Notes by Walsingham of proceedings with the Lord Buckhurst
and Sir John Norryce on these dates.
The Lord Buckhurst:—
1. "That the articles were weak, whereof Atye privy.
2. "A book to be produced signed by the 1. of Buckhurst, Sir
John Norreys, Dr. Clerke, Wylkes.
3. "The speech or project of Colonel Norrys . . . signed
by the Lord of Buckhurst and Dr. Clerke.
4. "A letter dispersed throughout Holland which moved the
lord of Buckhurst to write his letter to the towns.
5. "The not communicating unto the Earl of Leicester the state
of those countries.
6. "The conference between the Earl of Leicester and the two
councillors, Beale and Killigrew.
"The Lord of Buckhurst hath received no book of such sums
as the States have disbursed . . . unto her Majesty's garrisons,
nor was required by the Auditor to demand the accounts.
"Confessed by his lordship that the Auditor delivered him a
memorial in writing for the same, and that he thereupon moved
the States therein, but could get no other answer but that there
should be a note given in of such sums as had been disbursed for
her Majesty. Besides, the Auditor did call upon the Secretary of
the States and the Treasurer."
Sir John Norryce:—
"How the 5000l. was paid by him to the treasurer. . .
"The 2480l. paid by him to the States' use for certain English
bands serving in their pay.
"That 600l. paid to the Dutch companies in Ostend.
"The allowance for his colonelship besides her Majesty's entertainment
was assented to by the States, as appeareth by an article
Endd. with above dates. 1¼ pp. [Holland XVI. f. 182.]
"A note of things to be remembered for the confirmation of
the treaty and other courses.
"To deal with the States about their standing in certain points
of the contract, for that the measures (?) were not with her
"To deal with them for such sums of money as they stand
charged withal by the Auditors at the last account.
"To have order that stay be made of the allowance to Dygges
during the time that Swynnerton supplied the place. . .
"The captains to be called to an account for such victuals as
they have received of the States, for that they received a full pay
until the 12 of October. [Margin] Wilson, Pryce.
"That her Majesty hath given entertainment for 1000 horse,
and yet there was never 800 horse in the field.
"That the muster-master denying that Colonel Norryce should
be allowed only 250 men, according to the Lord General's list,
did notwithstanding enter him the day of the full pay 300 men
and checked him 50 men. And the day following did only enter
"To write to the Lord General touching the Lord Wyllowbye's
Endd. "A memorial upon conference with the Lord of Buckhurst
and Col. Norryce, 26 July, 1587." 1¼ pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 184.]
LEICESTER to the PRIVY COUNCIL.
I will not trouble your lordships with the declaration of news
which will not any way content you ; namely the giving up of the
town of Scluys, yet cannot pass with silence how valiantly our
men within the town behaved themselves during the siege, who,
all their provision and powder being spent, were driven by extreme
necessity to yield the same ; yet upon such honourable
conditions as may seem strange to you ; for the Spaniards having
gotten into the town both behind and before them, to the number
of two thousand, they in the town being but five or six hundred,
"most manfully stood to the defence thereof . . . until they had
enforced as it were their own requests and conditions, which
their valour is praised of their very enemies." The town was
given up through treachery, as Sir Thos. Sherley, and a messenger
whom I am sending, will tell you. I must entreat you, for the
better defence of Brill, to send some culverins and demiculverins ;
for the ordnance now sent over is to be employed "for any occasion
of service" that shall happen.
Postscript. By the word treachery, I mean "those who did
bear us in hand to do most for the relief thereof, and yet, in the
end, proved most adverse and lewd therein."
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVI. f. 188.]
LEICESTER to the LORD [TREASURER?].
I stayed Sir Thos. Sherley, thinking to send good news of the
relief of Sluce ; "but it hath pleased God otherwise to suffer those
poor men, to their uttermost trial, to be forced to make a composition
. . . as . . . they must have perished all if they had
bidden [i.e. abided] the next assault. The enemy, after he won
the west gate, lodged within few days upon the 'ramper' close
by our men, and one or two assaults came to the sword and yet
repulsed. It is too late to complain of wants now, but it is manifest
to all men how badly these States have dealt, specially the
young Imp (fn. 1) and his vice-admiral. . . I will refer particularities
to this bearer, I am so grieved to think, much more to speak
of this loss, albeit, God knoweth, we have done, for our parts, as
much as if a kingdom had stood upon it ; but these men have
strange designs in their heads, which will in the end, breed their
"I do mean forthwith to treat with the States in such matters
as most concern her Majesty and her service. I have here two
faithful, honest and careful assistants as ever lived, .... would
God the others had been like them. . . The dregs of their dealings
will remain, I fear, a good while, for the practice and faction
continues, with strange advertisements hither by themselves to
feed their friends with hope yet to serve their turn. Among
other lately was sent to some of the States that my lord of Buckhurst
hath had three several secret accesses to her Majesty, with
long conferences, and in despite of enemies most graciously used.
Mr. Wylkes took his imprisonment so well as being but fifteen or
twenty days, could be content to suffer a longer and worse
punishment for such a cause.". . . I marvel to what end this
faction should be between strangers and such servants of her
Majesty. If at some other time the service of a prince had been
so hindered, it would have cost some of them dear.
I will do what I can for the payment of our new soldiers, and
unless they will entertain them, will return them as fast as I can,
though they are as gallant companies as ever came out of any
"I scarce know what I write, what with grief for loss of this
town and with anger for the vile, lewd dealing of these men,"
first in letting me have no men of theirs, and then in not furnishing
ours when they lacked provision of all sorts. For the pains and
readiness of our men there is no fault to be found ; yet "how well
so'ever I think of Sir Roger Williams' valour and the other
captains," I cannot give them access to me until they give me
good reason for delivering of the town without sending to me first.
"I must pray you to learn more of these country causes from
the bearer," and so, my good lord, finding so many crosses here
as I do, and myself very weak to bear them ... I will wish
myself in my poor service at home, not only to discharge better
duty, but to receive far greater comfort.—Flushing, 27 July.
