[SERGEANT-MAJOR] THOS. WYLSFORD to BURGHLEY.
Although many men doubt that the preparations in Spain and
here are for invading England, yet when it is considered what
number of men is requisite for so high an enterprise, the amount of
victuals, horses, munition &c., necessary, the infinite numbers of
ships for the transporting of these, and whence they shall all rise
if Holland and Zeeland be kept assured to her Majesty ; also
where shall be their place of rendezvous ; where they shall harbour
if storms arise, where shall be their magazines for victuals, &c. ;
"and if it shall be concluded, as it must needs be, that either in
or out of these parts or nowhere ; then must it follow that these
preparations are but shadows and scarecrows to terrify her
Majesty, thereby to draw her forces out of these countries, whereby
they may be supplied abundantly of things requisite for an
invasion. It may be objected that the States having some of
them disjoined themselves from his Excellency, have an intention
to make their own peace, which if they should do, her Majesty
assuring this island to herself, as she may take just cause to do,
and [sic] may keep it in despite of all her foes, and it shall be
always able to prevent all dangers that may grow or hap to
England, and of itself defray the most part of her Majesty's
"But if her Majesty would have an end of these lingering wars,
then this next August to bring 10000 "rutters," and 20000 footmen
for three months into the field, and let them begin to spoil, waste
and burn Brabant, Artois and Flanders, and to take no towns but
Dunkirk and the sea towns along to Flushing, and so let them go
home again through Gueldres ; half pay and the spoil will content
and enrich the whole army.
"This is a most easy charge and sure war, and will reduce all
the country at her Majesty's devotion, or else starve them the
next year following ; and in ten years they shall not be able to
recover it again. Experience of this was had when the rutters
were last here in the great camp when Duke John died, (fn. 1) where
there was only meat and forage taken, without wasting houses
or 'dorpes' [villages], and to this day they have not recovered it
again ; but must have perished unless ourselves had nourished
"I would to God it might please her Majesty only to venture my
Lord Willobie, now our General, in the execution of such an
action. I assure myself 'of' a very happy success would follow,
to her Majesty's great honour and renown, and to the safety of
England..."—Floshing, 12 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 157.]
THE PRIVY COUNCIL.
Resolutions taken on this date. (fn. 2)
1 "That the Commissioners appointed for the treaty with the
Duke of Parma may stay until her Majesty shall receive the
States' answer from Mr. Herbert.
2 "That for the hastening of their answer it shall be meet that
Mr. Herbert should be directed to urge them to yield their answer
at a day prefixed, with protestation that receiving not the same
to come away, and to desire that an act may be made of the said
That it shall be convenient in the mean time to advertise the
Duke of Parma of the cause of the stay of the said commissioners.
"The letters communicate towns [sic].
"The States to be solicited for ships. (fn. 3)
3 "That touching the government of these countries, it shall
be convenient that the Lord Willoughby should be limited by
Instructions, only to deal in those things that concerneth the
regiment and government of her Majesty's forces, without
intermeddling in any thing that concerneth the government of
the said countries. That it shall be convenient also that
signification be made to the States that her Majesty finding their
little respect that was yielded unto the late governor, the Earl of
Leicester [Margin, as correction or alternative [finding them]
"not yield the authority agreed by contract, nor the authority
given by themselves to the Earl of Leicester"] hath thought
meet to direct the Lord Willoughby to forbear to deal in anything
that concerneth the government of those countries, having
appointed him only to have the oversight and charge of her own
forces serving in those countries."
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date. 1 p. 2 lines.
[Ibid. XIX. f. 159.]
LORD WILLUGHBY to WALSINGHAM.
Thanks him for his continued love and favour as regards his
"bad estate in this place." If he thought he could do her
Majesty service, would refuse no travail, but sees that all things
The soldiers "are put to provand, which is almost spent."
There is scarce money to relieve the garrison of Flushing for a
month. "The other garrisons must run away, mutiny or starve."
Beseeches him to solicit for some treasure to be sent over.
The States are at the Hague. Has heard nothing from them,
and has thought it best "to stay" hitherto, hoping for further
directions from home.
"Counts Hollock and Maurice have ridden all this while in the
fleet besides Biereflete. There is nothing yet done, neither by
them nor the enemy. There is some likelihood his great army will
dissolve like snow, and then there were some good if with joined
forces, both from home and on this side" they should strike in
For the rest, has commended to his cousin Stubbs to solicit for
him.—Flushing, 13 December.
