Cecil Papers: February 1601, 1-10

Pages 26-40

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 11, 1601. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1906.

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February 1601, 1–10

1600/1, [Feb. 1]. I would gladly yesterday have spoken with you but the place was not convenient. Give me leave to offer your Honour this estimate of cordage from the merchants, because they press beyond my health, to hasten the privy seal; notwithstanding, I humbly submit myself to your leisure and wisdom in it.—From my lodging this Sunday.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“31 Jan. 1600” (sic). 1 p. (204. 116.)
George Goring to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 1. Presumes to present a new year's gift as a small token of a thankful mind : being of little value, hopes he will accept it, though he has refused greater matters from him.—This first of February, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (76. 32.)
Robert Dolman to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 1. I have by the space of 20 years faithfully served her Majesty as steward and receiver of the Lady of Lennox' lands, and am now tenant in possession of a farm of the said lands, called Hotonhang, of the yearly rent of 16l. 8s., and have offered 20 years' fine to have a lease from her Majesty. Yet the Lord Chamberlain, by colour of a more offer, hath got out a particular for the same farm, meaning thereby to expulse me and divers other tenants out of our several farms. My suit therefore is that you would vouchsafe me your letters to my Lord Treasurer in my favour, &c.—London, this first of February 1600.
Holograph. ½ p. (76. 33.)
Edward, Earl of Oxford to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1], Feb. 2. At this time I am to try my friends; among which, considering our old acquaintance, familiarity heretofore, and alliance of house—than which can be no straiter—as of my brother, I presume especially. Wherefore, I most earnestly crave, that if her Majesty be willing to confer the presidency of Wales to me, I may assure myself of your voice in Council. Not that I desire you should be a mover, but a furtherer, for as the time is, it were not reason. But if her Majesty, in regard of my youth, time and fortune spent in her Court, and her favours and promises which drew me on without any mistrust the more to presume in mine own expenses, confer so good a turn to me, that then you will further it as you may. I know her Majesty is of that princely disposition that they shall not be deceived which put their trust in her.—This 2nd of February.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 34.)
Mrs. Anne White to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 4. The bearer hereof, Mr. Hillyard, nephew unto Sir Christopher Hillyard, is married with my son Henry Welby's daughter, and by reason of some malicious enemies is called unto the Star Chamber by subpæoena. I beseech your favour in his behalf. The cause is long and tedious, wherefore he can better certify you than I can write.—From Woodhead, 4 February 1600.
Signed. ½ p. (76. 36.)
Mary, Lady Rogers to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 4. It happened by the death of my late most loving husband some controversies between my lord my brother and Sir Richard Rogers his father, touching assurances of my jointure and such like, which by all kind means have been endeavoured to be reconciled, and this term agreed upon between them for concluding the same. Now, upon a meeting by counsel on both parts, I am informed that John Stroude, of counsel with the knight, and one Browne produced in writing the quantity of seven sheets of paper containing many most odious and slanderous matters against me, deeply touching me in honour, being so scandalous that his counsel will not permit any for me to peruse or have sight of them (whereof I have great marvel and long to see). My earnest desire to you is to grant your warrant and a pursuivant to bring them before you, if they refuse to deliver the said writings, or the true copies of them.—The 4 of February 1600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (76. 37.)
Lord Chief Justice Popham to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 5. I send you here inclosed the note of the merchants strangers' names, with the trades they use. I also have taken a copy of the Walsh libel which I send you inclosed, upon which I have conferred with my Lord Chief Baron, and we are to have Mr. Attorney to confer further with this afternoon.—At Serjeants' Inn, the 5th of February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 35.)
[Sir Robert Cecil] to Sir Robert Carey.