Holograph. Covering leaf wanting. 3¾ pp. [Holland XVI.
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to BURGHLEY.
The negligent dealing of Count Maurice and the States has
forced our men yesterday to give up Sluys, "being over-travailed,
and not having any munition, besides three great breaches to be
defended. Their composition is most honourable and their
honest endeavour and valiant defence deserveth all honour and
We tried to relieve them by land, but the enemy was too strong ;
then determined to aid them by water, but those of the Admiralty
refused it. The overthwart dealings of these people give just
cause to suspect their ill affection to her Majesty and the service ;
wherefore I earnestly pray your lordship's regard of this town ;
"that the garrison may be stronger, for our better security."—
Vlisching, 27 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 191.]
THE SAME to WALSINGHAM.
To the same effect as the above. Vlisching, 27 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 193.]
LORD NORTH to WALSINGHAM.
"I wish I had better occasion to write unto you than of the
rendering up of Slewse ... yet men must content themselves
with the works of God and fortune of war. It was yielded up by
composition on Wednesday night, the 26th of this present," but
with what conditions we know not, "further than that they should
come away like soldiers." It was impossible to hold the town
longer ; the enemy had made two breaches . . . that forty men
might ride or go on foot with great ease ; they had little victual,
no powder and not many men. They defended it most bravely,
and like noble soldiers came away." My lord lay before the
haven mouth with his army ready to succour them, "if Count
Maurice and Admiral Nassau had kept touch with him, who had
prepared fire works to burn the Prince's ships, as also a ship of
like invention as was at Antwerp to break the Prince's bridge
withal. With these things my lord was carried in hope to relieve
the town, until the same night, and when the hour was come
. . . the parties which undertook the matter shrank from it,
being persuaded, corrupted and mightily terrified by Moris and
the Admiral. They and the States, with the Counts Hollock and
'Mewers' have combined themselves (if not to betray the country)
at least to keep the government in their own hands" and oppose
her Majesty and her general. There are many arguments to
show that they were assenting to the loss of the town. The men
promised were kept away by Hollock ; no pioneers sent and but
few waggons and small store of victuals. I doubt not but the
malice of the devil will stir up the tongues of my Lord's enemies,
yet in the presence of God I say "I have never seen any man more
careful ; adding thereunto his continual travail, watching and
being on shipboard with thin diet, daily conferring with such of
the country as could best inform him of the means to succour
Slewse ; whereby his army hath been transported to divers
places . . . of purpose, as it doth now seem, to weary us and
overthrow us. Of one late march from Ostend to Blankenberche,
a sconce of the enemies' this bearer shall inform you . . . Neither
in Ostend nor in the country about we could find any person that
either would or could conduct or guide us. . .
"It is like I shall shortly come or be sent home, for by ill
lodging with cold I have gotten a marvellous swollen leg, and
have nothing to do." Meanwhile I entreat your favour with her
Majesty as regard "to my book for the lease which . . . by your
furtherance, I did the rather obtain my particular to be signed."—
Flushing, 27 July.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holland XVI. f. 195.]
RICHARD LLOYD to WALSINGHAM.
After all my lord's pains and danger for relief of th'Escluse,
it has not pleased God to give him success, and I fear the rest of
his efforts will issue to like effect while he must make wars upon
credit, or depend on those whose delays are intolerable and practices
full of treason.
[On the failure of Hohenlo and the States to send aid, and of
Count Maurice and Justin of Nassau to keep their promise of an
attack by their boats.] Each night his lordship urged them (the
wind being good) to attempt it, and the last night went himself in
his barge to sound the channel and the laying of marks for their
guidance. The soldiers were all ready, and at the last moment
the pilots came to him to say that they could not and would not
undertake to guide the ships. All these things concur, "as
matters hammered upon one anvil and issued from one forge."
[Narrates the circumstances of the final attack on and surrender
of the town, and the honourable marching out of the troops.]
Such burghers as wished to go away were to do so, while those
who chose to stay would be used as others of the King's subjects.
On hearing the news, his Excellency at once gave orders for
placing of forces in Ostend, Bergen-op-Zoom, Brill, Utrecht,
Axell, Flushing etc., and then weighed anchor for Flushing, after
being aboard in continual toil for seven days.
I hope it will please her Majesty to continue him here and give
him means and commandment to make wars, "and not tie him
to depend upon the dispositions of the States, whose treasons be
so manifest."—Vlussinghe, 27 July, 1587.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. Seal of arms. [Holland XVI. f. 197.]
MORGAN WOOLPHE to WALSINGHAM.
[On the failure of the States' aid, the loss of Sluse and the failure
of the ships under Count Maurice and the Admiral to fulfil their
part. Mentions that his cousin, Col. Morgan, was with his
Excellency ; also that when first urged to make the attempt, Count
Maurice etc. persuaded his Excellency to wait for the height of the
On the evening of the 26th, "his Excellency took his barge in
choler," and went within musket shot of the ships, to discover
their force. And at his return resolved that next morning we
should make the attempt without any force save our own nation,
"but Mr. Sentlynger's news altered the same. From the beginning
I found them more desirous to besiege Bolduke than to
relieve Sluys, for all their fair words to his Excellency, which the
traffickers and fishers of these parts shall find the smart of . . . for
that it will be such a nursery for navigation unto the enemy,
that his Altesse may avow better service unto the King of Spain
by this exploit than all that ever he did sithence his coming"
unless it be taken from him before it is fortified and victualled,
which I believe, with an addition of 6000 men might be done in
thirty days without difficulty. [Shows how all the defences of
the town have been destroyed during the siege.] Thus he will
either have "to defend it with his whole army whilst it is afortifying,
and do nothing else this summer, or to lose it (if it be
attempted again) with all the rest of Flanders, Gravelinge excepted."
