Cecil Papers: January 1604

Pages 1-21

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 16, 1604. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1933.

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January 1604

Pandolfo Ficheretti to Thomas Wilson.
1603–4, Jan. 2/12. I wrote to you a few days ago by way of Bordeaux (Bordeos). Since then I have had another letter; I assure you that no letters have arrived for you from Italy except those sent on. But as letters cost money to the receiver, I should like to know to whom I am to look for payment since you and Signor Mortain have never spoken on this matter. And as I am here for other business than to receive letters, I would ask you to address yourself to the Master of the Post, by name M. Giachet, who can be of more use to you than I can. I kiss your hands. God keep you.—Lyons, 12 Jan. 1603.
Holograph. Addressed: "Thomaso Willson, Baiona tre soldi." Italian. 1 p. (100. 92.)
The Marquis de Lullin to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 4/14. Having done my reverence to their Majesties I was particularly desirous in accordance with the commands of the Duke my master to see you in order to present you his Highness's enclosed letter. As your serious occupations have little permitted this, I have asked Monsieur de Landsey to present it to you on my behalf, until I can see you and make you understand how much I am touched to the heart by the manner of treating the Ambassador of Florence upon his pretended precedence, trusting that you will so apply your good advice and counsel to the matter that the Duke my master will be able to continue his devotion to their Majesties' service— London, 14 Jan. 1604.
Signed. Endorsed: "Ambassador of Savoy to my Lord." French. ½ p. (188. 41.)
Ralph Winwood to the States General.
1603–4, Jan. 6. The English merchants ordered by your letters to be here in order to settle this difficulty with regard to the Tare (tarra), which has so troubled the heads not only of this Assembly but also of the Lords of the Council of England and with which my predecessors have been concerned, have arrived in this town to know what your lordships will be pleased to resolve thereon. His Majesty who has been given to understand by their petitions how much freedom of trade has been restricted by this decree and is moved by his sincere affection for the maintenance of the good understanding between his Kingdoms and your Provinces, has commanded me to insist on his behalf that inasmuch as the pretext upon which this decree has been made exists no longer, you will be pleased to revoke it so that the trade, which is nearly dead, may be renewed and the merchants move not away from you. Otherwise they will be forced, willy nilly, to withdraw to those who offer them inducements of practices and privileges and are awaiting them with open arms.
We confess that as English cloths have been from all time in great renown and vended for their goodness and excellence throughout the whole world, so some years ago the workmen, more studious of their own good than that of the public, worked very faultily. But the late Queen, when she heard of this abuse, in the last Parliament she held, in 1601, had several statutes enacted to counter these frauds and restore our cloths to their ancient reputation. His present Majesty since his accession has given order for the due observance of these statutes. In a word, they are so carefully kept that whereas the workman was formerly responsible to the merchant for the repairs to be done in foreign countries, he is now entirely discharged thereof and rightly, as, if he does his work faithfully, it would be an injustice to make him liable for penalties he has not one whit deserved. That is why the merchants pray that since this edict is out of date it may be annulled. They ask nothing else but that freedom of trade which is practised everywhere in other places, to wit that they may bring their goods freely to the town of Middelbourgh there to display them and put them on sale. If your merchants are pleased to come there, let them come. Let them be able to inspect the goods and take their choice of them if they find anything to their liking. If they find nothing they can leave them. But what is there to prevent anybody after having inspected the cloths, bought them and agreed on the price, after having carried them off and dyed and fashioned them to his fancy, from deducting at the end of a twelvemonth as much money as he pleases on the score of any repairs that he may pretend. It is no good to be told that in every town there are sworn people to make these visitations and estimate the repairs. That only calls to mind the sayings Da mihi mutuum testimonium. Manus manum fricat lavat. For these people are of the very trade that is concerned and the informers are at once the witnesses and the judges. It seems to me that the maxims of the ancients are good. Volenti non fit injuria. Caveat emptor. But the merchants willingly make themselves liable to an action of restitution (action redhibitoire) if the cloths they sell do not turn out true. That however will be done by particular agree ment and not by force of this edict, which they pray may be abolished or that they may have your permission to withdraw themselves with their goods from your Provinces.