[1600/1, Feb. 6]. I have acquainted her Majesty with the gentleman's letters who is in your house, to whom I pray you deliver this much as followeth : That her Majesty is pleased he should presently be set at liberty, and meaneth it shall be given out that she doth it because she hath perceived that he had to do for the King [of Scots] by virtue of his own commission, wherein although she doth plainly know that the said [Laird of] P[owrie] O[gilvy] hath been a trafficker in many matters, and that she hath plainly written of the same heretofore to the King, yet seeing he is returning into his country whereby he objecteth himself to the King's power without seeking to avoid it, her Majesty meaneth not to trouble herself with further examinations; being for her own part so confident in God's providence as she little doubteth to be protected as well in the future as she hath been already. She hath also sent him his letters, all which were broken up by some of the persons that apprehended him and his papers, and now dischargeth him with this direction, that he pass into Scotland without presuming to stay upon the border. Thus have I set down to you what must be his report. It now remaineth that you commend me to him, and let him know that in no sort I could observe the form he hath prescribed in his letter inclosed in yours, and therefore, thinking it in vain to dispute the circumstances any further, I thought better to procure him his direct liberty in this manner than to spend more time to and fro : for which setting him at liberty I do hereby give you her Majesty's warrant to perform it. I pray you also tell him that I have written to Berwick to deliver his man, and I will write to the agent to forbear to urge anything against him. And where it seemeth he would have a placard to be sent him for two horses by the Queen, methinks it stands with little congruity, except he would have it publicly avowed that her Majesty holds him in good opinion. But, Sir, because I know not what difficulties may accompany him presently in respect of his long absence and travails, and therefore although I would have no such matter whereof there might be speech, yet I pray your lordship let him have twenty pounds or thereabouts to buy him horse and carry him away. Of which sum, so soon as I shall hear from you, I will not fail to pay it to whomsoever you shall assign me.
And now, Sir, touching your leave, I have good witness that I have moved it, but I must plainly tell you that these suits for your coming up do put me to such contestation with the Queen as I protest, though you think they be trifles, they do procure me more sharp words than any thing else, especially because she hath a principal affiance in you, and she is daily advertised of practices upon the Border; so as I can draw no other resolution than this, that you shall be here at the next term to dispatch any of your business, but not before. I know this answer will displease you because it doth not content me, and yet I must pray [you] to take it as it is given me.
Endorsed :—“1600, 6 Febr : Copy of my master's letter to Sir Ro. Carey.” 12/3 pp. (76. 39.)
The Earl of Lincoln to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 7. Your man James Barnard is come to me, but he tells me plainly that he hath rather serve you again than any man in England; and therefore, I pray accept of him again, and upon that condition I will send you some of my pied pheasants, because the man shall have somewhat to do.—Canon Row, 7 February 1600.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (76. 40.)
The Earl of Essex.
1600/1, Feb. 8. Warrant from the deputy lieutenants.
“Whereas the Earl of Essex and his confederates have taken arms against the Queen's Majesty, and have this day been proclaimed traitors, and thereby are to be prosecuted as traitors and rebels : These are, in her Majesty's name, straitly to charge and command you, upon your allegiance, forthwith to arm yourselves, as many as can with horse and armour, and the rest as foot with pike and shot, presently to repair hither and with us to march to the Court for the defence of her Majesty's person, or otherwise as you shall be commanded; and the shot to be furnished with bullet, powder and match convenient.—From Stratford Langthorne, this Sunday the 8th of February at 3 afternoon. To the constables of N. and all other her Majesty's loyal and dutiful subjects within the same parish as it may concern and every of them.”
Draft or copy. 2/3 p. (76. 41.)
Christopher Gamble.
1600/1, Feb. 8. Christopher Gamble examined saith that he dwelleth in the Old Change over against Carter Lane end, and he is by trade a tailor. And saith that a tall gentleman, whose name he knoweth not, nor to his knowledge had seen him before, came about three weeks since unto his shop, and demanded whether he could make him a waistcoat without sleeves that should bear out a thrust. And this examinate told him he could, and thereupon made him a pattern of 4 canvases “ailett hol'd”; which he gave order unto this examinate to make and to cover it with taffeta. And this present the same gentleman came again about eight of the clock in the morning to fetch it away, and had it albeit it was not finished, for he said that he was to go forthwith into the country and could not stay any longer for it; this examinate receiving 6l. of him. Where he lodgeth or abideth, this examinate knoweth not, nor to whom he belongeth or what he professeth.—Taken before Sir Richard Martin, Knight, 8 February 1600.
Signed by Gamble. 1 p. (76. 42.)