All this was for default of munition and through the subtlety
of the commanders of the country, "that would 'deface' his
Excellency with preventing the relief of the town ; to deprive him
thereby of the love that the inhabitants generally do bear him,
whereby the dealings and rule might come to them again." And
unless her Majesty takes the cause 'thoroughly' into her protection,
it is to be doubted that by piecemeals the country will
be won 'or' it be long, unto the keys that her Majesty holdeth ;
which will be more chargeable in guarding than now in expelling
them from the whole. For it is to be looked for that the enemy
will presently besiege either Ostend, Axel, or Bergen-op-Zoom,
but I think rather Ostend, for the sea sake, which is the mark he
shoots at. . . For I see he makes no doubt to win the upland
towns with his crowns [i.e. money] . . . and that it is better
cheap for him to buy twenty so than one by a siege . . . And it is
an impossibility that a poor man, whose necessity is so great that
it contents him to sell his skin for eightpence, when he finds himself
deceived of his pay so dearly earned, that he should hold
faith with them that will be so avaricious."—Flushing,
Postscript. None of our English Captains were lost in Sluce,
but about 500 soldiers. The inhabitants departed with their
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 closely written pp. [Holland XVI.
LORD BUCKHURST to BURGHLEY.
I learn daily by my good friends how earnestly your lordship
has dealt with her Majesty for the recovery of her good opinion
towards me, which I can never requite but by my devotion, love
and fidelity during life.
The good and faithful service I have done in this cause greatly
comforts me, "and yet if her Majesty in this sort, to please
another, whom I, for her service, have displeased, shall deny me
access unto her presence," her own service will receive great hurt,
and she will lay so great a grief upon my heart, as I shall never
more take pleasure in the world, but live a sorrowful and solitary
life, dedicating myself to continual prayer to God for her.
My lord of Leicester advertised "that neither the States do
come to him, nor do conjoin in the furtherance of the common
cause ; therefore I send your lordship a writing whereby it appears
that on the 13 of July they were with him at Midelborow, . . .
and did grant him 100,000 florins towards the relief of Sluys. (fn. 2)
I trust his lordship will ascribe the thanks both for their coming as
also for the 100,000 florins to me, for sith all their ill doings shall
be ascribed to me, it is reason that their good be also mine ; and
indeed I did procure their promise at the Haġue, that either they
would come or send their deputies," and I think without my persuasion
they would hardly have come, and of this I advertised
him, as I can prove if need be. "This Friday, 1587." (fn. 3)
Holograph. Add. Endd. with date 27 July. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVI.
SIR WILLIAM PELHAM to BURGHLEY.
I hoped in my first letter to give your lordship more pleasing
news than the loss of Sluse, but "that want of well-affected hearts
or good endeavours should not be objected against such as were
employed to have relieved it, I briefly have collected such observations,
to manifest our lets and impediments, as I doubt not
but your lordship will rightly conceive whence and how we are
eclipsed . . . and will please to advise such directions as our
travails hereafter may be to better purpose.
"First, it is most apparent that a plot was laid before our arrival
to cross and hinder his Excellency's proceedings . . . as well by
setting pique between him, the Count Mauris and Count Hollock,
as also by practising his general disgrace amongst the gentlemen
and commons of this country.
"The occasions have and yet do detain Count Hollock from
coming near us, who witholdeth such forces as he commandeth
from joining with us.
"Count Mauris and his base brother the Admiral are here,
but peevish, froward, refusing to further any means whereby
service might be advanced ; towards whom the sea-faring men
seem most submissive ; whose men of war, in place of putting
forth [as] last year nor English flags and cross, do now advance
new banners only with Count Mauris' colours.
"The States likewise are most perverse, refusing to aid us save
with infinite delays and promises, impugning, notwithstanding
his Excellency's proceedings altogether.
"It was more than a month after I arrived ere we could obtain
armours and weapons for 2000 of our men . . . ; carriages, and
means to draw our artillery, munition and victual may not be
had, neither spades, mattocks, shovels nor pioneers, in any convenient
number. Spiall and guides very hardly are gotten, and
these we obtain . . . unfaithful and unprofitable."
It would have been very easy to assure Sluys if at first the
forces, with artillery (employed in trifling ports) had been used
for relief of that town. And if victuals had not been sent from
the States to the enemy, he could hardly have continued his siege.
We have been assisted by none of these country forces and could
not (leaving our garrisons reasonably guarded) march with above
4000 horse and foot, having infinite wants, and too weak and
unable to relieve a town besieged with so strong an enemy.—
Vlushinge, 28 July, 1587.
Postscript. Certain intelligence is now brought that Count
Hollock came to Camphire yesterday, attended with only six
persons. "But this morning there arrived eight or ten hoys,
laden with soldiers, which he would have brought into that town ;
and although the Count Mauris went thither this day, yet the
burghers withstood them and drew to arms, saying they would
keep fast for her Majesty and his Excellency."
Signed. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. very small writing. [Holland
XVI. f. 203.]
THE SAME to WALSINGHAM.
Acknowledges letters brought. Awaited event at Sluys before
answering, by Coleman.
How slack we find assistance here, you know ; yet when you
peruse these brief collections enclosed, you will [the more] persuade
yourself that we are in no good case. The treasurer is
now coming over, for whose return we all shall watch, and doubt
not but you will haste him away, and inform yourself by him of
all enterprises.—Vleshinge, 28 July, 1587.
Signed. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XVI. f. 205.]
"Observations "to the same effect as those in his letter
to Burghley, above ; but set out and numbered. 12
articles. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 206.]
LORD WILLOUGHBY to WALSINGHAM.
Encloses a discourse by which Mr. Secretary may conceive
"the wayward and tottering state of these country wars."—
Myddleburgh, 28 July, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 208.]
GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
Wrote last by one of the Lord Buckhurst's servants. What
has fallen out since, the bearer can impart. If it so pleases his
honour, will not fail to advertise him of matters here, and would
hope to perform it to expectation, "without which," he humbly
begs to be excused ; "for now a days, although one deal never so
well and plainly, yet will his doings often be interpreted to the
worst." Would be greatly bound to his honour, if he might
be called over, and so delivered of this service or rather bondage,
where for nine months he has not received a denier allowance and
is at great charges.—Midleborough, 28 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 210.]