There will be no need for me to point out the inconveniences which will ensue therefrom; the breach that their departure will make in our common friendship after the twenty years that they have been with you; the jealousies which will be engendered amongst your Provinces; how the town of Middelbourgh which is now by the confluence of their trade in the very first rank will soon become isolated and deserted; finally the rejoicings the enemy will make over all this. Your lordships will of your wisdom and care for the public guard against all these evils and will give our merchants such treatment as will show the reckoning you have of the friendship of the King my master.
Copy. Endorsed: "Proposition faitte a Messrs. les Estats Generaux pour le fait des Marchans le 6e de Janvier, 1603." French. 3 pp. (103. 77.)
The Earl of Bath to the Privy Council.
1603–4, Jan. 7. Not long since I sent unto your lordships a packet of letters which came from Sir Robert Bassett, being then in Marselia; and now again here are arrived two of his servants that went with him out of England, who say they left him in Rome. I found about them a great number of letters, which Sir Robert wrote to divers of his friends in England, and some other letters amongst them from other fugitive persons resident in Rome to their friends here in England. All which, together with the examination of these two men, I have sent to the Lord Cecil.—Towstocke, 7 Jan. 1602.
Signed. ½ p. (97. 138.)
The Same to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 7. Since I last wrote you by a servant of mine that rode in company with one captain Edney, newly arrived from Spain, here are come into this harbour two of Sir Robert Bassett's servants that came directly from their master whom they left in Rome in October last, where he will remain until he hear further from his friends in England. They have brought many letters with them which I herewith send you. I have also taken of these men by way of examination the discourse of all their travel since their departure out of England, and have given order for their forthcoming until you shall command their discharge or otherwise.
I thank you for your allowance of my late sending to my Lords and yourself some other letters from the same party, although the matters proved to be of no great moment. Many of the like may come to my hands as well from him as from other suspected persons abroad. Resolve me whether I may open and peruse the contents, that if they prove of no moment the charge of sending up and down may be saved. If you think it convenient to return any of these letters again, I will cause them to be conveyed to whom they are directed. The letter to myself I opened and send it herewith, the other letter was broken up before it came to my hands by the party to whom it is sent.—Towstocke, 7 Jan. 1603.
Signed. Seal. ¾ p. (97. 142.)
John Crane to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 9. Your comfortable letter of the 1st of this month I received the 7th. Your designs therein I will not fail to perform when I have finished taking the "remaine" of his Majesty's ordnance and munitions, which to do I am commanded by his commission. It will take some time of perfecting. May it please him to employ me, the which he will rather do by your means. I hope that having been in place of credit these many years, I shall not be appointed inferior to an inferior, but, howsoever, I will ever be found a faithful and loyal servant.—Berwick, 9 Jan. 1603.
Signed. 1 p. (97. 143.)
The Same to the Same.
1603–4, Jan. 10. I could not choose, being well acquainted with the disposition of this place, but give notice of the appearance of contrariety in the affections of those that live here, arising from the different humours of the soldier and townsman, and the inveterate passions of the two nations who convening here daily engender new occasions of dislike which, before time and toleration give them further strength, may be quietly appeased, and the more easily if some one of place and quality were appointed to command here, that of himself may give countenance to his directions. I cannot discern any man so fit to undergo that charge as Sir Ralph Graie, who besides the knowledge of the Borders whereby he is able to foresee any growing storm, is powerful to reinforce the place, with competent strength of his own both in men and victuals upon any sudden occasion that may arise. His good temper discerned in the late employment here has bred an appetite in all men to desire the government of so civil and sufficient a gentleman, and the rather for that having the command of the country the one may give relief and strength to the other.—Berwick, 10 Jan. 1603.
Holograph. Remains of seal. 1 p. (97. 145.)
The Earl of Argyle to Lord Cecil.
[1603–4], Jan. 12. By the bearer certifies his continued goodwill. Albeit he is far distant from those parts where Cecil will have oftest ado, yet if commanded will be near to hazard his life in defence of him.—Edinburgh, the 12 of Ja.
Addressed: "My Lord Cecile secretar principal to his most Excellent Majesty."
Holograph. Seal. ¾ p. (97. 146.)
