[PIERRE] DE VILLIERS to SECRETARY WILKES.
Mr. Hotman, now going over with the Earl of Leicester, he will
both carry my letters, and tell you all that has happened since
your departure. Notwithstanding the disgrace, I think you have
been happier absent than you would have been here, where, after
many words on both sides, some have finally lost their heads ;
others go away and those who remain, remain in trouble, though
not so great as you have seen, for many vexations between those
of the country have been quenched by the proceedings of some.
I except those of Utrecht, who since your time have made so
ruinous a foundation of their state that their edifice can hardly
hold firm if it be not changed, as one does at Easter ; that is to
say that they put on new robes from top to toe. The resolutions
against the peace are stronger than you have seen and many
believe at heart that shortly the Queen will know that those who
resist her are her servants. The enemy, by his great preparations
in Spain and at Dunkirk will shortly decide the question. I will
say nothing of divers private enterprises here made, save that,
without God's aid, I had paid dearly for their rashness ; but God
sheltered me from my enemies, whom I no longer fear more than
dust, and private wrongs will never hinder me from doing my
duty towards the crown of England, and this I hope to show by a
dispatch which I am sending M. Walsingham. If I may hear
from you, I pray you send your letters to M. de Buzenval.
[Commends to Wilkes his daughter Magdaleine].—Middelburgh,
11 December, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Wilkes. French. 1½ pp. [Holland
XIX. f. 115.]
Proposition offered to the States General by Mr. Herbert on
this date, concerning the treaty of peace.
Reminds them of the efforts of the King of Denmark and the
proposals made by the Duke of Parma to her Majesty, who
deferred conference thereupon until she had communicated with
the States. For this she sent Lord Buckhurst, who, found that
disorders were increasing and that their means for defence were
Whereupon she desired his lordship to communicate the Duke's
overture. Since then she sent back the Earl of Leicester with a
good force to oppose the enemy's designs.
But owing to their disorders only loss and dishonour ensued,
and she ordered the Earl to put before them the Duke's offer,
and to propose that they should choose men to confer with her
deputies on her assurance that if they could not obtain reasonable
terms she would not forsake them.
Having decided to enter upon the conference, she has long
waited for their reply, and has ordered Herbert to urge them to
make up their mind, and not precipitate the evil which threatens
them ; for, she finds they will derive more profit than prejudice
She expects that during the Treaty, they will live in harmony,
and stand upon their guard, ready to resume the war, if the
negotiations fail, when she promises to support them, hoping to
receive a good and speedy reply. (fn. 1)
Endd. French. 2¼ pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 117.]
DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
His Highness is not yet returned, having gone to Antwerp,
Signor Cosimo being left in the dark. The President says the
same, but expects him tomorrow evening. M. de Champagney will
also come, who had not yet been here. I have in the meanwhile
twice dealt with the President at large, but my greatest difficulty
is that I am not able to persuade them that peace is seriously
intended and that the deputies will come, because of the many and
various delays. From thence, they say has proceeded the great
preparation made on all sides to serve them for any occasion
(if peace be not now made). And as to the Spanish Armada, the
President assures me (on the faith of a gentleman) that he has
heard nothing of its coming at this time, and that yet it would be
well that the deputies should arrive, either at Ostend or elsewhere,
the road being everywhere open to them ; and that he knows for
certain that they will not fail to treat with them, and to conclude
a peace, if they are reasonable, and lose no more time in beginning,
as once his Highness starts on some enterprise, he will not be able
to abandon it with honour, even if he would. But it seems from
what Signor Cosimo says that the Duke has written into Spain
that there is still hope, therefore I beg earnestly that the deputies
may embark at once ; that Morris may be sent back with his
Highness' reply, which I will try to get favourable.
I quite agree that before beginning to treat, the Duke should
be asked what he knows about the Armada in Spain ; whether it
be intended for England, &c. This may be done much better
then than now, as also the agreement for a suspension of arms for
the time of the conference. I am very pleased to hear from Morris
that your lordship is so hopeful, and have told it to the Duke,
who I know is surprised at the lack of confidence shown in him.