Postscript. Recommending the bearer, Capt. Morgan Wolfe,
who is "very discreet to use both his pen and his sword."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 161.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
"Upon my lord of Leicester's departure, according to his
Lordship's pleasure, John de Castillio was released ; and having
received the better part of his ransom and taken the Burgomasters'
words here for the rest, I pray to know how you will have the
Some freebooters of this town very lately took an English
seminary priest (fn. 4) and three soldiers, and slew a Scottish colonel,
in the way from Brussels to 'Brudges.' They had very few
letters, and only on private affairs save one English one, "which
showeth that the Prince's preparations is thought altogether too
weak for England, but is rather to attempt somewhat either
against Ireland, this town or this island, or some towns here about
Vere." The priest as yet protests ignorance of the enemies'
determination, but as he is likely to be acquainted with other
matters, and may upon longer imprisonment confess somewhat,
I desire to know your pleasure what whall be done with him.
I pray your furtherance that this garrison may receive some pay,
they being in much extremity for want of it ; also that I may be
freed from this place and that you will remember me for the office
of Lieutenant of the Ordnance.—Flushing, 15 December, 1587.
Postscript in his own hand "The priest's name is 'Grine,' a
gentleman of Essex."
Signed. Add. Endd. [Ibid. XIX. f. 163.]
THE QUEEN to JOHN HERBERT.
Seeing the States' answer to her motion to have them join with
her in the intended treaty of peace is so long delayed, she desires
him to let them understand that she finds this very strange—seeing
that they were long before made acquainted with the matter by
the Earl of Leicester, their governor and by other means—and
that it gives her just cause to think that it proceeds from "a kind
of contempt, for the matter itself...ought to have moved them
(if they carried that love and zeal to the well-doing of those
countries as outwardly they pretended) to have taken both
thankfully the said motion and to have yielded speedily unto the
same" ; which falling out otherwise, shows that some of the
chief guiders of that government care more for their particular
passions than for the general good. For, considering the state
of the country, nothing can be so profitable for them as a good and
sound peace, the proposal for which proceeds from a Prince who
has proved as careful for their safety as he who professes to love
the country most.
If therefore he has not heard from them before the receipt
of this, he shall fix them a day to yield their resolute answer, and
if he does not then receive it shall return with all speed into
England, giving them a copy of his protestation in writing and
requiring an Act to be made to be shown to her.
And whereas she has been informed with what small respect
her cousin the Earl of Leicester has been used by the States,
especially since his last repair thither, "through the practice of
certain ambitious and factious persons" ; and forasmuch as she
reputes wrongs and indignities offered to him as done to herself,
considering the place be held, she has thought good that he should
resign his government into their hands, and has caused him to
make an instrument which she sends herewith ; desiring Herbert
to deliver it into their hands, and withal to let them know that
although such person of quality as she should send as her
Lieutenant General should, by virtue of their contract with her
"have a kind of superintendency and authority in the government
there," yet considering their hard usage of the said Earl, in not
permitting him to use the authority by their own contract given
to him, she has by special direction inhibited Lord Willoughby
(whom she has appointed lieutenant of her forces) to deal or
intermeddle in any thing that concerns their civil government,
finding no likelihood that they will permit him, being inferior in
dignity, to use the same, when they prevented her cousin of
Leicester, whom they had voluntarily made their governor
general, from using the authority they themselves had given him.
Copy. Endd. with date. 3 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 165.]
CAPT. ANTHONY WINGFIELD to WALSINGHAM.
"These times and places are become so quiet there is nothing
to report save their misery, which is such that having spent her
Majesty's store there, they were driven six days ago to feed on the
magazine of the town ; and how far this may tend to the prejudice
of the place, his honour may conjecture. Those who have
hitherto willingly given them credit are now desperate of recovering
their own, and dare not trust them any further.
The enemy's preparations seem to tend to some greater
enterprise than he has yet attempted, or than this country can
give him. Prays earnestly that if it be against any place in which
her Majesty is interested, he may be thought worthy with his
band to be employed there ; much more desiring to spend his
blood in her Majesty's and his country's service than his days
thus idly in obscurity.—Bergen op Som, 16 December, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 167.]