Sir Ralph Graye and John Crane to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 12. By his Highness's commission for the Berwick affairs we were enjoined to send off the ablest and youngest sort to serve at Carlisle being the number of fourscore and one or thereabouts, and to discharge all that were noted for bankrupts, being the number of seventeen, all that served for others, being forty-two, and those were absent also, being thirty-two, according to the tenor of the book set down by the Earl of Cumberland. All these having served in their ordinary places have their pay due to them for the quarter ending at Christmas last, which the treasurer has not brought as not due to him out of the ordinary receipts for this time until midsummer next, so that without special order they can receive none till then. This is so intolerable as their clamour must needs be great, and doubtful to produce some ill effects contrary to the good temper wherewith they seem now possessed. —Berwick, 12 Jan. 1603.
The rest of the number for employment being at Carlisle, we do not here set down, but only the number here at Berwick.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (97. 147.)
Sir Griffin Markham to the Same.
[1603–4], Jan. 14. I hear all that little I have is seized, and just when I heard that, letters and messages continually come from Sir John Harington to my wife and me, to threaten us to a composition, or to expect to answer at the Council table, where he would rip up that he is loath. This is under his hand, and from his wife's mouth to myself, that he is assured from such of the Council as were my best friends that my forfeiture should be bestowed upon him, and that he was advised to follow it. I urged you and it was not by her much denied.
I know you was an effectual means to gain me the greatest benefit that nature affords, and I hope neither you did meditate nor his Majesty bestow it but with an intention I should redeem my fault. If I be bestowed, I shall be disabled, and I most humbly beseech you have this conceit of me, that I will never desire to live worth any penny if I should not discharge what in conscience is due; and I most humbly desire a reference, or to meet him at that table, and doubt not but to make that meeting a ground of my good fortune.
I infinitely desire a speedy dispatch of all my business to show my obedience by undergoing my punishment, and the terribleness and strictness of this place bars of all reasonable opportunity, some for fear forbearing to come hither, others that have business not brooking the attendance. Therefore I most humbly beseech your furtherance to some other prison.
If it be his Majesty's pleasure to grant my pardon before my departure, I beseech you let me still be bound to you to be a means for it.—From the Tower, this 14 Jan.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1603." 1 p. (187. 2.)
William Palmer to Thomas Broques, English merchant at Sancta Clara in Valadolid.
1603–4, Jan. 14/24. My last unto you was of the 12th of this present, wherein I certified you of the receipt of your two formers with the enclosed for your friend, which I made account should have been in England ere now, but by reason of extraordinary foul weather the ship remains at Bayon, expecting a fair wind. Since which time 3 of yours of the 2: 5: and 9th of this present I have received and perused. As concerning the 100 ducats which you shall want, as yet I cannot find opportunity to make it you over, but within 7 or 8 days, I will take order for the same in the best sort I may, whereby to serve your turn. As for the employment of your kinsman I cannot pleasure him in any thing, for I have no commodities in this place, neither in St. Jnos [? St. Jean de Luz] that can be permitted to enter into this country, neither is there any Englishman that has any commodities in this place excepting one Mr. James Wich, who came hither in a ship that came from Moscovy laden with wax, tallow, and cordage. By your letter to Mr. Cox I perceive there is a Portingall that has obtained a licence for the entering of 14000 pieces of baize for 14000 ducats(?). The certainty thereof and his name I pray you to advise me of by the first, for as yet I do not hear anything of him. If you could procure me a licence for the entering in of my baize into Spain, it might stand me in good stead, touching which I pray you to advise me whether there is any hope that such a matter is to be obtained or not. My master John Delbridg is at the Court of England about the same matter. As for the two pair of silk "ressett" stockings you write for here is none to be got, neither in St. Johns nor Bayon for any money, by reason of the sickness in London, which is the occasion that we have not received any commodities from thence a long time, but the very first that comes I will have you in remembrance. At my being at St. Johns, I will deliver your letters to Mr. Cox and Justinian Wescomb, which I make account will be within two or three days, who do already know of your being in Valadolid, as also all the rest of our countrymen and others, which they have understood by some that saw you at Bilbow, and divers censuring of you there is, some one way and some another. As yet we do not hear any news from England, of which we do much marvel. By yours I perceive that Orlando is offended with me, in which he is to blame being without a cause; for he is a man that I did never employ in anything, neither will I now begin. But as for Justinian he has very unadvisedly left obligations with him for the recovering of some debts, which now he repents. With him I have not been a little offended, for he has given order for the recovering the said obligations out of his fingers. If he expect goods from us or any other, he is much deceived, for I have been sufficiently advised of him, and ere this I make account you can give a guess of what he is as well as any other.—St. Sebastian, 24 Jan. 1604.