SIR EDW. NORREYS to the PRIVY COUNCIL.
Being commanded by your lordships to set down under my
hand the manner of my proceeding with his Excellency touching
the Count Hollock ; it may please you to understand that after
his Excellency sent me from the Camp, charging me to attempt
nothing against the Count on pain of my life, I heard at Utrecht
from Sir Philip Sidney that he was content to answer me in the
field. Hereupon I wrote to ask my brother what course I was
best to take ; who sent me word that his Excellency was content
I should take the best I could devise, and would assist me in
anything touching my reputation. Count Hollock being hurt,
this rests until eight days before my lord's coming over ;
when understanding that I was to return with him, and that
Count Hollock was now well, and feasted and banqueted in his
lodging, I advised with my brother, "and finding no means but
to write to him, we both resolved so to do, but first to acquaint
his Excellency withal ; whereupon . . . I went unto him, and
desired his lordship's favour towards the discharging of my
reputation before my return. He asked me what way I would
take, considering he kept his house and went not abroad. I told
his lordship I thought best to write unto him to perform his
promise . . . to answer me in the field. He asked, to whom he
made that promise, and I said to Sir Philip Sidney. To my
nephew Sidney, said my lord ; very well, do as you think best
I will do for you what I can ; with many good words how careful
he had been for my reputation" ; whereupon I prayed him to
stand my good friend, in respect that my being sent to Berck
and Neuss, and afterwards raising a company of horse, had cost
me above 400l. of which I could never get one groat. He told
me, he could not before his departure do much for me, save
increase my company to 200, but at his return he would do more.
I then wrote my letter to the Count, (fn. 4) "which being complained
of in Council his Excellency called my brother and me in his
bed-chamber . . . and willed me to set down my reasons that
moved me so to do, and instructed me in it and allowed most
honourably of it in the Council. This is the substance, and as
near the very words as I can remember, to the which I have set
Signed. Endd. with date by Walsingham's clerk. 1½ pp.
[Holland XVI. f. 212.]
SIR JOHN NORREYS to [WALSINGHAM].
In answer to your honour's letter received to-day ; I must refer
you to my brother's own report both as to the acquainting my
lord of Leicester, and sending the letter (rather than a cartel)
to Count Hollock ; but this I can say, that not long before his
lordship's departure, my brother told me of his intent to challenge
the Count Hollock's promise to meet him in the field, and we concurred
in opinion first to acquaint my lord with it, which my
brother did, and not long after, delivered me his lordship's answer ;
"that he saw no reason but that he might lawfully do it, and the
rather because the Count Hollock had refused to be his lieutenant-general ;
. . . and would assist him in anything that should be
for the maintenance of his reputation ; whereupon my brother
proceeded to the sending of the letter. Complaints being made
to my lord and the Council . . . my lord sent for me and told me
how the Council did vehemently urge the matter against my
brother ; but that it was no matter, and that my brother should
set down in writing his reasons for the doing of it . . . which he
did, and my lord caused it to be read to the Council and seemed
satisfied with it. It would be hard for me to verify upon oath
every particular word, but the substance I will maintain, and it
may be, if I were with my brother, he could make me remember
some more particularities. "For all this . . . I did always, both
to the States, the Council and the Count Hollock, confidently
deny [sic] that my lord knew not of it, because they should not,
for this matter, have any advantage against his lordship."—
London. 28 July, 1587.
Copy by Walsingham's clerk. Endd. 1⅓ pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 214.]
FRANCIS NEEDHAM to WALSINGHAM.
After our arrival before the haven of Sluis on Tuesday morning,
the 20th, (fn. 5) Count Maurice, the Admiral and certain of their sea
captains came aboard his Excellency's ship to consider how the
intended service might be put in execution. After long discourse
it was concluded that the sea service was too difficult to
be attempted unless our force might be landed to clear the enemy
from one side of the haven or the other ; the difficulties alleged
being the shallowness of the haven, so that their firework ship
could hardly be brought up to the bridge, and the danger of our
ships being sunk by the ordnance placed along the sides of the
haven ; also that though they should pass the bridge, there would
still be such danger from the enemy's guns that probably only
two or three boats would reach the town. To this his Excellency
answered "that he marvelled this enterprise should now be made
so difficile, seeing so many had offered at Flushing to perform it ;
whereof some . . . had foretold him that if these [States'] captains
should have the execution hereof they would never perform
it ; but this was it which gave him great cause to mislike of their
doings, that those men which had made this offer unto him were
sent into other ships into North Holland. [Count Maurice]
might easily have brought this service to an end by them, but
that he reserved the honour thereof unto the house of Nassau,
under the charge of himself and his brother, who, at the time of
their setting out to sea, never made these difficulties." His
Excellency then laid before them the importance of the place and
the hazard to themselves and their countries ; that he and those
with him were strangers, yet for goodwill to them were ready to
do their utmost endeavour and adventure their lives ; finding some
fault with their coldness since his coming, "and that he had not
the assistance of any man there, neither a penny of money nor
victuals other than that her Majesty had sent by him ; and that
they had promised twelve or fifteen vessels, with victual and
ammunition and there were but five sent.
"In the end they concluded that if our men would occupy
the enemy by land, they would adventure by water. And [when]
thereupon his Excellency desired to know . . . where the men
might most conveniently [be] landed, they made it extreme
dangerous in every place, and in the end, finding his Excellency
was resolute to land our men, there was great want of boats.
They said the service required 400 ; we desired but 200." When
they said they had not above 60 we asked for those, when they
averred they could not do it, "having no authority, for that they
were but servants, and this commission must come from the
States." On this his Excellency told them that unless Count
Maurice would join his authority with his own, he would quit the
enterprise while it might be done with honour, sending for the
Council of State to make them witnesses of the offers made by
him, that the world might perceive in whom the fault lay.