Note of the accounts of the Tellers of the Exchequer from 9 to
16 December, 1587.
[Rich :] Stonley. In hand and receipts
To John Hawkins esquire, treasurer of the
Admiralty towards the charge of certain of her
Majesty's ships at sea for six weeks
To James Quarles for victualling the same
To Francis Guilpyne for the charges of dinner
in the Treasurer's chamber for the Lord
Treasurer, Barons and other officers of the
Exchequer sitting there for her Majesty's
affairs the 9th of this present December
And so remaineth
[Henry] Killigrew, his weekly remain
Taillor. In hand and receipts
To Nowell Sotherton, clerk of the extracts in
the Exchequer, for extracting forth the fines of
recusants, &c. 20l.
To John Jenkins, messenger 13s. 4d.
And so remaineth
In hand and receipts
Paid to the Earl of Oxford as part of his yearly
payment of 400l.
And so remaineth
Sum total of all there remains 16 December,
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIX. f. 169.]
Draft of resignation, by the Earl of Leicester of his offices of
Lieutenant General of her Majesty's forces, and Governor-General
of the United Provinces. [In this first draft is a clause
thanking the States for the confidence they have shown him and
the honour they have done him, but this is marked for deletion].
—London, 17 December, 1587.
Endd. French. 1¾ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 171.]
Copy of the above, as corrected.
Endd. French. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 173.]
SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL to WALSINGHAM.
Stating that he reposes his whole confidence in his honour, both
as regards his coming away and the procuring of the office of
Lieutenant of the Ordnance. Wrote lately touching certain
prisoners taken by freebooters serving under Capt. Littleton's
company, amongst whom was an English seminary priest named
Greene. Asks to know what his honour would have done with
him, and prays his favour for the said Captain Littleton, being one
who will deserve no less.—Vlishing, 18 December, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. f. 175.]
SIR JOHN CONWAY to SIR THOS. SHERLEY.
I understand by Captain Brakenbury your friendly proceeding
with me, and assure you that you shall find me thankful.
"My desire is that you will remember the present time and this
place with due consideration. It standeth else in great danger
and despair. The Prince's forces lie very near and very strong.
Being disappointed in his first intention and purposes, he must
and will do something to satisfy the world's expectation and the
country's desire, which is nothing more than that he should free
"His preparations both for a siege and surprise are wonderful ;
which he hath brought to Odingborrough being but two English
miles from us." Their forces, 17000 strong lie within five hours'
march of Ostend. The Prince is still at Bridges with all his
Council and nobility, and sometimes goes to Newport and Dunkirk
with small companies.
"This place is ill provided if he should sit down before it ; and
hardly bested though he never attempt it, if you relieve us not."
Except some rye in the States' store there is no provision of any
kind in all the town to serve the garrison ten days.
"The burger this four months hath traded nothing in fear of
the enemy's attempt and by reason the passage is unsafe by sea.
They have lived all that time past of the Queen's store for their
ready money, and now both soldiers and burghers will want
together...If we have not weekly supplies by your orders either
of money or victual, to hold the soldiers contented, I see not
what will become of the place...
"Here is brought...by order from Mr. Bromly, merchant, for
the use of Sir Walter Waller's company, 107 cassocks, 120 pairs
of Venetian hose, 120 pairs of cloth stockings...This much Mr.
Bromly desireth me to advertise you of..."—Ostend, 18 December,
1587 stilo Anglie.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley's clerk. 1½ pp. [Ibid.
XIX. f. 177.]
CORNEILLE COELS, imperial notary, to THE QUEEN.
Offer of his "Salomonicque traduction" as a proof of his
respectful duty, praying that God may so stretch out his hand to
her that she may not fail in faith ; lose hope or forget charity.
—The Hague, 29 December, 1587.
Add. Endd. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 179.]
DE LOO to BURGHLEY.
I wrote urging an answer to her Majesty's requests ; whereupon
I understand the Duke wrote to the Secretary Cosimo that the
Count Mansfeldt, Count Arenberg, M. de Champagney and
President Richardot were to answer me in his name. Yesterday
afternoon these lords with Signor Cosimo, the Audiencer and
Secretary Garnier sent for me to say that I should inform her
Majesty. (1) That if she would send her deputies quickly, the
Duke promised to treat with them for the concluding of a peace,
agreeably to his first resolve and although he was much displeased
to have been so much put off, yet he still remained of the same
disposition, in sign whereof I should be given a new passport,
which the Duke had sent [Margin, by Burghley "dated 12 Dec."]
(2) As to the place, his Highness would prefer Berghes to any other,
seeing that he will have occasion to be mostly about those parts.
(3) For the suspension of arms ; that upon the assembling of the
deputies, this should be the first thing that should be determined.