I know him to be so high minded that if he did not mean to
conclude the peace, he would say so plainly ; and that even yet
(in spite of all preparations) if the deputies come in time, he will
be all for an agreement ; but the fact is che nulla si crede, se nulla
si vede.—Bruges, 1st December, 1587, stilo antico.
Postscript. Praying that her Majesty will rescue "il faille"
from his misery.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Flanders I. f. 374.]
STEPHEN LE SIEUR to WALSINGHAM.
Has received no answer of his letters but presumes once more
to write these few lines, to accompany the packet of M. de Villiers,
by which he will see that Count Maurice holds prisoner a young
Roman gentleman of the Colonna family, come into Brabant
with the last Italian and Spanish companies.
"By my lord of Leicester's order, has been with him in Ter
Veere, and talked with him. Among the rest, he said that in
April last, his uncle, the Cardinal Marco Antonio di Colonna at
dinner, with his uncle Prospero di Colonna in Rome, said that that
morning, it was concluded in Council of the Cardinals that by
consent of the Pope the King of Spain should give his daughter
in marriage to the King of Scots, and assist the said King to
establish him King in England, upon conditions that the said
King of Scots dying without lawful heirs of his body, the succession
of the crown of England, Ireland and Scotland should fall upon
the King of Spain and his heirs. That the King of Scots had
promised entry in his realm unto the forces of the King of Spain
which are to be led by sea, by the Marquis Santa Cruz, and by
land by the Duke of Parma ; that already there was contributed
eight millions of gold by those of the League, whereof the French
King and the Venetians are, though with great difficulty ; that
thereupon Prospero di Colonna was to go presently to Spain,
with sundry other discourses which I assure myself M. de Villers
has set down.
Count Maurice intended to have sent over this prisoner, that
her Majesty might the better know what he can say, and offered
him to Sir Robert Sidney, but his Excellency wished only to send
the signed depositions, and to keep Colonna here till her Majesty's
pleasure be known.
When in Ter Veere, M. de Villiers discoursed with Le Sieur of the
hard opinion her Majesty and my lord of Leicester have of him,
and specially is grieved that certain soldiers of this garrison
offered to take him prisoner, some days past, as he was going to
Middelburgh, the history whereof you may hear from M. de
Captoy [i.e. Capetot], agent for the King of Navarre in these parts,
now going for England, as he was then with M. de Villiers.
Abstains from writing of that person or of this Estate knowing
that he is sufficiently informed by others.
His Excellency departing hence, leaves Le Sieur to serve here
according to his instructions. Asks for continued favour and
good offices with his Excellency and her Majesty's Council.
Recommends the bearer, Mr. Hotman.—Flushing, 3 December,
1587, stylo Anglo.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 123.]
Warrant from the Earl of Leicester for the allowance of twenty
dead pays to Sir John Conway knight, governor of Ostend and
Captain of 150 footmen, he having no other entertainment of
her Majesty than the ordinary pay of a captain, and having made
humble suit for some increase thereof in respect of the charges
incident in his place.—Flushing, 3 December, 1587.
Copy. Signed. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 125.]
THOMAS DIGGES to BURGHLEY.
Mr. Killigrew, on the 28th of "this present November"
imparted to him certain articles sent by his lordship, showing her
Majesty's dislike that the accounts of the year ending the 11th
of October last were not yet sent over.
Sends enclosed, briefly, the causes why it was not possible
sooner to conclude the checks, and the reason why they are so
much diminished, but knows no cause why she might not from time
to time have received a perfect account of all treasure disbursed,
and for the whole year also, if the Treasurer and Auditor had
made perfect books of all other payments and defalcations
concerning their charge. The cheques were long ago cessed by
him and "moderated and determined" by his Excellency, save
only Sir John Norries and some few others, left to be determined
in England. Is sure that for fear of his checks, the captains have
maintained their bands far stronger than otherwise they would
have done, and for full numbers he may only say "few bands in
Christendom comparable to them ; if for training and good usage
at their captains' hands there were no fault." Whereby he has
heaped upon himself so great hatred of many captains that
without the comfort of her Majesty's favour for his faithful
services, he should think himself of all men the most unfortunate.