John Bargar to Lord Cobham.
1600/1, [c. Feb. 8]. Not two days before these treacheries were put in practice, I moved Mr. Allen to entreat you to bestow some command on me, that I might thereby show my endeavour to do my country service under your Lordship; but now the case is altered, for I must now beg your exposition in a case that touches my life, goods and honest loyalty, which I most of all esteem. I must confess that I loved my Lord of Essex. I had reason to do so. I served Her Majesty as a voluntary in four actions under him, which had cost me well near a brace of thousand pounds. His smiles only promised me recompense, the which I had almost forgot, I have so seldom seen him since I came out of Ireland. He seemed to be a religious honest gent.; now he is found otherwise, I will never trust precisian for his sake. The circumstances was (as I shall be saved) thus. Having been at the sermon at Paul's Cross, and coming into the body of the church, I heard a confused noise, crying, Murder, murder, God save the Queen. My Lord of Essex should have been murdered in his bed by Sir Walter Rawleigh and his confederates, that they had gotten a strong troop of horse, and that they were ready to charge them in the rear, and that he sought nothing but a sudden defence till her Majesty might be better informed of it. The voice of so many earls, barons, knights and gent. made me believe it. Afterwards, it was renewed and confirmed by the entertainment of the Sheriff, and Alderman Martin, for he was kindly welcomed to the Sheriff's house, had beer sent out to his company, and armourers sent for thither, that promised him arms to furnish his company. I imagined that they knew it to be true, for I presumed they would not have promised aid to the Queen's enemy; but it appears that their promises were but delays to make him lose time. It was said that my Lord Burlye had some bickering with the head of my Lord of Essex' company, but he was soon gone, and I saw him not, being in the rear. The next that came to us was my Lord Mayor, with a herald, who dealt not as if he would have his company forsake him, for then he would have proclaimed him traitor in the head of his troops, but he desired rather to single him from his company, to the Sheriff's house. I having had some little acquaintance with the Lord Mayor, and beginning to suspect my Lord of Essex his cause not to be so honest as it should be, I stepped to the Lord Mayor, and desired him that he would take me to go at his stirrup, and employ me as he pleased. My drift in this was to get myself free from my Lord of Essex, to the Lord Mayor, for then I did not care how I got home [“got from him,” in the draft], but I was far from my lodging, and had no cloak, and to go in that fashion through the streets would have bred me many inconveniences. After this, my Lord Mayor sent me three or four times to my Lord of Essex, to the end to draw him from his company into some house, which he by no means would hearken to. After this I heard the Sheriff persuade my Lord of Essex that he should go down to Cheapside, and so to Ludgate and Newgate, that he might possess them and hold that side of the city secure, and he himself would go and provide armour in the mean time, both for himself and his company. Upon this my Lord of Essex took down Lombard Street, where I met with a friend, to whom I disclosed my opinion of the matter. I desired him to help me to my cloak, that I might be gone, which he promised to do, and so parted from me beside the stocks. We met again with my Lord Mayor, my Lord of Essex being past by him; he called me to him by my name, and told me that my Lord of Essex took a very ill course which would undo him. I told him I thought so. He entreated me to be very earnest with my Lord of Essex to go home with him to his house, and promised him that he should have a good guard of his own followers with him, and he would warrant him to save him harmless from any of those his adversaries which he said he feared, and withal told [him] that if he would not do it, it should be the worse for him. I overtook my Lord of Essex and forced those reasons my Lord Mayor willed me to him, so far that he grew offended with me, and said I knew not what I did. My Lord went then down towards Ludgate, where below Paul's stood Sir John Lewson with a certain guard, and the street chained up before him. My Lord of Essex had made an approach before I came in; but Sir John denying him passage, he retired a small distance from them, and so stood close with his company about him, in the end looking back towards Sir John, and spying me between them both, he willed me to tell Sir John that the sheriff of the city willed him to go [to] Ludgate and make that good, that he would send him arms thither, that pass he would, and for my Lord of Cumberland who had set him there, he knew if he were there himself he would not deny him passage, in regard that there were so many of his kinsmen, earls, barons and gent., which being naked, only with their rapiers, must enter upon armed pikes and shot. Sir John's answer was that if the Sheriff would come himself, he would give way as to the Queen, otherwise there he must stand. This speech was seconded by Bushell [Busshe, in draft], my Lord of Essex' gent. usher, from my Lord. In the mean time my Lord came on crying 'God save the Queen,' and although Sir John made me wish myself away, yet my Lord of Essex' approach was so sudden, that back I could not go, till the throng behind me was somewhat broken, but as soon as ever I could get back I hurled away my weapon and went to a house hard by, and borrowed a cloak, and got me home to my lodging; protesting that all this while I never heard that he was proclaimed traitor; and so soon as I perceived by Sir John that he was set there to resist him, I made away with all the speed I possibly could, as Sir John himself can witness, both of my being in Paul's at 12 of the clock, where I talked there with him, and that he saw me not after my Lord's approach. The truth whereof Sir John can better inform your Lordship.
