WALSINGHAM to SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL.
Desiring him to deliver to the bearers, Capt. Goring and Capt.
Sampson, appointed to have charge of two companies now sent
over to be put into Bergen-op-Zoom, the proportion of armour
and shot allotted for them.—Greenwich, 11 June, 1587.
Postscript. Letters have been sent, desiring Sir Thos. Shurley
to make weekly lendings to the companies sent over. If he be
absent from Middelburg, order may be taken with his deputy
to pay the same.
Minute. Endd. ½ p. [Holland XV. f. 82.]
WALSINGHAM to COLONEL MORGAN.
The bearers, Captains Sampson and Goring, have charge of
the three hundred men, in addition to the bands already sent
over by Captains Barton and Pewe, to remain in garrison [at
Bergen] in lieu of the four companies sent to Ostend and Sluys.
Desires him therefore to receive them and encloses letter to
Sir William Russell for the furnishing of them with armour, and
to Lord Buckhurst to give order to Sir Thomas Shurley, the
Treasurer, to allow the like weekly imprests to them as to the
other bands.—Greenwich, 11 June, 1587.
Minute. ¾ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 75.]
THOMAS JAMES to WALSINGHAM.
On the last of May, the enemy came before Ostend, with the
Prince in person, but on June 2, marched towards the Sluce,
where they are set down. Their camp is reported to be sixteen
thousand, but a Spanish lieutenant, four soldiers of 'Dixmewe'
and a post of 'Bridges' say they are ten thousand. "The
Prince is in person ; the Marquess of Renti (Renter) lieut.-General ;
the Marquess del Gasto general of the horse ; Lamot master of the
camp, and Mondragon marshal. There is the Count of Egmont ;
the Prince of Semay [Chimay] with divers other great commanders.
There came to the camp George Marivea, with two companies of
Italians on Thursday last, being the 8 of June. There is 52
companies of natural Spaniards, 7 regiments of Dutch, Walloons
and Italians." The camp is in three parts ; one in the Isle of
Casant, one on the side towards Bridges and one between Ostend
and the Sluce. In Sluce are twelve companies of soldiers,
whereof four are English, under Captains Veare, Udall, Baskerfield
and Harte. Sir Roger Williams arrived here on June 3, who
finding the enemy removed, went to the Sluce, and with great
danger got in. To-night two soldiers are come out with letters
for her Majesty, who say "that there is some want, and that
present relief must come. There be divers villains, both of
Holland, Zeeland and other places doth victual the enemy of all
necessary things." The enemy have taken two men of war
of Flushing, who, as report goes, willingly surrendered ; also
four hoys and a pretty pinnace of Captain Lyttelton's, which
greatly annoys the haven. "They have made a fort at Blakenborough,
wherein they have 2000 soldiers and 30 pieces of battery
which they have in readiness when they have piled up the haven
of the Sluce, for their intent is presently after to besiege us. They
have likewise at the Sluce 48 cannons and culverins, with which
they mean to batter the town presently."—Ostend, 11 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. 1 p., very closely written. [Holland XV. f. 77.]
CAPT. EDMOND BANNASTER to WALSINGHAM.
In my last I told you the enemy was before our town, but
after two days he marched to Sluys, where he is so strongly
fortified that none can get in or out, yet last night there came two
soldiers from thence [information as in James' letter, above].
"It is reported there is 1600, but upon my life there is not above
1000. . . . I humbly desire your honour to help us here with
some honest preacher, for we live more like dogs than Christians."
—Ostend, 11 June, 1587.
Postscript. Prays that his wife may have 30l. to bring her
over, which he will repay.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 79.]
THOMAS RANDOLPH to SIR JOHN CONWAY
Has been entreated by a poor woman, his neighbour, to labour
his honour's lady and Sir Fulke, his brother, to be instruments to
him for the 'demission' of Robert Widho [torn] from service in
Ostend, "for her own comfort and succour of both their own
children, almost pined this dear year." But as neither of the
above are at their houses "here," he presumes to beg his honour
to favour the poor woman, and dismiss the said Robert. [Further
reasons for granting the request.]—Bevington, 11 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 51.]
[WILKES] to COUNT HOHENLOE.
I have had translated Mr. Ortell's letter to your lordship,
informing you of the advertisements received in England from
some here, who wished to frighten his Excellency from returning,
because you and his Excellency of Nassau are so incensed against
him that he could not, unless he were very strong, come without
evident danger to his person. I will not say that his Excellency
has not done wrong to your Lordship, since you say it is so, or
that seeing the rank you hold, you ought not to resent it ; yet
as dissensions between you and him would bring danger to this
state, I think you should forget all that is past, and in future
should so accommodate matters with him that the welfare of
the country should be rather advanced than retarded. I think
you would do well, in your reply to Ortell, to remove the scruples
insinuated, and—according to your previous letters to his
Excellency—to show yourself constant to your first resolution ;
viz. : to prefer the public good of the country to private offences ;
whereby (in my poor opinion) your lordship will do a thing worthy
of yourself.—The Hague, 21 June, 1587, N.S.