—Vlissinge, 3 December, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 127.]
"The occasions why the checks were not determined till
Delay of the States in sending their muster-masters. Disobedience
of the captains in not sending their books or coming
Complaints of the captains of his severe dealings with them,
who after he and his commissaries had by great travail discovered
many frauds and abuses, joined together in appealing to his
Excellency, who, finding indeed that it was not possible for them
to maintain their bands without certain allowances, "did mitigate
or pardon the checks," and also, upon testimonies shown by the
captains of horse, of horses slain and lost in service, remitted
between three and four thousand pounds in the checks of the
horse bands, besides his own and the Lord Marshal's band, which
in consideration of their losses and charges in making them strong
again, his Excellency passed without checks. So that the checks
remaining as now moderated will be very small ; there not
remaining much above three thousand pounds.
Allowances to the captains of the lately levied bands the
uttermost penny they could possibly demand "so that if their
soldiers were not very well paid and contented, they are without
all colour of excuse."
The common soldiers generally (a very few bands excepted)
"are marvellous badly clothed and thereby for cold only may
perish and run away to the enemy," which might be remedied
if, instead of some part of the treasure there were sent over pieces
of broadcloth and kersey for clothing the bands ; whereby English
commodities might be vented ; treasure not so much exhausted,
and many lives saved.
It is lamentable and very strange to hear how officers, soldiers,
victuallers and creditors all complain for want of payment, a
thing his Excellency also much marvels at, but now it is to be
hoped that the Auditor and Treasurer will present their accounts
in such manner as the reason may be seen of the inconvenience
1¾ pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 128.]
LORD WILLUGHBY to BURGHLEY.
Your lordship encourages my just excuse of mine own wants,
"with a favourable construction of modesty." I pray God that
I may discharge my duty and not deceive your honourable
opinion of my unworthy self. "I am called from my desired
sheepfold and am ready to use my weak sling ; and since I must
obey in this weighty charge, I humbly beseech your lordship
pardon me to set down such remembrances as I can bethink me
to be necessary.
"Your lordship knoweth that in so troublesome an estate the
humours of some men will be ready both to speak and judge
diversely. I beseech you therefore, whatsoever reports shall
come, to suspend your opinion of me until I shall come to due
trial." Likewise that, as the Treasurer, Mustermaster and
Auditor are now in England, you will take order that all accounts
may be cleared at my entrance into the place. And, as the charges
for intelligences will grow great, I beseech you to set down some
course therein ; "that it may always be paid by advice of some
Counsel who may witness my proceedings.
For though I have been an ill-husband for myself (yet not
spent any way so much as in her Majesty's service), "I hope
care which made me spend mine own, to witness my duty and
obedience, shall make me care to preserve her Majesty's treasure
in the best sort that I may."
"And although I could be contented to serve her Majesty for
nothing, if it were not to the utter ruining of myself and my
house (God having already blessed me with many children) yet
I doubt not but her Majesty will have consideration of the great
charges that of necessity appertain to the great place I hold ;
my estate being much better before, in that I had the benefit of
a government to assist me, and that now being taken from me,
have nothing more than the bare entertainment of a Colonel-general."
But this your lordship knows as well as myself, and
(as I perceive by my cousin Hall's letters) are ready to help me
with loan of your own money ; an honourable kindness which
I desire to deserve by some extraordinary service. For the rest,
I refer you to the report of this bearer and of Colman, late secretary
to Sir William Pelham.—Berghen op Zom, 4 December, 1587. (fn. 2)
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 130.]
DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
On the 1st instant, I wrote to your lordship of the delay in
his Highness' coming ; but it is now said that he will certainly this
evening be at Ghent, on his way hither.