But my Lord, I must (howsoever) trust to your favourable exposition of these my proceedings, and although I know you will be the more offended with me by reason that I am your countryman and born under your Lordship, my father being servant both to your father and yourself, yet when you shall consider the circumstances before alleged, I am sure you will look for the like honest proceedings to be in your own followers, if the like case should happen to your Lordship, which by his false voice, countenanced by so many lords and gent., I imagined him to be in, of which number of followers I will strive to be the faithfullest, if you will but help me out of this puddle of misfortune that by my rashness I am fallen into, for the which if I should be but committed to prison, I have a weak and sickly mother, and a loving wife, both whom I am sure it would kill. Let me therefore have your speedy help, and I will promise you to hazard my life as readily for my country, under your Lordship, as ever I was to do it under my Lord of Essex, and if ever you shall hear that ever I was any further a practiser, or knew anything of the former practices, but as I have related, I desire that I may be put to any torture without favour. Thus, hoping that the law, which being but a dead letter is yet severe, may not be used as a net to catch the simple and honest meaners but may be made gentle by your endeavours, I cease, committing you to the Almighty, of whom I beg that all treacherous plots whatsoever plotted against my Queen and country may come to light and the authors confounded. Signed.
(The following in holograph) :—The copy of this letter written with my own hand, I have delivered to my Lord Cobham, and I have farther added the postscript of my former copy, videlicet; The words my Lord spake to me concerning the Mayor were these, that he thought the Mayor to be a traitor to him, but it might be (the) sheriffs were honest men. Moreover, when my Lord Mayor would have gotten my Lord of Essex into the Sheriff's house, my Lord of Essex asked the Sheriff whether he could place a secret guard about his own men. His answer was, “Alas, my Lord, I have no [one] but a prentice or two in my house.”—By me John Bargar. Undated.
Endorsed :—“1600.” 3 pp. (82. 97–8.)
Draft of above letter in Bargar's hand, with corrections in another hand.
[In the draft, after “got me home to my lodging,” Bargar's writing runs, “ever since repenting that I had done because report tells me that an hour and a half afterwards the Queen's pardon of mercy was proclaimed beside Newgate to all them that had forsaken my Lord of Essex and were departed to their lodgings.” This passage has been struck out, and the passage above printed “protesting” &c. to “inform your Lordship,” inserted by the other hand.] 6 pp. (82. 94.)
W. Temple to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, [shortly after Feb. 8]. If ever poor gentleman were desirous of your favour towards him and your mediation with her sacred Majesty in his behalf, I beseech you think that I am he. I must protest even to death my innocency touching that late fact. For being of that faction in Essex House which wholly allowed the course held by the right noble Lord Harry, I was never admitted to any conference, so as I had no hand in the contriving of any plots, was never made acquainted with them; never writ, sent or carried any letters for the furtherance thereof; never delivered speech or message with intent to stir the citizens, and assisted not the action either publicly in the city or privately in the house. I have been always of a peaceable carriage and a detester of courses not warrantable by the law of God and the realm. Let these regards be of force with you; let not other men's faults be charged upon me; let the doleful cry of my poor wife and children move your heart to a Christian commiseration of me; let them not be exposed to beggary and misery. Let not my offence, which (if it be any) is only peccatum ignorantiœ, be so severely punished as with arraignment and condemnation.