Endd. in Wilkes' hand : "Copy of my letter to Count Hohenloe."
Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 81.]
"Resolutions for the Low Countries."
Letters of thanks to Sir William Russell for his diligence in
victualling Sluys ; "and to require him to continue the restraint
of the transporting of victuals to the enemy," her Majesty having
written both to the States and the towns showing her mislike of
A letter to Lord Buckhurst, that their lordships "allow of the
States' offer, and of the conditions by them required," therefore
he is to move them to the execution thereof. Also, that the
former direction for issueing out of the treasure by way of lendings,
is to be continued until the Earl's return, who is presently to
repair to his charge. "That they stay the sending over of the
lieutenants and surgeons, for that there is order taken otherwise."
Add. Endd. with date. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 59.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to the PRIVY COUNCIL.
Acknowledging their letter of the 7th inst. (fn. 1) and stating that he
cannot send the victuals to Sluys as desired, the passage thither
having now been stopped for seven days ; but by good hap, he
had sent corn and other victuals, munition and men into it not
two days before. It is now thought the enemy will remove to
Ostend, as at Sluys they cannot well lay battery and "assault
it by breach" ; and as Ostend is in effect unprovided, he is
sending this store thither.—Flushing, 12 June, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 53.]
WALSINGHAM to BUCKHURST.
Her Majesty wishes him to take order with the Treasurer at
wars to pay each of the four captains—Barton, Bewe [sic],
Sampson and Goring (fn. 2) —now sent to reinforce the garrison of
Bergen-op-Zoom ; such weekly lendings and imprests as those
companies had whose places they are to supply.
Minute. Endd. with date. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 84.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
Your honour will find in the enclosed a very honest and valiant
resolution in those besieged in Sluys, both of our nation and others,
which I received by a soldier who came out of the town. I have
sent another thither whose return I shortly expect. The enemy
is preparing to batter the town, and we can only relieve it by
fresh forces from England. "Opportunity offereth us the safeguard
of a town of great importance, and men of great valour
and good desert, and also the overthrow of the principal strength
of the Spanish army there assembled, which will be undoubtedly
used to our greater damage, if by my lord of Leicester's present
return, it be not resisted. The passage of the haven is stopped,
so that no boats can possibly succour the town," and the espials
employed between us and them run such great hazard that
they must be bountifully rewarded. Such persons must be
used, and their pains must either be recompensed or we shall
not have the benefit of their service. I pray you to procure
me some allowance for such expences, which will otherwise
be greater than my poor ability may spare.—Vlisching, 12 June,
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 86.]
CAPT. FRANCIS LITTELTON to WALSINGHAM.
Although your lordship [sic] wrote to the States and Lord Buckhurst
touching the eleven month's pay due to me and my company,
I "cannot receive any penny," and pray you to write again in
When the enemy withdrew to Sluese, Sir Roger Williams,
determining to go thither, "for want of shipping requested a
man of war of mine, lying in the haven for her Majesty's service,
which was victualled for a month. We appointed with seven
Portingale 'pises' to carry his soldiers, the enemy lying upon
both sides the haven with their battery and shot. They passed
through with no little danger ; coming forth again, they were
constrained to run her on ground, where she stuck fast with
two other hoys, the vice-admiral of Flushing and her fly-boat.
They laid my boat, being next them, on board with seventeen
small boats with oars, rifled her, spoiled some of my men and the
rest swam away. I pray you, who have always been my good
friend, to procure me some recompence, either in money or else
another ship, otherwise I shall be so greatly endamaged, with
other losses sustained by service, that I shall never be able to
recover the same.—Ostend, 12 June, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 88.]
GEORGE ALDRYCHE to WALSINGHAM.
Should have offered himself and his service to be employed at
his honour's direction, had he not willed him not to come over
till sent for. Is a humble suitor for a company, "wherein"
he hopes to discharge his part and will ever be most bound to
his honour.—Ostend, 12 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 90.]
Note of warrants signed by Thos. Wilkes, June 9—12, 1587, for
issuing her Majesty's treasure in the Low Countries—drawn for
Mr. Diggs, the Colonel-General, Mr. Clerke, Captain Bourgh and
himself. Total, 948l. 5s.
½ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 92.]
WALSINGHAM to LORD BUCKHURST.
"I am commanded to send these letters unto you with all
speed, her Majesty being very much offended that the enemies
should be furnished, by licence of the States with so much victual
as has been sent to them, without which it is thought, he could
have attempted nothing against Sluys or any other town. I
doubt not but that your lordship will do your uttermost to have
the restraint thereof duly executed.
Her highness was very glad to find by your late letters that
you had made stay in propounding the treaty of peace ; finding,
by the difficulties you yourself set down, that it might have bred
some dangerous alteration there. On the Earl's arrival, it may
perhaps be performed "with less dislike of the generality" than now.