M. de Champagney has arrived, with the great nobility of these
countries. He holds that it will not be possible for the Duke to
concede the suspension of arms, because of the uncertainty
regarding the armata of Spain but I find that he would have had
the deputies (to remove suspicion of wishing to prolong the time),
while feigning to go to Berghes, come to Ostend, as if driven there
by the wind ; and being arrived, a time and some place near
might be appointed for the treaty ; and meanwhile, both sides to
remain as they are ; the Duke, he says, being much vexed by the
constant putting forward of new points when it is quite clear that
he wishes to come to an agreement, but they deprive him of the
means and that when they are at Ostend, they may ask what
they wish and he considers the safe conduct which they have
quite sufficient for that place.
They will write at once into Spain about the negotiations and
the peace, if God wills it, but in the present state of affairs the
Duke cannot in honour grant a cessation of arms as he might do
if they were actually treating. We must trust the Prince who
is so noble that he would not on any account have the deputies
come if he had not the most perfect intention to come to an
agreement. The President said the same ; both he and Signor
Cosimo urged the sending of the deputies, for if her Majesty does
nothing, it will injure her reputation, and they will be grieved to see
the negotiation endangered.
May God dispose all for the best, for I know not what more
can be done. It breaks my heart to see that my word may not
suffice ; your lordship knows that for months past I have been
urging you to shorten the time, and not let matters go to an
extreme and ruin all. I do my best, although I fear much that
it will be of no good. We must await the Duke's reply, which
will be given on his return ; M. de Champagney will lend a hand,
and we must trust the Duke.—Bruges, 4 December, 1587.
Postscript. I send you a note of what has happened lately in
France, according to the news they have here.
Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Flanders I. f. 376.]
H. KILLIGREW to BURGHLEY.
I received yours of 28 Oct. at Delft the 23 November, the same
day that Mr. Herbert arrived out of Zeland, where he had been
about a fortnight with his Excellency ; who sent me letters to
repair to him at Flushing, where "I acquainted him with the
instructions enclosed in your lordship's letter ; and also to the
Treasurer, Mustermaster and Auditor," from whom, at their
return, I hope you will receive better satisfaction than heretofore.
I trust they cannot say but that they have always found me ready
to assist them.
I hoped to have waited upon his Excellency home, and excused
my long silence by his oft intelligences ; but as he wishes me to
return into Holland for a time, I shall be void of excuse unless I
give your Lordship some advertisements of our proceedings
When I took my leave at Greenwich, "I said I was not ignorant
I was to enter a labyrinth, which hath proved too true," and
whereas I promised to send your Lordship some plot or estate of
war for the defence of these provinces, I have liked none well
enough to put it into your hands. Mr. Beale had a project with
him, but weak and imperfect, who can report to you all that
passed before his departure, and what has fallen out since, his
Excellency will impart to you. During his absence in North
Holland, on Oct. 17 "I advertised Mr. Secretary Walsingham of
some material alteration I observed upon the motion I made
unto them, to send commissioners to join with her Majesty
towards a treaty ; since which time there hath been no matter
of moment handled ; for the General States soon after departed
each to their principals, and were not this last week returned
with authorized answers ; which is the Ambassador's stay...who
therefore hath expected hitherto in vain their coming to him for
the settling of some good order in the government. Upon his
Lordship's revocation into England, they are likely to follow
him and, as I can learn, to use all means against the treaty,
which they persuade themselves will be so prejudicial unto them
as that of both, they are resolved rather to force themselves to
hold out even to the last town, than to yield to a peace. Their
reasons, I doubt not, they will deliver to my Lord Ambassador,
and, as I hear, send them by some of their own unto her Majesty.
The diffidence grown between them and my lord sprang now from
this fountain and hath been crookedly nourished. And yet if his
lordship do remain, I think verily there would grow a good
reconciliation, some things being condescended unto by his
lordship, expecially for the advancement of the Count Maurice,
whom the best of them and those of greatest credit and authority
do marvellously tender for the love and honour they bare unto
his father. My lord, in my judgement, hath carried himself
very honourably among them, while they have in no measure
answered, but rather the contrary, which might have tried any
man, yea the most patient of those which have borne rule under
I will only add "that now their greatest preparations is by
water, where already they are too strong for the enemy, and are
purposed to increase their navy daily, both for the river and
the main."—Vlisshing, 5 December, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 132.]