Holograph. Undated. Seal. 1 p. (83. 40).
Paul Thompson to Mr. Willis or Mr. Levinus, attending on Mr. Secretary [Cecil].
[1600/1, c. Feb. 8]. These words were spoken by one Bushe, the E[arl of Essex's] man, at 'Pooles Chayne,' before the skirmish, unto Sir John Luson, captain there, viz. :
1. That they might have quiet passage, for there were 5 Earls in his lordship's company and 5 barons, and that the Lord Mayor had protected them so far.
2. That they went for the Queen's safety.
3. That they went to redeem us out of the Spaniard's hands into which we were bought and sold.
4. If they denied passage they would have it with the loss of all their lives.
And presently they made the onset at the same place.
I pray you inform so much, for I heard the words and saw the skirmish.
Underwritten :—“To the second and third articles I am able to depose that I heard these or the like words, John Langley.”
Endorsed :—“1600 February. Words published in the Earl of Essex name.” Holograph. 1 p. (83. 52.)
Essex's Rebellion.
[1600/1, c. Feb. 8]. “Names of prisoners and where they are prisoned.” Doctor Fletcher committed to Alderman Lowe. Doctor Hawkins committed to Alderman Lee.
32/3 pp. (83. 50, 51.)
[1600/1, c. Feb. 8]. “An information concerning some gentlemen in Staffordshire, frequenters to the Earl of Essex.”
Sir Edward Littleton, knight, one of the lieutenants in Staffordshire, went with the Earl in London with his sword drawn near to him by Sir Christopher Blunt, and so continued until the Earl went to the water's side after that he had been resisted at Paul's by the Lord Bishop of London. Sir Edward was presently afterwards arrested for debt by a sergeant of London, and forthwith paying the debt, he presently came within Temple Bar towards Essex House again, attending what might happen.
James Littleton, gent., brother to Sir Edward, being servant to the Earl, was likewise with him all the while; which James had the keeping of the Earl's house and park at Chartley.
Roger Fowke, Esq., a justice of peace of Staffordshire, lay all this Christmas in London, and it is reported that he often frequented Essex House, and now of late he hath ridden down and made short stay in the country. And one of his name and kindred waited upon the Earl in his chamber. Many meetings have been at Sir Christopher Blunt's house at Drayton Basset by Sir Edward Littleton, Mr. Wm. Skeffington, a justice of peace newly made of that county, and divers others. And it was reported that Mr. Wm. Paget, and others with him, came also thither from London, and kept himself close that it should not be known or given out that he was in the country.
Sir Edward Littleton hath for a year or thereabouts bought and prepared much armour and weapons, and carried them into the country, giving out that he did it for the service of Ireland.
John Lane, Esq., a captain of horsemen trained in Staffordshire, and who married Sir Edw. Littleton's sister, hath accompanied Sir Edward in town this term, and so very often frequented Essex House.
Undated. Endorsed :—“1600.” 1 p. (38. 56.)
Francis Manners to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, c. Feb. 8]. I must account myself unfortunate that my rashness hath led me without discretion into so bad an action, for I protest before the Almighty God, I was not any time acquainted in this foul act, but coming from the Court with intent to go to Walsingham House, and understanding by the watermen that my brother was gone to Essex House, I unfortunately went to him, from whence, not knowing, I was carried with this sway into London; where when I heard proclamation that my lord of Essex was a traitor, as hating him and all conspiracies against my sacred Queen, I withdrew myself from the troops with intent to return to the Court and there do my sovereign my best service. And being in a boat, an officer bade me put in again, which I did; then they carried me to another officer who committed me to this Counter, where yet I remain. My innocent cause I commend to you, taking God to witness that I never had thought of ill towards her Majesty.—From the Counter in the Poultry.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1600.” Seal. 1½ pp. (83. 58.)
The Earl of Southampton to Lady Southampton.
