest entreaty "and was at the first
repulsed with plain denial, and could hardly obtain promise to
aid them, which was not performed." I have given the best aid
I could, upon my own credit, and have sent 500 men thither from
Bergen opt Zoom. Certain men of war of this town, which lay
in the haven of Sluise, on Saturday last took eighteen small scutes
and bridge boats, sent (to the number of thirty) to stop the haven,
and "defended by musketeers in trenches, which were beaten by
artillery out of the ships." If my lord of Leicester were here,
there were great hope to annoy the enemy with very good success.
Or if I might have a supply of a thousand men, I am promised by
men of good judgment and loyalty to effectuate the service, to
the amazement of the enemy and relief of our friends.—Vlischinge,
5 June, 1587.
Postscript, in his own hand. Praying him to continue his favour
to the bearer.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 35.]
Payments made, by virtue of a Privy Seal, for 4000l., to twentytwo
captains, named. Most of them receive 180l. ; but three of
them, having 200 men, are given 230l.
½ sheet. [Ibid. XV. f. 37.]