H. KILLIGREW to WALSINGHAM.
"I thought to have attended upon my lord home and by
mouth to have answered to what in duty I ought. . .Mr. Bele
and I did not dissent nor differ in our service ; but what he did,
I did, and what I said, he affirmed."
His Excellency wishes me to return to the Ambassador, but I
hope this may be no hindrance to my revocation, which I beseech
you to hasten, as you love me. What has followed since mine of
Oct. 17, my lord will acquaint you with.—Flushing, this [5?] of
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 134.]
JOOS DE ZOETE, [Lord of Villiers], to WALSINGHAM.
Having got out of my long prison with the promise to procure
the release of Jan de Castille, your prisoner, I applied to the earl
of Leicester, who, without my ever having done him any service,
has used his interest to obtain him for me. I hope, Sir, that you
will not disapprove, and for this benefit I shall ever remain
your most obliged servant. And as I have all my life vowed
humble service to my country, my release will give me the means
of continuing it towards her Majesty, who has taken the protection
thereof.—Flushing, the 16th Dec.
Holograph. Add. Endd. "From M. Villiers. That Jehan
de Castillia may be delivered in exchange for him." French. 1 p.
[Holland XIX. f. 136.]
LORD WILLUGHBY to BURGHLEY.
"After my last letters were written, my Lord General, preparing
himself to go aboard, acquainted me at that instant that he
thought it not convenient to deliver me my letters patents and
would transport them home with him. I was ready (as it became
me) to obey and believe him, and truly persuading myself he did
it not without great care and providence, to prevent the cavilling
of the miscontented party ; nevertheless, I require that if I must
serve her Majesty here, I may have her sufficient authorizing ;
otherwise I shall rather choose to commend myself to the mercy
of her Majesty and your honourable censures at home, by my
return, than by my being here to hinder her Majesty's services
and undo myself ; where it is likely that in such a case else some
more sufficient than myself would be chosen. I confess that my
lord general hath laid upon me more honourable and large
authority than I am worthy of ; but as my stay in these parts is
only upon her Majesty's commandment, so I require that either
my authority may come from thence, or else my leave to leave
all and come home. I beseech your lordship pardon this scribbled
letter, for every man's haste aboard has made me in this rude
manner to commend myself and my suit unto you. . ."—Flushing,
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 138.]
THOMAS KNYVETT to WALSINGHAM.
Since writing on the 1st instant, his Excellency has willed my
Lord Governor to send some into England, to receive such order
for provision of victual and munition as it shall please your
honour to take for supply of this garrison ; desiring him to set
down what he thinks needful. But, in my judgment, we cannot
here "deliver any proportion certain," because the whole stands
upon her Majesty's course with the States ; "with whom if she
agree to continue her assistance in the wars, so long we shall
need no store of victuals, for on the sudden we can have out of the
island to serve plentifully. The people will be better pleased to
have a vent of these commodities, and the soldier, having his
lendings, will be better content to provide his own victual fresh
with change as he shall be able, than to have one certainty to be
forced on him, wherein the victualler, to make his gain, will not
care to discontent both the one and the other. But if her Majesty
conclude a peace without them, and do not fully assure them
that she will not deliver the cautionary towns to the enemy,
wherewith, as well as with the withdrawing of her assistance,
they are not a little terrified, then shall we need to have greater
supply." In my opinion the victualling of the garrison can never
be so well done out of England as here ; which will so content both
soldiers and people that if her Majesty be pleased to keep the
town, "I doubt not but the inhabitants (so as they may be eased
of their excise and imposts) will easily be wrought to be contented,
though the wealthiest magistrates, that depend upon the States
and affect their own government under the name of liberty, will
with all their power 'repugne' against it. And withal, I assure
myself that one year's revenues of the town and island being
bestowed in fortification, that it will defend and defray itself
against any force of Christendom. But this course is dangerous
and inconvenient in the course her Majesty hath held, and is
not to be attempted unless she grow careless to hold longer
correspondence with the States.