By the enclosed copy of the King of Denmark's letter (fn. 3) you
will see how desirous he is to mediate some good accord
between her Majesty and Spain. But although he names
Embden as a convenient place of meeting, it is so far both from
her Majesty and the Duke of Parma that the commissioners on
either side could not receive direction without such delay as
would draw the treaty to greater length than were convenient.
[From this point the draft is in Walsingham's own hand.]
"Mr. Controller is directed to acquaint Andrea de Loo with
the contents of the King's letter, and to learn how he findeth
the Duke disposed to proceed in the said treaty with the assistance
of the said King's commissioners. And upon knowledge of his
inclination to go forward, her Majesty is minded to send Mr.
Daniel Rogers, now one of the clerks of her Council, to the said
King, to acquaint him both with the time and place of meeting."
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date. 3 pp.
[Holland XV. f. 96.]
WILLIAM BORLAS to WALSINGHAM.
I send the "portrait" of the Sluese and adjoining islands, that
you may see how the Prince's camp lies about the town, and where
he has made the fort that prevents succour from sea. By
land it is not possible to relieve them without raising his camp,
which might easily be done if we could but put ten thousand men
in the field ; he lying with the river between his two camps, so
that the one cannot succour the other save by small boats. As
yet he has placed no battery, but we hear that he means to batter
the fort and castle at one time. He has great want of victuals,
and had never been able to come before that place if the States
had not given licence to carry daily great store out of Holland and
these parts ; "and yet, since the enemy is afore the town, they
have not letted to send him victuals and all other necessaries.
But my lord governor here, seeing the ill dealing of them, and also
the crying of the common people, hath taken divers of their
ships laden and brought them in here. . . . They do all in
the 'plackett' of his Excellency, and in his name." The victuals
sent from England are to go to Ostend, as they cannot be put
into Sluese. There is great want of soldiers at Ostend. Some
companies should be sent, for some think that the enemy means
to besiege it as soon as he has blocked up the Sleuse.—Flushing,
13 June, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 61.]
COL. THOS. MORGAN to WALSINGHAM.
"I have accomplished the effects of your letters for the assistance
of Ostend and Sluse, whereby the garrison of this town
were greatly impaired, for that Count Morrys had, by the procurement
of Count 'Hoenlo' taken from us the three cornets of
the 'Baxxis' and la Sale ; and the governor of Vlyshing had
written for one company of footmen besides, under the conduct of
Captain Veare . . . which is eight companies in all, and for those,
we have received two companies of proper young men, led by
Captain Pewe and Captain Barton, but unfurnished with
arms. The inhabitants here cry out extremely for the coming
of his Excellency . . . We travail hard about the fortifying of this
town, and have done much, but it standeth so near the enemy
that until it be fully fortified, it must be guarded with a very
great garrison. Much ado I have with the soldiers about John
de Castylya, and more than ever I had all the days of my life
to appease them, which I hope your honour will consider . . .
Some occasions of service have been presented unto me of late,
the which, for want of assistance, I cannot proceed in . . . —
Bergen up Zome, 13 June, 1587.
Postscript. I pray you remember my cousin, Morgan Woollphe
when the new supplies come over. "I take him to be as
sufficient a man of service as any gent of our country."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 63.]
GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
Once more prays for some means towards his maintenance.
Doubts not but that Lord Buckhurst will further his suit on his
return, but his present estate is so bare that he cannot maintain
his ordinary charges and is forced to borrow of his friends for
want of what is due to him for his wages. Almost all officers
who serve the States are in like predicament. If he had what
they owe him, he would wish he were discharged of their service,
though, for the experience he gets there he would be willing to
continue, in hope hereafter to do his prince and country better
service. Was earnest with Lord Buckhurst to let him go over,
but his lordship would not consent, requiring him to have patience
awhile and that he himself would write in his behalf. Meanwhile,
if he could get but forty or fifty pounds, it would help him in his
present need.—The Hague, 13 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XV. f. 65.]
LORD BUCKHURST to BURGHLEY.
"To perform her Majesty's will, I did enter into a new expostulation
with the States, in defending my lord's letter to them and
in accusing theirs to him ; whereunto they have exhibited answers
of justification which I have sent to her Majesty. Thus the
wound that was so well stayed and settled is fallen into a fresh
bleeding. Nevertheless, I doubt not but that his lordship at
his return will make good all again, and leave private quarrels
and attend the public good."
I doubt your opinion there of the scarcities of the enemy
will hurt this cause, for it is certain the Duke has made wonderful
provision for his men of war, 'unstoring' many of the towns so
much of their own provision that he is provided till harvest.
He hath about Sluis 8000 ; in Little Brabant 7000, and about
Wesel 5000. Count 'Moris' prepares for the field, to divert
him from Sluys. I do not yet hear that the Duke has laid any
battery there. The Haag, 13 June, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 67.]
"Extracts out of sundry letters written out of the Low
Countries, June, 1587" ; apostiled by Walsingham with notes of
Mr. Henry Brook, 26 April.