Holograph. 2 pp. (188. 51.)
William Udall to the King.
[1603–4], Jan. 18. He made account he was sent for to the Court to discover weighty services, but found he was brought before the Councillors to be disgraced upon untrue suggestions. He offered to discover a dangerous plot against the King, before the latter's coming to York and London, and desires his proof thereof to be examined. The plot was, first, that there was an offer made to the French King out of England for this crown, and conditions passed between the French King and "them"; also there was a French title to the crown of England published in a book printed in Paris, in French and English. This book he was able to deliver, and yet is, if he may have means. He could then have brought those who were privy to this French practice, with whom the French King conferred; also those whom the French King asked "why his bastard might not as well have the crown of England as the bastard of Normandy?"; also those who were privy to the employment of those priests which, for a show, seemed to oppose themselves against the Jesuits, but under that colour dealt in Rome with the French Ambassador and the Pope, for procuring the Pope's consent and furtherance therein. In Rome those priests made search for the licence granted by the Pope to the King's mother for her marriage; that, finding that defective, there might be the easier passage in show for the French King; and this was part whereupon that book discoursed. In the Queen's reign the crown of England should have been brought to the French, under colour that the French King should levy forces, with the Pope's consent, to reduce England to obedience to Rome; and so by composition and conditions in England the possession of the kingdom to be delivered. He was assured by his authors that on the Queen's death the French Ambassador dealt with some principal Englishmen to raise forces, and promised supply out of France; when the general applause and universal consent of the whole kingdom towards his Majesty made that motion impossible. Then some exploit was intended upon the King's person, in order to effect a general confusion, which might make an easier passage.
He offered these discoveries at his Majesty's first coming into England four several times. He prays that they may be examined by the Councillors, that, finding his offers were made before ever Lord Cobham or Sir Walter Ralegh were heard of, the King may know he had just cause to do it. Since being before the Councillors, he sees nothing to move him either to name his authors, or to deliver particulars, but death to himself, and danger to whose whom he shall bring. The Lords know what exception was taken at him to touch his life, upon his own confession for concealing that which he knew, when his letters were suppressed and intercepted, and in some sort confessed before the Lords, by the Lord Cecil's secretary. He was yesterday enforced to bear some matters wherewith he was charged, not that he could not answer them, but because he would not make men known who can discharge him publicly, for if known they would be either undone or threatened for his sake. He also forbore to answer them fully in that place, in order to obtain the favour of having his proofs examined by the Councillors.
This French plot is yet intended, and waits opportunity. Let the King look to it. Those who would disgrace him are to be charged in this discovery, and have specially dealt with the French. If the King employs him, he will make known by what authors and means it is to be performed, further than he has yet done. He has lost wife and children for the King's sake, being kept in prison. If his offers be not accepted, he prays that his life may be ended, rather than live in this misery. He had never been kept close prisoner but to suppress this discovery.—18 Jan.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1603." 3 pp. (187. 3.)
John Crane to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 20. The dissolve of the garrison has extremely necessitated many that lived in good estate before, and reduced most of the poorer sort to fortunes utterly dispaired, whereby they are ready to enter upon any violent course to relieve themselves. On the 16th instant one John Wood, a victualler to sundry captains, going to a merchant of the town at nine o' clock in the night to pay him money was murdered in the streets with a pistol shot in the head, and 100l. or more taken from him. This has stricken a great terror in all men. For the discovery whereof and of other small robberies I shall omit no means.
For lack of the pay due for the quarter between Michaelmas and Christmas and your lordship's resolution touching the return of the commission, we can neither dispatch those hence that are to go to Carlisle, nor reduce those from thence hither, because if the book sent up be not allowed all able men placed in the band of 150 must be discharged again, and those old men, considered of with whole pay and half-pay entered in their rooms and, with those set down for employment by the Earl of Cumberland, sent to Carlisle, which will be far more than the companies there are able to receive.
The lack of their account and reckoning is the chief pretension of the stay of all here, that are discharged, whereby the misery and danger of the place still increases. It may therefore please your lordship that some indilate order may be taken for payment of the same that the discharged sort may have means to return to their countries. In the interview no care shall be overpassed to contain them in civil carriage.—Barwick, 20 Jan. 1603.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (97. 149.)