"If proportions be needful, that for Flushing will serve for
both. . .In the meantime, my Lord Governor, for his better
assurance, hath gotten the magistrates of this town anew to
swear their fidelity to her Majesty ; the copy of their oath I have
sent hereinclosed ; at the taking whereof they made a frank and
voluntary protestation, that so as her Majesty would not leave
them to the enemy, they would most willingly adventure both
life and fortune with her, even against the States."—Briell,
6 December, 1587.
Postscript. The Governor's secretary has brought him a
cannon, demi-cannon and culverin from Flushing at his own
charges, otherwise he could not have had any. "His Excellency
hath further given order for one company of men more and 400
bullets for the great ordnance, but my lord must likewise be at the
charges to fetch them. But no one penny of money for the
soldiers, so as both they and their creditors here are greatly
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. very closely written. [Holland
XIX. f. 140.]
The oath above mentioned : viz. to fulfil and keep all the
articles agreed on between her Majesty and the States concerning
this town and garrison, and not to suffer anything that may tend
to the dispossessing of her Majesty's interest therein until she be
satisfied for all the moneys she "hath or shall disburse" in the
cause of these countries. ⅓ p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 141.]
Resolution of the deputies of Oestergoe, Westergoe, Sevenwolden
and the towns, now assembled at Leeuwarden, touching the
entering into a Christian and sure peace :—That they have
received from several deputies copies of two letters written by
the Earl of Leicester on behalf of the Queen of England to the
States General ; one of 15 October, and the other, brought by
Mr. Ortell of 17 November, both last past concerning the said
negotiation for a peace ; and seeing the good inclination borne by
her Majesty of England to these lands, they have thought good
that, on behalf of the Province of Friesland, before the resolution
be brought into the States General, that their deputies at Breda
shall agree to go forward in treating for a christian peace on
honourable and safe conditions. And the deputies of Westergoe
have and do authorize Dr. Sixtus van Dekenna and Godtschalk
Hiddema to conclude with the States General touching the same.
—Leeuwaerden, 6 December, 1587, stilo veteri.
Signed by Ulbe van Ailwa, Sydert van Botnia and Scelte
van Douma, deputies. Copy. Flemish. 1 p. [Holland XIX.
GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
I have been silent this long while, knowing that your honour
is fully advertised of all things by order of his Excellency, and not
wishing to trouble you in the midst of your weighty affairs. But
I have been forced by several letters to crave you for some
relief, by preferment or otherwise, and last year to this end had
one of my servants to lie there on purpose to be a suitor to your
honour ; who then—as since by your letters—put me in good
hope that although her Majesty would not be drawn into further
charge, yet upon his Excellency's return hither, you would devise
some means for me, which as yet I have not felt, your favour
having been hindered by my evil hap. But I trust the Lord
will provide the better for me, and doubt not thereof so long as I
may enjoy your honour's good-will. "And whatsoever may have
been said, written, or reported to your honour of me or my dealing,
I will prove and maintain the same to have been good and honest
and for her Majesty's service" ; and whenever it shall please you
to advance me into any service, I doubt not but to discharge it
I have troubled Mr. Beale to be a means for me to your honour,
and beseech you to continue your favour to me.—Delft,
6 December, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 145.]
LORD WILLUGHBY to BURGHLEY.
The day my Lord General departed, I enquired what treasure
was left, thinking myself bound to answer for its employment so
long as I had this charge.
"I found no more remaining in Kennett the treasurer's man's
hands than 1400l., which sum is not sufficient to maintain the
weekly lendings of this garrison of Flushing above one month.
At Barghen they were put to 'provand' seven or eight days
since, which is supposed also will not last above one fortnight at
the uttermost. I do take Ostend to be in the like estate, whither
I have sent to know the certainty thereof. If these places want
both meat and money, your lordship can well conceive what
mutinies, what treasons (whereunto our people of slight causes
are readily given) lastly, what famine and death, to the reproach
of us both at home and abroad, as also the utter ruin of the army,
"They have counts, reckonings and warrants signed and sealed,
but no money paid, and the poor creatures are in great want of
all necessaries if they be not supplied." I beseech your lordship,
with what speed you may, to cause some treasure to be sent
over," without which we are not able to live, much less to war, if
we should be called thereunto according to the contract, or
rather to the occasions hanging strongly over us, which may
suddenly light on us. I humbly beseech your lordship pardon
me that I solicit a matter no more acceptable, which truly I do
not willingly but of necessity ; and I hope you shall see the
effects of my care hereafter."