"Reporteth the entertainment given to the Lord of Buckhurst
at his arrival to the several towns. The people greatly devoted
and well affected to her Majesty. Desireth me to remember
Margin. "Thanks for his letter. Excuses in not answering
of him. For his suit nothing done, both in respect of the time
and that nobody did solicit me in the same."
Captain Anthony Wingfield, 18 April.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "Thanks for his advertisements. To pray continuance
of the same. That touching any abuse committed
either by the muster-master or any other officer to be reformed
by the Earl of Leicester, who presently departeth hence for those
Sir Thomas Shurley, 2 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I hope the presence of the Earl of Leicester,
who departeth hence presently, will avoid the confusion. Sorry
for the dislike between the Earl and the lord of Buckhurst,
that I wish by his travail might be removed. To advise him to
hasten the account, for that her Majesty is greatly offended
that she cannot understand how her treasure is employed."
Capt. Henry Astell, 4 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "Thanks for his letters. That Sir W. R[ussell's]
travail for the relief of Sluce is greatly commended by all sorts.
That I hope upon the Earl's arrival there will be some present
Monsieur Hottoman, 5 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I will procure her Majesty's letter to the
Elector so soon as I may. That I hope the Earl's return will
yield as much comfort to the well-affected patriots as the doubt
of his not return, grief."
The Elector of Cologne, 7 May.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That her Majesty accepteth in good part his
excuse, as he shall shortly understand by her own letters. That
his advice touching the necessity of the Earl's return did greatly
advance the same."
Captain Suderman, 18 June, [N.S.]
"Finds himself hardly dealt with by the States because of his
coming into England. His company had abandoned him if he
had not relieved them with fifty pounds which he obtained by
the Earl of Leicester's means. Prisoners taken by certain of
Margin. "That I am sorry to find him so ill-used by the
States. That I doubt not but the Earl at his return will take order
that he shall hereafter be better used ; as one of whom the said
Earl hath a great liking."
Mr. Gilpin, 13 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That his relief is to grow from the Earl. That
her Majesty, as I did by my former letters signify unto him, will
hardly be drawn to increase any salary otherwise than upon the
Colonel Morgan, 13 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That there shall be speedy order taken for the
contentment of the soldiers according to his desire. That the
Earl of Leicester standeth well affected towards him and will do
anything that may be for his good. That the Earl had disposed
of all the charges before I received his letters, for the which I am
sorry, for that I think the man [Morgan Wolf] worthy of good
Captain Bannester, 11 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I will do [what] I may to procure them a
preacher. That I have caused his wife to be furnished of the
Captain Lytleton, 12 June.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I doubt not but that the Earl of Leicester
will take order both for his pay and recompense for his ship."
Sir Wm. Russell, 12 June, to the Lords.
[See letter under date.]
Margin.—"That I hope the Earl of Leicester's return will
stay the practices set on foot there by the two Counts and other
[Sir Wm. Russell] 12 June, to myself.
[See letter under date.]
Margin. "That I trust, upon his arrival, there will be
somewhat done, both for the present relief of Sluse and for the
spoil of the corn in Flanders."
Endd. 4½ pp. [Holland XV. f. 55.]
The confession of Gaspar de Gusman, Spaniard, taken at
Flushing by the Bailly of the town and Capt. William Browne.
Relates how he gave himself up to a ship of war of Flushing on
the 15th June ; his relations with Martin Drogue ; admitted he
was sent to two burghers of Flushing to whom he was to address
himself for all his affairs ; was told it was better to enter openly
than secretly, to avoid all suspicion. He had forgotten the name
of one but the other was Martin Drogue, who was the principal.
He brought Drogue a letter from his Colonel de l'Aquila in answer
to one Drogue sent not long since. The letter was a general
warning to Drogue to take good deliberation in the action he
undertook with some other burghers, and that he should allure
some Englishmen speaking divers languages thereunto, and if
they did not think it feasible that he should not cast away the
king's people in vain. How he found Drogue. Also the burghers
were to direct him to others at Middleburgh. That they should
win other burghers and soldiers to surprise Flushing giving a signal
from some high house for the Spaniards to see. The enterprise
to be attempted with a great company of boats prepared at
Antwerp and other places, to go first to Sas and fight the ships
of war guarding the passage. The two burghers had practised
the enterprise all last winter. A man of the States of Holland
had written not long since to the P. of Parma that if he could win
Bergues he should soon have Holland and Zeeland at his command.
The king has spies in all the great towns who advise him of all
things and letters come from Holland every 14 or 15 days to the
P. of Parma. Says the enemy makes account to have Ostend
by intelligence. He then means to take Axel and lastly Bergues,
all in two months. The P. of Parma sent for 5000 more men from
Spain and levied 3000 Italians besides 6000 reiters, because it
was bruited in the camp that the Conte de Hohenlo had 10,000
and 20,000 should come from England.—Made at Flushing the
23 June 1587. Signed : W. Brown, Paul Knibbe.
Copy. 3 pp. Endd. as above. [Holland XV., f. 98.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
The enemy is still before Sluys, but, we trust, enduring some
want from our restraint of victuals, which, if we thus continue,
will grow more extreme. Moreover, it is to be presumed that
finding the town better provided and defended than he looked
for, he will depart from it before long.