"Notwithstanding this backwardness of the principal persons,
the master of the firework and the pilot, a mariner of Sluce, continued
resolute to go forward."
On Wednesday the 26th towards evening, Count Maurice and
the rest returned to his Excellency, concluding as before ; yet
our people were so resolute that they offered to adventure by land
[alone] ; but as the Council of State was not come nothing was
settled save that at ten o'clock, about the beginning of the flood
"the Admiral with those for the firework should return to receive
direction." In the meantime, the Council arrived, but for
that it was late, all was referred till next morning.
Those in the town, seeing our men under sail, thought the firework
was to be adventured, and hearing that our forces were
coming through St. Anne-land made a sally, but finding our ships
struck sail again, despaired of relief. "And upon some motion
made by a soldier of the enemy to speak with some captain, they
grew into a treaty, and had all granted that they desired . . .
saving that six days respite was demanded, which could not be
Of the enemy's three breaches one was 700 foot in breadth,
and that night they purposed to have assaulted it. About eight
o'clock yesterday morning they entered the town.
According to your orders I have dealt with Col. Morgan, "who
excuseth himself of the letter written to have proceeded upon some
words spoken at the old gentlewoman's table, that her Majesty
misliked greatly that he had used L.W. [Ld. Willoughby] very
badly and not with that respect that he ought to have done, and
thereupon had written that letter to satisfy her." He seeks to
show all respect to his [lordship] but has received hard measure
in having prisoners taken away from him ; and to be put out of
the town where he has served most of his time and that not with
least desert, "and yet his recompense behind those which never
looked the enemy in the face." He prays that order may be
taken for Don Juan de Castilia, as the money is due to strangers,
"whose mouths he would have stopped if he had had any means."
—Flushing, 28 July, 1587.
Add. Endd. 2½ pp., very close writing. [Holland XVI. f. 216.]
July 29./Aug. 8.
Report of Messieur Guillaume Bardese and Jacques Valcke
deputies of the Council of State [and] the Sieurs Cappelle, Nortwyck,
Coper and Caminga, deputies of the States General of their
business with Count Hohenlohe ; made to the Council of State,
8 August, 1587. (fn. 6)
They met him at Tervere and asked him to come to Middelburg
to meet H.E. in order to dissipate misunderstandings. He
replied that he was determined not to serve H.E. for divers
reasons, including a quarrel with Edward Norris ; the changing
of garrisons under his charge and the breach of promises. Upon
their representing the harm that would be done thereby to the
cause of the United Provinces, he admitted the need of the queen's
assistance and said it would be better for him to retire to Germany
or Denmark, offering to hand over the towns in his charge. He
protested his devotion to the queen and that he did not wish to
give her any occasion of offence, or H.E. When it was represented
that Count Maurice himself had taken oath to H.E. he
again protested that he could not meet him, asking them not to
trouble any more in the matter. Count Maurice was in different
case as a vassal of the Provinces, whereas he was a free German
and a Count, who would only serve on his own terms. At the
same time he protested his good will to the Provinces. Upon
this they left him. Signed by the deputies and countersigned by
Copy. Fr. 4¼ pp. [S.P.F. Archives XC., p. 264.]
THE PRIVY COUNCIL to LEICESTER.
Were sorry to hear of the attempt upon his life. Were also
very sorry to hear scant hope of relieving Sluys by land ; hope it
may be done by sea.
Find it strange that the States' neglect to furnish him with the
necessary men and treasure since he thinks the slackness, both in
the States and Count Hohenlo proceeds from practice of the Lord
Buckhurst, Sir John Norrys and Mr. Wylkes ; desire him to send
Enclose answers of Sir John Norrys and his brother touching
the cartel sent to Count Hohenlo.
Her Majesty makes some difficulty about sending over of more
treasure, yet they hope to persuade her to send some convenient
portion. She finds that the States owe her 25,000l. and being
urged to pay they allege that they have delivered in victual,
armour and other provisions yet will not deliver a book thereof,
which they should be pressed to do. Being informed that her
bands were not full all the last winter, she looks that the mustermaster
should make his checks accordingly, and make up his
books with all speed. (fn. 7)
Draft, corrected by Burghley and Walsingham. Endd. with
date. 2¾ pp. [Holland XVI. f. 218.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to BURGHLEY.
The Count of Hohenlo and Count Maurice have now so openly
opposed themselves against her Majesty, that they have possessed
themselves of certain important towns under their own name and
authority, "utterly neglecting all contracts passed with her
Majesty." But the common people are so loyally addicted to
her as gives us great comfort. "This gentleman, Captain Allen,
hath very honestly adventured to swim into Sluis . . . whose
dutiful endeavour therein I recommend unto your lordship's
favourable consideration."—Vlisching, 29 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 220.]
THE SAME to WALSINGHAM.
To the same effect as the above. Same date.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 222.]
SIR ROGER WILLIAMS to WALSINGHAM.
[Evidently the postscript to a missing letter.]
"Since this letter, the enemy won our port, with 800 paces (?)
of our rampier ; our powder all spent, notwithstanding, with a
poor trench and a half moon, we defended the place until the 27
of this month, which was five days more than his Excellency
"Our losses and wants were so great that the soldiers could
fight no longer, to say truth. Lay the state of England on it,
we could not 'a' kept it for one twenty hours longer ; notwithstanding
I was thrice on my knees afore them, as this bearer,
Captain Allen does know. I am sure, although he is altogether
at Sir John Norys' devotion, his valour and honesty will testify
the truth. I am here with an honourable commission little
regarded, to my thought. I am weary of the wars, therefore if I
can devise how to live, I will quit it and follow my Lady Walsingham's
counsel, which was to marry a merchant's widow.—30
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XVI. f. 224.]
LEICESTER to BURGHLEY.
Our affairs here receive daily greater impediments, giving me
so much toil that I cannot write all I would ; but have acquainted
my lord Admiral with all our proceedings, to impart to her Majesty
and the Lords, and to deliver unto you in particular.