I hope your lordship will not forget my other letter touching my
own estate, now Bargen is out of my hands.—Flushing,
8 December, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 147.]
Nov. 29./Dec. 9.
COUNT MAURICE to WALSINGHAM.
I shall write nothing in relation to the proposals of Odo Colona,
for you will understand them by reading the summary I send
you but I assure you he is a young man of lively and ready
wit who speaks well and has been well brought up, although
showing by his writings that he knows hardly anything beyond
the court of Rome and his acquaintance with the good houses of
Italy. He has seemed to some of mine, older and more experienced
than myself, that there was reason in what he said, and that
I ought to advertise her Majesty thereof, both from the nature
of what he says, and to let her know that when occasion offers,
I am her very affectionate servant, which it is fitting to my
quality and house to show by deeds and not by words. And in
this intention, I am here in this army, assembled by my diligence
from all places of my government, with intent, if God does me
that grace, to withstand the power of the greatest enemies of
her Majesty's and of all Christendom ; which are the King of
Spain and the Prince of Parma, who, with all my heart I desire
to meet in person, when I hope, by God's aid to make him understand
that he is not so good a soldier where he finds resistance as
when ill-advised men give victories into his hands, and help him
by their cowardice to take so many fine towns.
I pray you to maintain me in her Majesty's good graces and to
continue to me the friendship which you bore to my father, for
I hope God will give me grace to follow him in constancy and
firm resolution. In the fleet near Biervliet, 9 December, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. In Pierre de Villiers' hand-writing.
French. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 149.]
Examination of Odo Colonna.
Taken on the Brussels road with a passport of his captain who
is in garrison at Grave, to go to Brussels, and brought to Rotterdam
to be examined. Re-examined at Camfer.
Son of the late Mutio Colonna, nephew of Prospero and of
Cardinal Marc Antonio. Left Rome from fear of the pope who
is the worst since Boniface, and because he had slain a knight of
Malta. Did not make himself known to Parma because their
houses are not friendly. 12 to 15,000 foot and 500 horse have left
for Netherlands, almost all Italians banished from Naples and
Rome, the levy made in the pope's name, Spinelli maitre de camp.
On arriving most have been distributed in garrison and the old
soldiers, as well Spanish as Italian drawn out to be employed on
the enterprise of the Prince of Parma. Before they left a large
number of Italians was sent to Sardinia, no Germans ; but the
Archduke Ferdinand charged to send Germans to Netherlands,
does not know how many. Heard that army of Parma and the
Marquis of Santa Cruz would consist of 60,000 men. When asked
the intention of this army he would only inform the Prince of
Orange. Brought to the chamber of the Count of Nassau told
him that he knew from his uncle, the Cardinal, that the pope had
made a league against the Queen of England for which he had
held three consistories. The pope was chief, and there were also
the king of Spain, the dukes of Florence, Savoy, Ferrara, Urbino,
Mantua and other Italian potentates, the House of Austria and
other Germans. The Venetians wished to stand out, but had at
last agreed to give money. The king of France, after several
refusals, only entered when the pope threatened to excommunicate
him. The king of Scotland will enter on condition that the king
of Spain has him crowned king of England and will give him his
daughter in marriage. The Prince of Parma to conduct the war
by land and Santa Cruz by sea. The Spaniards boast that they
will destroy the English fleet if they meet it. When objected
that he took no account of the king of Scotland being of the
religion he mocked saying that kings do everything for advantage.