But to make this sure, it may please you to hasten my lord of
Leicester's coming, "that albeit the forces do not come so soon
as he, yet we that are here may be put in some readiness for the
field against the arrival of the rest, and the States won ... to
give further aid to preserve these countries than we can persuade
them to do. I have desired them to restrain the carrying
out of victuals that way . . . and have myself made stay, here
and at Ramekens, of all that hath passed ; which I trust your
honour and the rest of the Council will allow of, considering the
danger of Sluis, and in respect that it is done at the people's
request."—Vlisching, 14 June, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. f. 100.]
WALSINGHAM to LORD BUCKHURST.
I am commanded by her Majesty to tell you how greatly she
mislikes that when Villiers was of late called before the Council
of State, to answer to a matter wherewith he was charged by the
Earl of Leicester, he should have informed your lordship "of a
secret grief remaining in the Court Hollock's mind against the
said Earl, for that the said Count had been persuaded that the
Earl, at the time of his being there, had sought by secret practice
with certain ill instruments to take away his life ; and Villiers,
for his justification making protestation that he had delivered
no such information to your lordship (which he might with good
colour affirm, for that he had not delivered the same to your
lordship's self, but had uttered it to Dr. Clarke, to be by him
discovered to you). That the same being well known to your
lordship, . . . and to Mr. Wilkes, who were present at the time of
Villiers being before the said Council of State, you did not discover
the cunning of his manner of protestation and charge him directly
to answer whether he had not given such advertisement to Dr.
Clarke, but suffered him to pass so slightly a matter which her
Majesty conceiveth to touch her in the person of the said Earl so
deeply in honour." [Unfinished.]
Fair copy. Endd. with date. ¾ p. [Holland XV. f. 102.]
WALSINGHAM to LORD BUCKHURST.
[Rough draft of the preceding and agreeing with it as corrected,
so far as it goes. The draft proceeds as follows.]
"Sorry I am that such like occasions should fall out to wound
and grieve your lordship in your careful and painful service
I send you a copy of the letter to Andrea de Loo, signed by
the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Controller, whereby you will see
how we proceed in the matter of the peace. Her Majesty has
resolved to send over 6000 men, and commission already granted
to certain captains for levying 3000, to be employed "upon the
new increase of 15,000l."
Of the rest, half are to be for filling up the bands, and the other
half to make up the ten companies which the States have offered
to entertain, which shall also be levied with all speed, "for her
Majesty conceiveth that it toucheth her in honour that something
should be done for the relief of Sluce."
The Earl of Leicester hopes to be ready to embark by the 22nd.
I hear of no nobleman to accompany him but Lord North, and
his going is doubtful.
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date. 2 pp.
[Ibid. XV. f. 104.]
CAPTAIN EDMOND BANNASTER to WALSINGHAM.
There have been divers sallies from the Sluse, in one of which
M. La Motte was dangerously shot in the leg. He was brought to
Bridges in a horse-litter on the 15th. An Allemaine, a very great
commander, is slain, and Propercio, an Italian, "one of the best
engineers in the world." We look daily for forces from Holland
and Zeeland with Sir John Noryce. He, Skinck and Count
Hollock have been in Brabant, "and have burned Froin, the long
'stote,' all the pele, the land of Cassell, and have brought
very great booty of horse and cows. Those two untimely
Englishmen, Stanley and Yorke, are at the King's camp."
To-day, 31 ships were brought into Flushing by Holland men
of war;—French, Danes, and Zeelanders, laden with victual
and great store of corn, bound for Newport, Dunkirk and 'Calys,'
with other parts of France. Report says they were sent in by
her Majesty's ships.—Ostend, 17 June, 1587.
Postscript. I pray you help my poor wife over.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 106.]
LORD BUCKHURST to WALSINGHAM.
I willed my man, unless he met my lord of Leicester at the
sea-side, to deliver my letter to you. "It contains the news
of Sluis, which is in harder case than we took it to be, and the
refusal of the States to accept any 'mo' soldiers at their pay.
I have sent her Majesty another letter from di Lo, whereby it
seemeth that now very lately her Majesty hath given him to
understand that she will not insist upon the matter of religion
further than shall be with the King's honour and conscience.
Whereupon di Lo taketh no small hold, and if she keep that course,
all will go to ruin, as I have written to her Majesty. I have also
sent her Majesty two remonstrances given to me by the States ;
the one complaining of the particular assemblies and consultations
of them of Utrecht ; and of certain letters written, as it is given
out, by my lord of Leicester to the magistrates and burgomaster
there, wherein the States seem to be taxed with practices and the
good poor people pitied, which letters being by divers copies
spread abroad, do incite the people much against the States ;
whereof may grow great danger and confusion. The other
remonstrance is against the entertaining of any 'mo' soldiers
at their pay ; and in truth, unless they had better means, it
were much better they had few. The States are in wonderful
fear of the Earl of Leicester (fn. 4) for by the spreading of these letters
they doubt the alienation and tumult of the people upon them ;
and I assure you, as the course is kept, it is greatly to be feared.