There is a plot now set on foot underhand, and prosecuted
with all violence to exclude her Majesty from any further part in
these countries and to draw some stranger forces into their service ;
thereby to give a show to the people that the common
cause is still maintained, and so to continue themselves in their
former being, which cannot but turn to their own confusion, and
be a speedy course to bring them into the Spaniards' hands, for
if her Majesty withdraw, they have no means to hold out any time.
This practice apparently exceeds the reach of the noblemen
strangers or the States, and proceeds rather from some other
turbulent spirit, gained by the Prince of Parma's means, and to
continue their own greatness at the expense of the poor people.
The strangers drawn hither are to be committed to the charge of
the noblemen here, to furnish them with better means to serve
their turns. Yet the people, the heads of towns and the captains
of their own soldiers are so devoted to her Majesty that they offer
to embrace any course she pleases, and if she would but write to
them touching her mislike, "would cut them in pieces, their
treasons are so apparent unto the world."
She must now resolve what course she will take, "either to
leave it, or to assure her own safety with some other means."
They are now earnestly in hand with me to enter into a new treaty,
which will end in three or four days, and then you shall know what
they would have. I am weary with my toil here, finding less
comfort than I had last year, and the money very short. When
I came from England, it was thought that the treasurer had
18,000l. in his hand, but I found only 3000l., and have been forced
to furnish the service and continue all the lendings with what I
brought over, which rises to 2000l. weekly. Our services are so
straitly limited and slenderly furnished that like success must
follow, "which the Duke of Parma seems to build greatly upon,
and therefore is bold to say that he will not sit down before any
place but will have it, for he spareth not any expense. This
town lately recovered hath cost his master eight hundred thousand
pistolets, besides the charges of the powder, shot and carriages
which cost not so little as a hundred thousand crowns more. I
have sent the Treasurer over, and before him his deputy and the
Auditor, with their accounts, and now it is high time that these
defects were speedily supplied," for there is not left enough to
last till the 12th of next month. I have asked Mr. Beale to write
at more length to the [Lord] Treasurer.—Midleburgh, 31 July,
Postscript, in his own hand. "By the next you shall hear by
mine own hand. . . Within three or four days I shall be able to
send some certainty of the States' minds."
Signed. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Holland XVI. f. 226.]
WILKES to BURGHLEY.
Thanks for getting him removed out of the Fleet and committed
to the house of one of his friends. Asks advice what
course to take as he fears that her Majesty's displeasure is not only
moved by a conceit of his undutiful dealing towards the Earl of
Leicester, but some other matter.—London, last of July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 228.]
A paper sent to the Queen.
All men know that she has during her reign done many fine and
rare things, worthy of eternal memory. And hearing that the
most illustrious of her exploits are shortly to be laid before her,
the writer has been urged by one greater than himself to assure
her that what God is about to work by her is still more illustrious
than all that has gone before. For wishing to humiliate the two
most powerful princes in Christendom, he seems to intend to
do her the honour of triumphing over them by her means, if she
valiantly pursues with her hate those whom God hates, or rather
who hate God, and does all in her power to aid those princes
whom he employs in the same work.
Even should she prove cold, God will fulfil his will, but it will
then be to her great harm and loss. This is a time predestined
by Heaven, when the two princes aforesaid and their adherents
shall be visited by God with unexpected and incurable calamities,
disgraced throughout the world, and suddenly so brought down
that all other princes, in astonishment, will be converted to God
fearing and adoring him and falling humbly at his feet.
God has blessed her with peace and prosperity in order further
to exalt her by war ; that is by his war, if, by coldness and slack
ness, she do not despise the honour and the grace. The rest
shall be said by word of mouth, if it so pleases her Majesty.
Add. Endd. Dated by Burghley. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 230.]
"The Lord of Buckhurst's answer [to the objections] whereby
he stood charged by the Lord Steward's [Leicester's] declaration."
1. That by his instructions he was directed to charge the States
with no matters but such as were maintainable. That he found
the matters delivered as well by the Earl of Leicester as by Mr.
Wilkes were either matters done by the States provisionally
during the Earl's absence only, and so not prejudicial to his
authority, or else were grounded upon bare presumptions or
common bruits, and therefore not thought meet to be urged ;
whereunto Mr. Atey did also assent. That he did also by common
conference and consent of Dr. Clerke, Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Atey
agree upon certain articles wherewith to charge the said States
verbally. That Mr. Atey being present at the charge, after the
States had made their answers to all the said questions by flat
denying of them, they would then have proceeded to the justifying
of the points in their letter as true and maintenable ;
but the lord of Buckhurst and the rest thought it meeter to procure
them by public protestation to clear the Earl, which was
accordingly brought to pass ; confirmed by their letters as well
to her Majesty as to the said Earl. That it was agreed on in
private conference between him and the Earl before his departure
that he should compound all griefs without bringing the same in
question by way of charge either to the States in particular or to
the Count Hollock. That there were letters written to him by the
said Earl after, in like effect.
2. "That he took the reconciliation between the said Earl and
the two Counts to be sound . . . for that the two Counts did
testify the same by their letters to the said Earl. That the delivery
of their doleances tended to no other end but to lay open
their griefs, whereby all misunderstandings might be removed.
That the said doleances were not sent, for that they desired him
to retain the same until the Earl's return, offering that he should
be a judge in all causes between them and the said Earl, whereof
he did advertise both her Majesty and the Earl."
3. "That neither by letter nor otherwise he ever laboured to
go about any such matter ; but contrarywise, wrote divers letters
to hasten his coming over."
4. "Answered in the first."
5. "That he never had [sic—heard] or understood of any such
6. "That the States did acknowledge that the bestowing of
the said regiment did appertain unto the Earl . . . although in
the mean time provisionally the same was bestowed by the Count
Maurice, governor of Zeeland."