Told that the Queen looked for peace and the Prince of Parma was
willing to treat, he said she might do what she pleased but she
could see if these preparations were for peace. Told that the
king of Spain himself had written about it to the king of Denmark
he replied that the king of Spain might do this to deceive but the
war would still go forward in the name of the pope and of the
Grand Master of Malta. He knew from his uncle that the funds
of which the pope was assured, derived from the said princes
and the clergy of Italy whom he had compelled, amounted to
8 millions. Asked what he wished to do, said he was content
to remain in that country where the pope had no power and not
leave it until the pope died. On the advice of the earl of
Leicester he was sent prisoner to Vuillemstad.
Endd. The confession of Odo Colonna. 3½ pp. Also in
Villiers' hand. French. [Holland XIX. f. 151.]
THE DEPUTIES OF WESTERGOE to DR. HERBERT.
Having heard that her Majesty of England has been pleased
to inform the States General of the good and maternal affection
with which she embraces these afflicted provinces, accompanied
by a proposal to procure for us, a good, firm and christian peace
with the King of Spain and thus to deliver these provinces.
And as, thereupon, the illustrious lord, Guillaume Loys, Comte
de Nassau, Governor and Captain-general, together with the
States deputed by this country, has found it expedient to assemble
these States and to put before them the above :—
We, being assembled to the same end in the town of Leeuwarden,
and having discussed the good offer of her Majesty, have deputed
Dr. Sixtus a Dekema and Godschalk de Hiddama, to go with all
diligence to the town of Delft, to the assembly of the States
General of the United Provinces, to labour with the said States,
and to take such good and sound resolution as they shall find
fitting for a good, Christian and assured peace, with preservation
of the true, evangelical religion, and maintainance of the ancient
privileges, rights, usages and customs of our country, and pray
your noble lordship, that our said commissioners and deputies,
in what they are charged withal by us, may be received with all
favour and graciously heard, and that it may please you to assist
them by your authority.—Leeuwarden, 9 December, 1587,
Signed by Sydert van Botnya, Ulbe van Aylva and Schelte van
Douma. Add. Endd. French. 1¼ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 153.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
Since my last, here has been with the Lord General Marshal
Vilyers, "who hath obtained of him Don John di Castillia
presently to be delivered, repaying your money ; whereupon I
told his lordship that I could not let him go till such time as
I heard from your honour and likewise from the Princess of
Orange ; the which answer he took in very evil part, being much
offended that I should doubt of his word ; saying he would see you
satisfied and that the Princess was content ; but as yet the
prisoner remaineth in my hands, and shall, till such time as I have
your money and that the Princess be content.
"I have so often troubled your honour for a full pay for this
garrison and other wants, as I am loft to write any more, but
rather humbly to beseech her Majesty that she would wholly
discharge me of this troublesome place ; having dealt to that
effect with the Lord General, who hath promised me not only in
that, but also to deal most effectually with her Majesty for Sir
William Pelham's offices, with many good words, but if your
honour do not stand my honourable friend in it, I am afraid I
shall go without. . ."—Flushing, 10 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 155.]
DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
His Highness is gone to Brussels, but M. de Champagney said the
Duke might take it amiss, if I followed him to see what he
was doing there ; all his household and his Council being still
here. Therefore I have written to him what I thought needful,
and hourly expect his answer, with which Morris will at once
return, both of us being in great anxiety. M. de Champagney
thinks that the deputies ought to come first, and when at Ostend
or elsewhere, they will certainly have whatever safe-conduct they
ask, and suspension of arms will also be granted then, since he
is sure the Duke desires to make peace, unless prevented by
delays. I have frequently written that if the King shows himself
determined to make war in good earnest, then there will be no
other remedy, and to that end, preparation must be made ; but
I cannot persuade myself that there is any real intention of it here.
The Duke is vexed by the suspicion which there seems to be of
him, he having given orders all along the coast that if the deputies
should arrive in any place, they are to be received with every
courtesy. When Morris departs, I shall go with him, to satisfy,
by word of mouth, what scruples may remain.—Bruges, 10
December, 1587, stilo antico.
Add. Endd. by Burghley as received on Dec. 26. Italian.
1¼ pp. [Flanders I. f. 378.]