The end whereof no man knoweth whereto it will tend, but
like enough to endanger the Earl of Leicester himself, and to bring
all to the enemy. The Earl, by divers letters and bruits of his
followers, hath given out to the people that the only cause why her
Majesty hath not better holpen them hath been for that the States
wrote that letter unto him, and sent the copy to her Majesty, and
that if they had not done so her Majesty had done great things,
and our parliament had also granted the aid of 20,000. This
is a most dangerous course, and maketh the States greatly to fear
the end, for if the Earl come with a mind to revenge, the cause
will come to subversion.
"The eternal God guide all to the best and send me soon home,
which, of all love and friendship that you bear me, I beseech
you infinitely to procure speedily for me."—18 June, 1587.
Holograph, the words in italics deciphered. Add. Endd. 1½ pp.
[Holland XV. f. 108.]
LORD BUCKHURST to WALSINGHAM.
Referring him for "occurents" to his letter to Leicester and
himself jointly ; also to some things sent to her Majesty, with
which she will no doubt acquaint him. Has little leisure, and
the messenger is going, so cannot write much.—The Hague, 18
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 56.]
SIR JOHN NORREYS to WALSINGHAM.
Recommending the bearer, Mr. Lascelles, who having lost his
arm at the assault of the fort before Zutphen, is returning to
England, and "deserveth to be considered of, as well for his
forwardness in the service as for his great loss."—Utrecht, 18
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XV.
DANIEL DE BURCHGRAVE to WALSINGHAM.
The speedy return of his Excellency must be my excuse if
I importune you for my private affairs. I send the draft of a
letter which her Majesty might cause to be written to the States-General
and Council of State, your honour drawing it up according
to the style of this court. If you would put her Majesty in mind
of me, that I might feel my service was agreeable to her, you would
bind me still more to her.
I am very glad to hear that M. Belye [Beale] your brother-in-
law accompanies his Excellency to the Low Countries, and pray
you to recommend me to him.
Item. To advise me what correspondence to hold with his
Excellency, and if it may please your honour that to-morrow I
may take leave.—London, 18 June, 1587.
Postscript. The Sieur Caron arrived last night from Flanders
and gives good hope of the Sluys. He is going this morning to
salute your honour.
Add. Endd. 1 p. Fr. [Ibid. XV. f. 114.]
W. MORGAN WOLLPHE to WALSINGHAM.
Wrote last in May from their quarters in Brabant, by his
cousin, Mathew Morgan's father's man.
The making of the new bulwark at Bergen is diligently followed,
and the ditch brought to that perfection that there is good depth
of water in it all round the town. They have altered the going
of the tide to the mill-pool from the landwards to the seawards
and filled up the water passage with earth in conformity to the
rampart ; and made a rampart at 'Bagyne' port where there
was none before, and a sluice within it.
Captain Ambrose's soldiers have made an incursion into
Flanders, and near to Oudenarde came to Etichhoven (Etychove) a
house of the Count de Lalaign (la Laine) took prisoner the
Countess and carried her away with them, but are not yet come
to Bergen. God send them safe passage in their return.
The new officers made by the States are ready to march on
Tuesday with their army into the field, for this day our cavalry
went to them where they make their rendezvous.
To-day letters of certain officers of the Duke of Parma's camp
to the Governor of "Bredane" were intercepted by the folks of
Bergen "comforting the said governor and them of Sartingam
Boske [Bois-le-Duc] to be of good courage when they should
be besieged in any of both places by this army of Count Morys ;
and how his Altesse had intelligence of the same in every respect
of force and determination ; and had taken order with 'Hawtypen'
to be in a readiness with three regiments of horsemen of old
soldiers and fifteen cornets of horse and twenty-two companies
of musqueteers newly levied in 'Brabande' and Liege, to fight
with them presently ; which in the said letters they seemed to
assure themselves to have the cutting of all their throats."
We thought here that our forces should have made their
rendezvous at 'Beerevlyett' in Flanders, and cut the dyke at
'Phylypyne,' entrenching certain of their forces there, to take
the point of Gaternesse, entrench another part of their forces
there, and go about with the rest of the foot to the mouth of
Sluse, making incursions on the Duke's camp those three ways,
"and the three holds of Ostend, Axel and Ternuse to sally upon
them in like sort, the which to answer in so many ways should
breed an over-great difficulty for his Altesse, for that that is no
place of service for horse, but all upon the dykes, whereby our
number should be of ability sufficeable to answer his great army,
by means that the country should by this stratagem of trenching
the sea wall at Phylypyne be drowned to the walls of Sluse of
that deepness that I think we might have passage for boats
of good burden over the land unto the town" ; and even if it
did not do this, would make the country passable only upon the
dykes, where our forces might intercept all munition going to
the camp, "whereby, unless they be chamelions, they could not
The commons continually cry for his Excellency, being weary
with the government of the States, and so linked to him for his
justice and valour that they have no other speech but prayers
for his speedy return.