[1601, c. Feb. 8]. Sweet heart, I doubt not but you shall hear ere my letter come to you of the misfortune of your friends. Be not too apprehensive of it, for God's will must be done and what is allotted to us by destiny cannot be avoided. Believe that in this time there is nothing can so much comfort me as to think you are well and take patiently what hath happened, and, contrariwise, I shall live in torment if I find you vexed for my cause. Doubt not but that I shall do well, and please yourself with the assurance that I shall ever remain your affectionate husband.
Holograph. Addressed :—“To my Bess.” Endorsed :—“My Lo. Southampton to his Lady, 1601.” 1 p. (183. 121.)
The Bishop of London to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. This bearer Mr. Edward Barker hath been an earnest suitor unto me for above two years to commend his service to you. Certainly he is a man of many good parts and much honesty, and one utterly disliked by the late arch traitor ever since the marriage of his mother with the other now hurt traitor Blunt, insomuch as Mr. Barker, in respect of some injuries received, could never be induced from that time hitherto ever to speak unto him. Besides, of my own knowledge I do assure you that Mr. Barker hath conceived very hardly for a half year last past of the said traitor Blunt. He hath some matter to impart unto you. If you be pleased to use him kindly for his own worth and my desire, I shall lay it up in the treasury I keep of your very great favours towards me.—At my house in London, this 9 of February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 43.)
Lord Treasurer Buckhurst to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. Yesternight, after I had advertisement of the taking of these traitors, I sent presently a messenger to the deputy lieutenants of Sussex to diswarn the levy of 500 foot and 100 horse for which before I had written, which course I think her Majesty will allow, for otherwise you must return me present word to the contrary.
Now that God hath put these traitors into her Majesty's hands, and that it falleth out a conspiracy of so many great personages and men of value, if her Majesty do not make an example thereof in the severity of justice upon such as shall be found principal actors, let her Majesty noways persuade herself that she is yet free from danger till that be done.
I would think it were good that present letters were written into as many shires as may be thought fittest to advertise the overthrow and taking of all these traitors, and that they are fast in the Tower; for God knows how variable the reports of this accident were even here amongst ourselves, and therefore bruits of his rising going abroad, and the success thereof not presently following, may stir up evil minds I know not how far. I am nothing well as yet, but nevertheless, knowing what need her Majesty hath now to have her Council with her, I will adventure to be with you to-day.—9 February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 44.)
Lord Treasurer Buckhurst to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. I had much desire to have waited on her Majesty this day, but I protest unto you, having put off my double caps and coifs and put on a very warm night cap, I find in myself such a chilliness as though I were towards an ague, and my legs so feeble and faint as I can hardly stand any while. Besides, one of my physicians being with me this morning doth assure me that having taken physic so many days together and my pores and body so open as they are, I may endanger myself with the least cold. Wherefore my son Robert Sackvile being by me appointed to attend the Earl of Rutland, and by wise conference and handling the matter well with him he hath discovered from him matter of importance fit for her Majesty to know. For which purpose I have thought good to send him to you presently.—This 9 of February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 45.)
Geoffrey Havard to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. May a poor youth presume so much as to write unto you touching matters that highly concern the safeguard of your noble person? So it is that for fear of high displeasure I have concealed the same from the 9th day of December last past unto this instant, and now taking some courage, though it be my death, I will reveal it unto you if I might but come to the speech of you; and that I may not by any means, by reason that I am imprisoned in Hereford for misdemeanours, and chiefly upon an action of debt for 40s.—From Hereford, 9 February 1600.
Endorsed :—“Henry (sic) Havard, a prisoner in Hereford, to my master.”
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 46.)
W. Smith to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. I was this last week in speech with Sir John Davis for his office of the surveyorship of her Majesty's Ordnance in the Tower, and had received from his own mouth a price thereof. But he, as I understand, hath now, by his late treason, not only forfeited that but his life and all into her Majesty's mercy. I beseech your furtherance to her Majesty for the said office to be granted unto me.—My house in Slesbury Court, this 9th of February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 47.)