Sir John Leveson to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 20. At the assembly of his Majestys Commissioners at Cobham for the enquiry of the lands and goods of the late Lord Cobham, the jury having heard my counsel for the defence of such leases as I challenge in trust from William, Lord Cobham, deceased, find the interest of the same to remain in me and not subject to forfeiture by the attainder of Henry, Lord Cobham. Albeit I find myself bound in conscience to defend this estate, yet since his Majesty has been pleased to trust me with the receipt of the revenue and estate now come to the Crown by Lord Cobham's attainder, I find some scruple to hold the said leases without further examination of my title lest, if they be called in question, it may be laid to my charge that I, under the countenance of his Majesty's authority, have sought to patronise the said leases to his defrauding. My suit, therefore, is that I may be called before the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Chief Baron or Mr. Attorney General, to show by what right and title I hold the said leases, and there I will plainly discover my title and the trust reposed, nothing doubting but that my claim shall receive good approbation and my duty to his Majesty be defended from all scandalous censures.—Cobham Hall, 20 Jan. 1603.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (97. 150.)
Sir Walter Ralegh to the King.
[1603–4, Jan. 21 (fn. 1) ].
[Printed in extenso in Edwards, Life of Sir W. Ralegh, ii, 296.]
Holograph. 2/3 p. (102. 111.)
Information of William Udall.
1603–4, Jan. 21. 1. The offer made by Lord Cecil, Sir Walter Ralegh and Lord Cobham.
2. The parties that negotiated this matter with the French King are charged to be Charles Paget, Doctor Cecill and Doctor Bagshawe. These particulars were told me by Thomas Strange, John Chamberlayne, Doctor Hill and Andrew Bayleyes. The conditions which these men proposed, with whom they dealt, and by what means, is to be known by these reporters. Thomas Strange had the book and read it, written for the French King's title, as he told me. Myself never saw. But he offered the book itself by especial gentlemen in London.
3. The French King, in the hearing of Strange, said, why should not his bastard be King of England as well as the bastard of Normandy? This was about the beginning of the summer, before the Queen's death.
4. The letters written for the priests, to countenance them against the Jesuits, were written by Lord Cecil and the Bishop of London to the King, and from the King they were commended to the French Ambassador in Rome; to all which Strange was privy, and offered to bring ample proof. The letters were sent to countenance the priests against the Jesuits, and also to negotiate the French title: and letters for this purpose from both. Strange was my author.
5. Strange showed me a letter wherein it was written how earnestly the French Ambassador negotiated upon the Queen's death to raise forces, and promised present supply out of France. The parties with whom he dealt were not named to me, but known to Strange under counterfeit names.
6. The exploit upon the King should have been performed by Sir Walter Ralegh. He was specially named with those that joined in the French faction.
6. [The devisers of the plot or exploit for the French were the Lord Cecil, Sir Walter Ralegh and Lord Cobham struck out] but the particular I know not. The execution was to be performed by Sir Walter Ralegh by the way as the King came to London, which I hastened at that time to reveal by Thomas Strange's means and intelligence. I was told by Thomas Strange that Lord Cecil and Lord Cobham were acquainted with that exploit.
I offered this discovery to James Hamilton and Alexander Daniclston before the King's coming to York, and wrote the offer in general to Mr. Hamilton, Secondly I offered the same discovery by a letter to his Majesty and another to Lord Herrys, which were delivered by a Scottishwoman called Mrs. Basset, which Mrs. Basset reports were delivered to Lord Cecil by his secretary Levinus [Munck].
The third discovery I caused to be offered to the Bishop of London under Mr. Andrew Bayleys's name. This letter was delivered, of which we never heard further, to Lord Cecil, as Mr. Bluett the priest wrote to Mr. Bayleys.
7. John Throgmorton about Michaelmas came to my window in the dark, and in general terms told me that the matter of France held, and that I should be confident therein. It would be proved the like assurance was given to my wife before she died.
The Earl of Devonshire and Lord Cecil disgraced me before the Lords of the Council in that they enforced those causes against me in which I am no ways to be touched, which if they were true I were a most odious villain. As my Lord of Devonshire said, I was not committed for the King's title in Ireland, which was done upon May Day 1601 by my Lord himself, and at the Council, and no treason against me at all, but saying that the King of Scots had best right to the three crowns. Lord Cecil disgraced me about the Earl of Essex, against whom I did nothing dishonourably or lewdly at all, but that which is to be proved direct and without touch.