When I and my brother Mons. Epooyett were with the Prince of
Orange after our return from France, we made plats or models of
the situation and fortifications of such towns as lay in his way
where he bent his forces, and I have never seen him confer for
the relief of any town without the "platform" of the same,
wherefore I have sent this [of Sluys] to your honour as a key for
the understanding any advertisements sent to you. For I believe,
albeit the enemy is so strong, so long as they of the town have
victuals and munitions they will be able to hold out till relieved
a month hence or more ; for though it be unfortified artificially,
it is naturally strong by situation. The objections are, that it is
not fortified, the ramparts must be armed everywhere, whereas
otherwise, the bulwarks only would suffice. This is true, but
should they make three 'saultable' breaches (they cannot make
more) and thereupon a general assault, there are in the town
sufficient captains of discretion, "all gentlemen of proper judgment"
to defend it, and I have no doubt of their doing so for a
good while, if they have men and munition sufficient. They may
batter the castle within forty yards of the wall from the firm
ground joined to the ditch, as it is but brick, and they of the town
may fortify themselves anew upon the waste ground by the same,
if they keep themselves from being overtopped by mounts or
engines without by the enemy (at the letter G. in the platform) ;
again, they may batter the forts without, within sixty yards of
the same, but well spare the entering of them, and when they
have entered them, they dare not dwell in them ; and the river
is betwixt them and the town ; which is 200 feet over, and the
other fort to defend that too.
"If his Excellency were comed over with some officers of
judgment and reasonable forces withal, what effects he could
work ... I will not write, because they are so great, but sure I
am, the viceroy should work no great wonders this summer, as
large as he is in his offers everywhere for money."—Bergen up
Zome, 19 June.
Add. Endd. "Touching Bergen" [sic]. 2½ pp. very closely
written. [Holland XV. f. 115.]
G. PROUNINCQ to WALSINGHAM.
Grateful reply to his last letters brought by Du Fay. At
present there is nothing new ; those of l'Escluse carrying themselves
as brave men, and all the commune expecting the result
they have so long hoped for.—Utrecht, 19 June, 1587.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 117.]
THE ESCOUTETTE, BURGOMASTERS ETC. OF UTRECHT to WALSINGHAM.
Assuring him of their appreciation of his kindness and care in
regard to their affairs, by forwarding the return of his Excellency
and the augmentation of their succours. Their just quarrel has,
alas, cost his honour very dear, in the loss of so gentle and valorous
a knight, a true paragon of virtue, as his son-in-law Monsieur
Sidney. He and all his house have gained immortal renown,
seeing that the valiant death of so rare a gentleman has not
caused them to draw-back, but, if possible, the further to advance
their cause ; for which they very humbly thank him, and assure
him that he has indissolubly bound to himself the city and
province of Utrecht, and that, if they ever had the opportunity,
they will show by deeds how well his benevolence has been
employed. They hope from this time forward, his Excellency
will have all good correspondence with them, namely in regard
to her Majesty's good pleasure, which they will reciprocate by
their very faithful obedience.—Utrecht, 19 June, 1587. Signed,
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland XV. f. 61.]
A DUTCH LETTER from THE HAGUE.
In the absence of the Advocate, who is at Amsterdam to
further the journey of the Commissioners sent by the States
General to Bremen, with the money for the German troops,
I advertise you that the Earls of Nassau and Hohenloe are gone to
Gertruydenberg, following the resolution of the States General,
to proceed to the burning, spoiling etc. of places in Brabant
lying under the power of the enemy, whereon those countries
greatly insist, as the exploit will much further the contributions
which must be levied. Four or five commissioners are also sent,
"the rather because those of Dordrecht had, upon that condition,
yielded to a greater contribution" ; also it is thought no better
means may be found to divert the enemy from Sluys.
"The house of my Lady of Loon is already recovered and about
forty of the enemy found in the same slain. Is minded [sic]
in all such places elsewhere to do the like, whereby the peasants
have been kept in arms, good store of ordnance . . . carried in the
field with other ammunition and victuals, in sort that we hope
some good issue of this exploit.—The Hague, 29 June, 1587.
Translation. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XV. f. 123.]
Instructions for THE EARL OF LEICESTER.
Finding that the late confusions in the United Provinces,
especially in martial causes has proceeded chiefly for lack of
a head with authority to provide and dispose of forces, treasure,
munition and victuals sufficient for maintenance of the public
cause, and also to restrain the great abuses committed by sending
victuals to the enemy : her Majesty thinks meet that he should
move the States at his first conference to yield to him such
sufficient power and authority that the said confusion may be
avoided and the former errors in government reformed.