Sir John Fortescue to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. It is mine unfortunate mishap now to be touched with a lameness when I would and ought to be most ready to serve, yet I have not but with my best ability been ready to perform my duty. And although my house be an unfit place for keeping prisoners, yet have I taken care for the custody of the Lord Cromwell, who most pitifully moveth his misery and protesteth ignorance of the attempt, and that he casually fell into the Earl of Essex's company, nor was any way partaker of any plot; which thing he protesteth may be proved by his dealing at the Lord Mayor's and before Mr. Recorder. I most heartily pray you that as soon as may be I may be freed from him; yet will I not refuse any dealing in any thing which may tend to her Majesty's security, for yesterday I committed Mr. Catesby and Mr. Litleton to the sheriff's custody, and now this morning, finding a nephew of mine, viz. Edward Bromeley, who was one of the company, I have also taken him and safely keep him until he be examined and my lords resolve what shall become of the matter. You know we have always heretofore suspected such sequel, and now it behoveth that the bottom be sifted out, for it is not to be thought that this sudden attempt had not a farther reach than appeareth.—At the Wardrobe, this 9 of February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (76. 48.)
Lord Chief Justice Popham to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 9. I have sent you here enclosed a note delivered me from one of the Counters by which you may perceive some part of the purpose of this rebellious confederacy and what conceit some of them have still. When you have done with it, let Mr. Attorney have it, who can, with the rest, make use of it. I have taken order for the getting of Lytelton's men. There be many in prison. They would presently be examined. Mr. Attorney and myself have thought of some fit men to be used for the inferior sort, if it be so liked of, as Mr. Serjeant Yelverton, Mr. Wylbraham, Mr. Solicitor, Mr. Attorney of the Wards, Mr. Wade. Some two for the prisoners in the Counters; other two for those in the Gatehouse, Fleet and Newgate, and the others for those in the Marshalsea, H. M. Bench and the White Lion. Mr. Recorder may also be one, if it be thought good, and if this, or any other course be thought fit, direction and warrant would be given accordingly.—At Serjeants' Inn, the 9th of February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (180. 15.)
Edmund Wiseman and Andrew Glascocke to Sir R. Cecil.
[1600/1, Feb. 10.] We poor unfortunate men hearing our lord [Essex] yesterday morning make his solemn protestations of his loyalty and allegiance to her Majesty, and not being acquainted with any secret purpose that he had, unadvisedly went with him into the City; where so soon as we heard of her Majesty's proclamation, presently forsook him, as hating the name of traitors unto so good and gracious a prince, in whose service we have always and will be ready to adventure our lives. Craving your commiseration to us poor distressed men, we in all humility submit ourselves to your mercy.
Signed. Undated. Endorsed :—“10 Feb. 1600.” Seal, broken. ½ p. (76. 49.)
William Butt.
1600/1, Feb. 10. “Intelligence given by Mr. William Buck, clerk, chaplain to the Lord Willoughby, to William Davis, one of the messengers of her Majesty's Chamber, the 10th day of February 1600.”
One William Butt, alias Butts, of Raynham in the Reed, Essex, gent., did vaunt and brag and publish rhymes and libels against the Earl of Nottingham and Sir Robert Cecil, in the presence of Buck; and was reproved by Buck at that time and other times since. Butt was and is supported by one Richard Peacock of the said town, his brother-in-law, to utter the same, which Peacock is and hath been as forward in publishing hard and contumelious speeches against the Lord Admiral, saying, at the calling together of her Majesty's subjects in arms the summer was twelvemonth, that if the Earl of Essex had been in England then the country should not have been put to such needless charges as they then were by the Lord Admiral. “By me William Bucke. Nicholas Bidgood, testis.” 1 p. (76. 50.)
The Earl of Lincoln to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1,] Feb. 10. I know where two stones brought from Cales were left by Sir Gyllam Merrick to make pillars for a tomb. They are too fair for a traitor's tomb; they are within your liberties, and therefore I pray you let me have them to finish a piece of work that I have begun for myself, and give me order to seize them for you and detain them till your further direction. I have found the best gerfalcon for the herne in England, which I had lost. I am in hope (now that, God be thanked, all likelihood of troubles are suppressed) you will sometimes have a humour of recreating yourself abroad. I will enter her once again, and then present her to you for such a hawk as you never had. I pray you send me your varvel, for that I intend to fly her about London and fear that a herne should carry her so far as I may be in danger to lose her again.—This 10th of February.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1600.” Seal. ½ p. (76. 52.)