7. "That not long after his arrival there, he moved the States
General and Council of Estate for receiving of Medekerk into
Council, whereunto it was answered that those of the Council
were established but for one year and that there were no names
offered . . . by those of Flanders, out of the which the choice
should have been made, Medekerk being one of that province."
8. "That the States did not impugn the publishing of the
placard, but would have had the same published in their own
names, to whom the sovereignty did belong, as they alleged ; and
yet his lordship did not know that by the instructions given to
the Earl, it was ordered that the said placards should be published
in his name, and therefore could make no reply."
9. "That he never heard of any evil speech delivered out
against the Lord Willoughbie, but . . . Sir John Conway was
charged to have erected an Admiralty contrary to order at Ostend,
whereof he advertised the said Sir John by his letters."
10. "That he showed divers notes in writing, by the which his
great care for the provision of Ostend and Sluce might well
appear. . . "
11, 12. That he doubts not but to satisfy the Earl in both
13. Knows of no one ill-affected to the Earl or backward in
Religion, whose advice he used ; and prays they may be named.
14. "That upon the receipt of her Majesty's letter of mislike,
he delivered to the States the griefs of the Earl in writing, and
required them to answer the same in writing ; so as there could
be no reply, because as there was no answer to reply to."
15. "That he took himself to be hardly handled to be charged
with so foul a matter, the same being grounded only on suspicion."
16. His repair to the Earl sufficiently answers this.
17. That it being impossible the Earl's demand for a declaration
of his whole proceedings, he asked for particular demands in
writing, to which he made answer, except to such as concerned
the Earl's own particular, saying "it was not reasonable for the
Earl to be judge in his own cause, but [he] would refer it to her
Majesty. And yet that afternoon, he imparted all those things
to Mr. Killigrew and Mr. Beale. . ."
18, 19. Desires that the particulars and proofs may be set
20. Thinks himself hardly dealt with in that charge, "being a
matter more fit to be answered by Mr. Secretary Walsingham
and Mr. Atey than by him."
Endd. "The lord of Buckhurst's answer made verbally."
6¾ pp. [Holland XVI. f. 160.]
"An abstract of the Earl of Leicester's declaration of such
points as the Lord of Buckhurst is to be charged withal, with the
several answers of the said Lord Buckhurst thereunto. [Only
the "Objections" by the Earl of Leicester are given below, as
Lord Buckhurst's answers are to the same effect as in his verbal
examination above ; but at much greater length.]
Objection 1. That Lord Buckhurst being sent over to demand
at the States' hands reparation of such things wherein they had
wronged both the Earl and her Majesty, "sought to make up the
matter with the credit of the parties who had offered the injury,
and no satisfaction to her Majesty or the Earl."
2. "That he dealt not plainly nor soundly, nor as was meet for
her Majesty's honour and the said Earl's satisfaction in making
the reconciliation betwixt the said Earl and the Counts Maurice
and Hollock ; wherein he advertised her Majesty that he had made
such a reconciliation, and yet afterwards received in writing the
declarations of the said Counts, which he suppressed . . ."
3. That "pretending to defer the full compounding of all
matters to the Earl's return, and calling for him over by his
letters, did underhand labour his stay here in England."
4. That, though sent well instructed, when he arrived he wrote
"that he found no sufficient matter, but was fain for fashion's
sake to supply it with plenty of words" although the matter
delivered to him here had been "avowed in open Council and in
some sort proved by Mr. Wilkes.
5. "That whereas Mr. Wilkes, in his letter of the 12th of March,
had charged the Count Maurice with speeches tending to the
derogation of her Majesty's fidelity in her promises, there was no
satisfaction demanded for the same.
6. "That he accepted of a very slender answer for the regiment
7. "That he suffered Midkerk to be put out of Council, who
had been elected by the Earl without gainsaying to the same.
8. "He accepted of a very slender answer from the States
touching their staying of a placcart . . . against the spreaders
of slanderous bruits against the English nation.
9. "That he passed over certain slanders against the lord
Willoughby and Sir Jo. Conway . . . without demanding
reparation of their credit.
10. That he did not insist on provision for Sluce and Ostend.
11. That he avowed many of the imputations against the Earl
in the letter of Feb. 4 to be true.
12. That he dealt not friendly with the Earl in receiving at the
States' hands the copy of a letter pretended by them to be dangerous,
and dispersed by the said Earl's procurement ; and to send
the same to her Majesty without inquisition whether it came from
the said Earl or no.
13. "That . . . he used not the advice of the Earl's friends,
but of such as were noted to be both ill-affected to him and some
backward in religion.
14. "That upon receipt of her Majesty's letter, misliking of his
slender acceptance of the States' former answer to the Earl's
griefs he made no reply unto them, but only delivered them a
new copy of the said griefs.
15. "That he delivered not a true copy of the said griefs, but
another, devised, as is supposed, by Paul Buys.
16. "That he came away suddenly upon the Earl's arrival, in
a contemptuous manner . . .
17. "That he refused to acquaint the Earl with the state of
things before his departure.
18. "That after his coming to England he delivered out slanderous
speeches against the Earl, touching the loss of Sluce."
19. That there passed letters etc. between him and some in
Holland which the Earl suspects tended to his disgrace.
20. "That a copy of the Earl's instructions was sent to the
States, whereupon he desireth that the Lord Buckhurst may be
Endd. The Lord Buckhurst's answers to the Earl of Leicester's
objections "and added by Burghley" being in number 20 ; Feb.,
1587. (fn. 8) 7 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 164.]
Another copy of the same. Endd. The Lord Buckhurst's
answers to the Earl of Leicester's objections. 5 pp. [Ibid. XXII.
Another copy of the same ; often differently worded as regards
the replies, as if drawn up by an independant hand. Endd.
The Lord Buckhurst's answers to the L. Steward's objections.
6 pp. [Ibid. XVI. f. 168.]
Another copy of Leicester's accusations, without the answers,
except a brief note of the first.
2¾ pp. [Ibid. XXII. f. 260.]