And in case they refuse, he is to let them understand that he is
directed by her Majesty to communicate the same to the several
provinces, and towns, etc., letting them know that the said States
appear to have more regard to their particular profit and ambition
than to the public good, and desiring the said provinces etc. to
take such remedy in that behalf as shall seem good to them ;
letting them know also that if both they and the said States
refuse to furnish him with the said authority, her Majesty's
meaning is to withdraw the support hitherto yielded to them,
"seeing plainly that the continuance of the confused government
now reigning amongst them cannot but work their ruin."
He shall principally insist on two points :—
1. To have full authority for distribution of the treasure
committed unto him, letting them understand, however, that he
will not commit the custody thereof to any stranger or subject
of hers, but to one of that country chosen by the advice of the
States General ; also that it shall only be issued with the privity
of the Council of State.
2. That he be authorised to make placards and ordinances
with the advice of the said Council to punish by death, confiscation
or otherwise such as be justly charged with carrying of victuals
to the enemy after the publication of the said placards.
And in case the said States shall consent to yield him the like
absolute authority as they gave him at his first entry into his
charge "the last year" then she is content for him to accept
thereof, so as it be but provisional during the time she continues
Touching the 30,000l. given to his charge "for satisfying of
the request of the States towards their extraordinary charges
of their war," to be employed in putting an army into the field,
he is to keep one half at least for payment of the 5000 foot and
1000 horse maintained by herself ; she seeing no cause (if the
States yield the 100,000l. by them promised, and as the forces
levied to make head to the enemy are only to be three or four
months in the field) but that the 15,000l. offered to the States by
Lord Buckhurst may suffice.
He is, according to the States' offer, to procure their bonds
for repayment of such treasure as he thinks fit to be expended
for the levying and maintenance of the said forces, and (considering
how burdensome these wars are, both to her own subjects
and the inhabitants of those countries) shall take some good
opportunity to incline the hearts of those people to hearken to a
peace, "as a thing agreeable with Christianity and beneficial
for themselves," considering that their own contributions and
her support will not suffice to maintain sufficient forces for defence
of their towns and to make head against the enemy in the field.
And for the better inclining of them to a peace, he shall first
do his best endeavour "to win by some private kind of dealing
such as have best credit with the common sort of people to like
and embrace peace, and to be content to be used as instruments
to incline the said peoples' hearts to desire the same." And
also urge the States to show how they could of themselves
continue the wars against so potent an enemy as Spain ; the
people already growing weary of the wars "in respect of the heavy
contribution laid upon them, which it is to be doubted they will
not be able long to endure in regard of interruption of traffic ;
and therefore, before they be reduced to such a weak state as the
enemy . . . shall be thereby encouraged to stand upon more hard
terms, it shall be wisdom for them—the Duke of Parma offering
now as he doth in the King's name, to grow to some good accord
with him upon reasonable conditions—to give ear thereunto,"
and to make choice of some commissioners to join with such as
she herself shall appoint for that purpose.
And in case they will not assent to such treaty, he is to tell
them that "seeing them so wilfully bent to overthrow themselves,"
she will be forced, being loth to oppress her subjects
with continuance of the contributions needed for the war, to
withdraw her support and grow to an accord with Spain, who has
made her many honourable offers, there being nothing left that
may not be easily accorded betwixt her and him, "but only that
shall concern their safety."
And as it is to be doubted that the Counts Maurice and Hollock
may try to impeach the treaty for private reasons, he is to assure
them both, by some upon whose advice they seem most to
depend, "that there shall be such care taken for the providing
for them, as they shall have no just cause to dislike thereof, but
to rest satisfied withal."
Draft, corrected by Burghley. Endd. with date. 8 pp. [Holland
XV. f. 124.]
THE QUEEN to the COUNCIL OF STATE.
Persisting in the same good will which at first induced us to
embrace the defence of those countries, at the urgent solicitation
of you all, and being touched by the same compassion for the good
people there to bring about their welfare and repose, we have sent
back our cousin the Earl of Leicester to his charge, according to
the request received, although we were almost out of conceit of
so doing, seeing the disorders and confusions which have arisen
since his departure, and the ungrateful traverses of some illaffected
persons there. But our consideration of the innocence
of so good a people, our ancient neighbours and allies, and our
desire for their welfare, joined to the ready good will of our said
cousin to be employed once more in this matter, have been
stronger to uphold us in our affection than the cause given us for
the contrary have been to draw us from it. Now, seeing that
we will not spare our best means, simply for the good of the
country, we expect that on your part, you will have that respect
for our cousin's authority which is due to a chief, and will so
support him that the past may be repaired in regard to the honour
of our said cousin, which we consider as our own. Wherein,
in proportion as we find your loyalty constant, and your deportment
towards him better than in the past (whereof we have good
hope) we shall be encouraged to continue to give you our support
Draft. Endd. with date. 1½ pp. French. [Ibid. XV. f. 128.]