Timothy Willis to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 10. Yesterday at night, being Monday February 9, I supped at the house of a merchant called Edwards, which dwelled in Elbing at my being there. He hath in his house a kinsman of his wife's, named Thomas Lewis, who was present in Gracious Street in London when Sir Richard Martin the alderman persuaded the Earl of Essex to submit himself to her Majesty's authority and to dismiss his company; to which the Earl answered that “Now or never is the time for you to pursue your liberties, which if at this time you forsake, you are sure to endure bondage, for you are sold for slaves to the Infant of Spain.” After which speeches the Earl walked through most places of the city, and at last turning towards the Three Cranes in the Vintry, found there some force assembled to which he gave place, and took water at the next place. All this was done within the view and by the attendance of the Lord Mayor, and where he had power sufficient to have surprised a far greater power.—10 February 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (83. 57.)
Sir John Peyton, Lieutenant of the Tower, to the Earl of Nottingham and Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 10. The contents of your letter touching the lodging of the Earl [of Essex] had been yesternight performed, if any furniture could have been sent for his chamber, which I conceived most fitting, for the same respects you do write of. It may therefore please you to command the sending from Essex House such utensils as are convenient. Mr. Ogle, upon the coming of Mr. Warburton, I discharged, as holding it inconvenient to continue his attendance on the E[arl] without warrant. I willed him to stay at Walsingham House. My loyal care shall want no endeavour for her Majesty's safety and service.—Tower, 10 February 1600.
Postscript.—I find Mr. Warburton careful. I will send to Walsingham House for Mr. Ogle, and not discover the cause before his coming.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (83. 79.)
Sir Thomas Posthumus Hoby to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, Feb. 10. Understanding that Richard Cholmly, son and heir apparent of Henry Chomly, Esq., one of the outrageous defendants to my bill in the Star Chamber, is apprehended as one of the rebellious Earl's assistants, and hearing that his friends would have it thought that he was there by chance, and that he was a man of no power, I thought it my duty to certify your Honour my knowledge of him.
For himself, he is able, within the liberty whereof his father is bailiff by inheritance, to raise 500 men, if they should show themselves as traitorous as they do already show themselves disobedient unto her Majesty's laws. He is able to raise some of his confining neighbours where his living, named Groman Abbey (a place famous for priests) doth lie. For his estate, his father hath some 1,000 marks by year entailed upon him and his heirs males. All which lieth in the most dangerous parts of Yorkshire for hollow hearts, for popery. The most part thereof, with his chief house, lieth along the sea coast, very apt to entertain bad intelligenced strangers. All this estate is part in his possession upon his marriage, and part is to come to him in reversion after his father, which his father cannot otherwise dispose of, and this young man hath issue.
The reasons that moved him to assist the rebellious earls were, I think, his father's desperate estate, who doth owe more than he can pay, his backwardness in religion and to embrace civil government, and his alliance and love to the Earl of Rutland.—This 10 of Feb. 1600.
PS.—Henry Cholmly, father to this Richard, doth claim to have the mustering of her Majesty's subjects within the liberty of Whitby Strand, and hath taken away my warrants which I have sent forth for her Majesty's service, I being then a commissioner for musters, and did send forth warrants in his own name by virtue of his bailiwick, when he was not commissioner.
Holograph. 2 pp. (180. 16.)
The Earl of Pembroke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, [after Feb. 10]. In this general cause of joy give me leave, who of long time, besides this, have had no cause to be glad, to rejoice in heart with you. The disadvantage of absence doth trouble me, that I might not have made as large an offer of my life as those happy men did who were the instruments of bringing those (men I cannot call them) to their ruin. It may be that some of those to whom I have already been beholden for the raising of divers gentle reports may ask why I did not sooner in so dangerous a time offer my service. I beseech you answer for me that if I had not almost as soon heard the end of this wicked action as I did that there was any such thing, I would not have failed in that point or in any other wherein I might have manifested my allegiance to her Majesty.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1600 :” and in a later hand, “after February 10th.” 1 p. (76. 51.)