When I gave the reasons for going to Ostend, the President
replied : you have heard that the Duke would prefer the other
place ; and Count Mansfeldt then said that what the President
had declared was all the commission they had from the Duke and
for the rest, the said President would treat with me more at
large. And so, in the evening going to his house, he declared to
me that her Majesty might rest assured that on her first dispatching
her deputies, his Highness would send the King's commissioners
to conclude the peace ; and that they should if possible go to
Berghes ; though at Ostend or elsewhere they would be welcome
(the place remaining in her choice) and orders had been given all
along the coast for their proper reception, The cessation of
arms (he said), should be treated of and granted as soon as ever
the deputies assembled, the Duke having no intention, during
the treaty of taking any hostile action. For the armada of Spain,
the President solemnly swore to me that he had no knowledge of
its intended coming, and that the treaty being once entered upon,
they would not fail to hasten to write into Spain, and to inform
his Catholic Majesty thereof, for the stay there also of any
hostilities. I went this same evening to M. de Champagney and
to Signor Cosimo, who assured me of the same, Signor Cosimo
saying that it would be well, if possible, to please the Duke by
going to Berghes, as being nearer to Brussels, where the Royal
And this morning, going again to the President, I took Morris
with me, that he might himself hear what the President said to
to me, who, at my request very willingly told and affirmed
to him everything. I think it no small thing to have obtained
so much, especially as the Duke went away not too well satisfied.
I have asked them to give me the answer in writing, but they
did not think it necessary, and that her Majesty and the Council
there should give me credit, as they had done. Morris heard
this and the President, told him plainly, that the deputies will be
very welcome and that the passport (enclosed) has no limitation as
to place, so that I hope (and believe) that they may come wherever
they please, even if it were to the Sluis, and thence to Bruges.
And being in some harbour, the time and place for the treaty will
be very easily agreed upon, and the long desired peace may very
quickly be concluded, and the sooner the better ; assuring your
lordship that here the intention is perfettissima, and praying you
that I may, be speedily extricated from the great anxiety in
which I find myself from the heavy outlay and loss which daily
increase upon me ; though as it is for the public, I shall be the
better for it in the end. I shall be very glad to know whether
when the deputies are in treaty, there will remain anything for
me to do, as I wish to return to my house and affairs which are
going to ruin and to my family who are left desolate of all things
by my long absence.
The letter for Ostend is sent by a trumpet, and he will bring the
reply to send to you.
If the safe-conduct is not yet signed by her Majesty, the President
would have it altered as in the annexed copy, but if already done,
it may be left as it is. I pray for a speedy reply concerning my
return home.—Bruges, 19 December, 1587, stilo antico.
Add. Endd. by Burghley as "brought by Morris, that is sick
at Dover...Rec. 26 December. Answer was made to this, and
a passport sent from [sic] the Spanish Commissioners by Pyne
of Gravesend." Italian. 3½ pp. [Flanders I. f. 380.]
DE LOO to THE QUEEN.
Believes they have reached the end of this long journey ; if she
will be satisfied with the Duke's reply, as his Highness certainly
desires to please her and order her deputies to be set out. She
need not be uneasy in so doing, she will not find herself deceived,
but on the contrary will learn what affection, honour and respect
his Highness regards her and she will find (as the proverb says)
Che li riuscira meglio in pane che in farina. (fn. 5) For the rest refers
to his letter to the Treasurer.—Bruges, 19 December, stilo antico.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. I. f. 382.]
H. KILLIGREW to BURGHLEY.
The bearer Mr. Atye will so amply inform you of the State here
that I need write the less. For the treaty of peace, I do not see
that my lord Ambassador shall receive satisfaction, for they are
obstinately bent to defence, and rather than alter their purpose
would be "void" of her Majesty's succours. "I speak of these
of Holland. We are advertised that they have some purpose to
make us weary of Flushing and the Briell, whereof my lord
ambassador and I have given knowledge this day to the governors
. . .and the like is intended against Sonoy in North Holland. Our
government here is not of such experienced men as were to be
wished, and there be two gone home of late that can tell how to
deal with the humours of these men very well ; to wit Sir John
Payton and Colonel Morgan. If you have need to send any, they
will do good service. . .
For their government they mean to advance Count Maurice
and the Count Hohenlo, and to weary strangers by all the means
they may. They prepare to content their soldiers ; 6000 new
cassocks and as many slops ; all this to appear after my lord
Ambassador's departure. God had need to fight for them, for
they have no town well furnished, nor any garrison well paid,
and the provinces not best united. And yet hope they to do
wonders, because God hath heretofore preserved them by miracle.