"A brief note of the account of Richard Huddilston esquire,
late treasurer at wars, for all checks chargeable upon him during
his time of service in the Low Countries."
"Money arising of checks," 2642l. 2s.
"Payments issuing out of the checks by warrant of the Lord
General, 1271l. 10s. 4d.
And so remaineth, 1370l. 11s. 8d."
With further payments reducing it to, 1157l. 9s. 8d.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 186.]
Note by Walsingham of the treasure sent into the Low Countries :
In Hurlestone's time - - - -
To Sir Thomas Shurley - - - -
Delivered to the Earl of Leicester - -
Delivered to them more . . . for the disbursements
made by them to the cautiontowns - - - - - - -
Due to the bands serving there the 1st of
July, 1587 - - - - - -
Endd. 1587. ½ p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 232.]
Money laid out by Sir William Russell, governor of Flushing,
for relief of Sluys, and other necessary occasions, for boat-hire,
payment for corn, powder etc., espials, "for working the fireworks,"
planting artillery on the walls of Flushing, and making
palisade and parapet there. Total, 132l.
Signed by Russell. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVI. f. 236.]
SIR JAMES CROFT to ANDREA DE LOO.
We received your several letters of July 11 by our account on
the 14th, by Morris, together with two written to you by President
Richardot, giving plain testimony of the continuation of the
Duke's inclination to enter into a treaty of peace with her Majesty.
By your letters we see you are of opinion that as soon as our
deputies arrive there (whereof you write they stand in doubt)
"the Duke will be content, for the space of some fifteen days to
surcease all acts of hostility, and to accord with the Earl of
Leicester for the mutual surceance of arms during the colloquy ;
a thing which of necessity must be, considering that peace and
war are of so great contrariety in nature as that they cannot
possibly be together in one time and place. And moreover, we
are to let you understand that the quality and value of these
personages appointed by her Majesty to be commissioners is
such and so great that considering they must of necessity come
from hence thither by sea, and are subject to the accident of
many misfortunes (which God forbid) they will not (nor in reason
can be required to) adventure their persons until some form of surceance
be first agreed upon ; like as hath been ever accustomed
in all meetings for such purposes ; wherefore her Majesty, not
doubting of the Duke's grave and politic discretion, neither of
his sincere disposition to effectuate this matter . . . hath sent
express commission and authority unto the Earl of Leicester to
communicate with the Duke touching the mutual surceance of
arms . . . with all other things which shall be thought convenient
for this purpose." And has also commanded the Earl of
Derby, Lord Cobham, me, Sir James Crofts knight, Dr. Dale and
John Herbert esquire, commissioners appointed in this behalf,
to be at Berges ap Zone immediately after she is advertised of
the Duke's intention touching the point of surseance during the
time of their coming and being together.
"Whereunto if the Duke do refuse to assent (as we verily
think he will not) the world shall see that the breach of so godly
and charitable a work is not to be imputed to her Majesty,
neither to any on this side, who had been now there, had so
much been signified by this bearer at his last being there."
Copy. Undated, but endd by Burghley's clerk "July 1587."
1¼ pp. [Flanders I. f. 306.]
Paper endorsed "Project given to the Earl of Leicester touching
the better government of the United Provinces."
1. That he should use his authority more firmly.
2. That he should take order for strengthening the companies
at Sierixzee, where the magistrates are mostly papists.
3. That he should personally visit Camphere, where he is sure
of the good will of the people and the common soldiers, who will
open the gates to him, while they "daily cry upon the Count of
Hohenloe, and will not suffer his men to come in."
5. To receive the 3 companies there into her Majesty's pay,
give them a month's pay, show the captains and serjeants major
"some honourable courtesy to renew their oath, and also to
renew the magistrates or at least to take the oath of fidelity of
6. Also to take an oath of fidelity from the burghers.
7. Then to return to Armuyden and from thence to Middelborowe.
8. At Middelborowe to depose the captains of the Dutch
companies, who are men of no experience or service, and to increase
the soldiers' pay from 5 to 8 gilders a month.
9. Before deposing the captains, the companies must be
mustered and take the oath of loyalty.
10. To bring 200 English horsemen into this Isle to keep the
coasts, as the boors and countrymen do it ill and without order.
11. To dress two or three regiments of Dutch footmen in these
countries for a time, for the better assurance of his Excellency etc.
12. That the Admiralty of Zeeland, transported from Flushing
to Middelborrowe without consent of her Majesty or his Excellency,
and now like to be established by the States at Camphere, be
restored to Flushing.
13. To go through with the Admiralty of Flanders, and establish
it at Ostend, as he resolved at Utrecht.
14. To cause proclamation to be made in all towns of his
government, voiding all commissions and patents not subscribed
by himself, according to the commission given him by the States
15. And by the same proclamation to command all governors
officers and common soldiers, also all magistrates, justices,
burghers etc. whatsoever, under his Excellency's or the country's
commandment not to attempt anything in prejudice of her
Majesty, his Excellency or the estate of the country upon pain
of being punished as rebels.
Beseeches his Excellency "to take these few writings at the
best pardoning his boldness and faults and disposing of them as
he thall think meet to the furtherance of the honour of God and
his afflicted people, and the service of her Majesty, himself and
Signature cut off. 2 pp. [Holland XVI. f. 234.]
A note of the principal matters wherewith Sir John Norreys
is charged by the Earl of Leicester.
Not repairing to the earl before departing ; taking away 60
musketeers ; taking away captains ; his alleged charges for a band
of horse ; exaction for velvet coats ; severity with mutineers at
Brill ; will be found in her Majesty's debt. With Norreys's
answers. (fn. 9)
Endd. Sir John Norrice answer to the last matters wherewith
he standeth charged by the L. General's reply. 3 pp. [Ibid.
XVIII. f. 5.]
Another copy of the charges, without the reply.
Endd. The substance of such matters as Sir John Norris is
charged withal by the Earl of Leicester, taken out of the said
Earl's declaration against him. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. f. 6.]