They hope much of the good success in France, and upon the
death of the King of Spain, and are now encouraged, thinking
their navy by sea prevented the Duke of Parma's purposes.
Also they are certainly advertised that Sir Martyn 'Skent' hath
by surprise taken the town of 'Bon,' above 'Collen,' which will
hardly be kept.
With my lord of Leicester they have dealt most unthankfully,
even in the despatch of Mr. Atye. I think they will use her
Majesty little better in the demands I am to make for restitution
of moneys disbursed out of her treasure for their service, whereof
I shall be able to advertise your lordship by the next, having
hitherto no good opportunity to deal therein. To show they
have small devotion to treat, they have suffered this enclosed
[wanting] to be published without controlment. . .I would her
Majesty had a good peace, and that they had power to their wills
to continue the wars until I persuaded them to peace. . .
I would pray your furtherance to my revocation, but that
I think the Council of State shall dissolve the 4th of February by
some form of government they have conceived—'Delphe,'
20 December, '87.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland XIX. f. 181.]
H. KILLIGREW to WALSINGHAM.
I enclose the copy of M. de la Noue's letter, (fn. 6) which I know
your honour will be glad to see. "My lord ambassador is likely
to have no answer to his desire, for these men will not yield to
treat for peace...and for the government they have as yet taken
no order, but as I hear propose to set up the Count Maurice, and
the Count of Hohenlo for his lieutenant. I have written to his
Excellency to persuade for the surety of the cautionary towns,
whereof there is great need, and sure we be weakly assisted here. . .
therefore send over Col. Morgan and Sir John Payton as soon as
you may conveniently, for they both are best acquainted with the
humours and manners of this nation." [Taking of Bonn by
Schenck]—Delphe, 20 December, '87.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XIX. f. 183.]
THOMAS KNYVETT to WALSINGHAM.
I am forced (being presently to go to Delphe to my lord
Ambassador) fearing my sister's departure before my return,
"to let them pass with their errors, and so to commit both them
and myself to your wonted favour.
I cannot pass over the inconvenience we daily fall into here by
want of pay to the soldiers, which unless it be remedied, will force
this town and garrison, being now fourteen months unpaid, into
great hazard. The officers have gone so long upon credit to
relieve the soldiers that they can be trusted no longer ; for the poor
burgers, to give them credit, have mortgaged the best of their
goods, which not being able to redeem, they have forfeited, to
their great impoverishing and discontentment. The soldiers,
lacking this help, grow impatient, and murmer when punished
for thefts, alleging their wants, neither can any severity restrain
them from daily committing such insolences until their wants be
supplied. Therefore I entreat your honour's help for a present
supply and some better course hereafter...If the order appointed
by her Majesty and directed by your honours might be observed...
there could nothing happen in this place that should not effectually
satisfy her and your honour." I think my lord governor
will write to the Lords.—Bryell, 20 December, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. closely written. [Ibid. XIX. f. 185.]
ARTHUR CHAMPERNOWNE to WALSINGHAM.
Sir Thomas Sherley would give me, at his departure, but a
month's lendings for my company, which I have brought from
a very weak band to six score strong, and have armed most part
of them at my own charge. The month is now ended, and we
have nothing but what the burgers of Utrecht will lend us ; who,
for love of her Majesty and his Excellency,—albeit the money
with which they relieved sundry of our companies last year is not
yet repaid—have granted us a fortnight's lendings, after which
we shall hardly have means to entertain our soldiers. The burgers
do not give us as much as we weekly pay our men, allowing me
but 15l. a week, and I am driven to pay three or four pounds out
of my own purse besides, and have been at great charge in taking
up men to strengthen my band, as also to arm them and others
of the company whom I found unarmed. I fear Mr. Treasurer
will scarce restore me what I disburse unless your honour will
favour me by speaking to him of it.
I shall sue to you shortly to be a means to his Excellency that
in recompense of the great charges I have been at in raising and
making strong the company, he will give me these two months
without check. I found but sixty men in the band when I took
it, and now they are a hundred and twenty. "The men we
entertain here, if they have served any little time and have any
money in their purses. . .stand so on points (because we cannot
compel them to serve at her Majesty's allowance) as the most
part we are driven to give them gentlemen's entertainment until
we can provide ourselves of others or else to keep our bands weak,
so that I have tant de la noblesse deschiree in my band as my
wealth much decreases at their nobility. . ."—Utryke, 20 December,
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Holland XIX. f. 187.]