The persons privy to the writing and publishing of the book were reported to be Lord Cecil, Sir Walter Ralegh: Charles Paget to be the author of it, as Thomas Strange informed me.
My Lord of Bristowe when I offered the discovery of this book to him and the Bishop of Oxford, returned me answer that the King knew of that book before that time and had pardoned the author. This answer was delivered to me by Mr. William Thorneborowe of Lancashire.
Holograph. Endorsed: "21 Jan. 1603. Udall's information before some of the Council." 2 pp. (187. 5.)
Lord Zouch, Lord President of Wales, to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 22. I have received your letter of 17 Jan. I purpose to write presently and to send a man to solicit the defence of the king's grant to me of that which he has been pleased to grant by patent to another since, who is by reason of that patent called up by the patentee to answer in the Exchequer. That you can remember everything which passes or stop everything that is sought for at his Majesty's hands, I do not think, nor do I desire you should so defend me as that either his Highness should be displeased or any other great man distasted. You cannot blame me if I press to be removed from this place without disgrace. I am willing to serve his Majesty in any place if I may find I am thought worthy of it. Otherwise I would as a private more freely honour those to whom I am bound. That it has pleased his Majesty to give me leave to suspend the executing of his former commandments until my further reason be heard, I acknowledge as a high favour, yet am I thereby driven to charge to defend divers in the Exchequer and to send up a solicitor of purpose, and these people gather more disobedience through small crosses of the magistrate than obedience through great favours. It pleased his Highness to promise that nothing should pass during my service here before he had heard what I could say. He was then pleased to grant me this particular by instructions which I hold to be a former grant, though I acknowledge that I hold nothing but from his grace. I hope then that you shall have enough to defend me whilst it is his Highness's pleasure to use my service here; but if this prove too hard for you and the removing me more easy, the same will satisfy me.—Ludlow, 22 Jan. 1603.
PS.—We hear that my Lord of Devon is to go for Spain, that a Parliament is already determined and that his Highness has appointed his entrance into London the 4th of March. Those of this place was wont to have the first knowledge of such and the like occurrences. If I might obtain some favour in these respects I would fain beg so much.
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (97. 152.)
William Udall to the Bishop of Bristol.
[1603–4, Jan. 22.] Fare ye well for ever in this world, my dearest Lord. I am committed close, and shall have extremity of law as the Lord Cecil (sic), because I charged him upon Mr. Thomas Strange a Gloucestershire gentleman's speeches and others, that he was privy to the book, and to a plot against the King. I spake nothing in that matter but what was delivered to me, and offered to be proved by most sufficient gentlemen upon the King's coming to York. I am suffered to prove nothing, but am punished for speaking for the King to do him service. I shall lose my life. Let me be an example to all subjects never to dare to utter anything. I found how I was like to be used, and therefore I spared what will be found true, and thereupon I take my death. Please tell my Lord Treasurer of Scotland my dependence was upon Scottish noblemen. Now are all plots secured out of France, both against the King and all Scottish men. If I had been put to prove, I had done service, but this course is now held with me as was held with me in the Spanish invasion, and in the gold mine. I am glad of death now my wife and children are gone. My wrongs are intolerable, no hearing of them, no mercy, no compassion. God bless King James and send him as much joy in his reign as I have had misery, since he came, for his sake. Be good to this poor bearer, and send me a little money by him. It is the last charge I shall ever put you unto.—Undated.
Holograph. Endorsed: "22 Jan. 1603." 1 p. (187. 7.)
Mr. Rainsford.
[1603–4, Jan. 24.] "Abstract of Mr. Rainsford's estate, at the time of his death, with such money as Mrs. Rainsford has received since, for wards by your lordship's favours granted unto her husband in his lifetime."
Endorsed: "24 Jan. 1603." 1½ pp. (24. 61.)
An Account.
1603–4, Jan. 24. Account between Lord Thomas Howard and Thomas Bellett.—24 Jan. 1603.
1 p. (2500.)
John Crane to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 27. Captain Boyer [Bowyer], now commander of the garrison, having brought his Majesty's establishment for this town, I find myself clearly omitted and void of all pay, to me a lamentable news in my old days; but your last letter yielded me some comfort whereon I rely, not doubting that having served these 37 years in place of credit I shall taste of his Majesty's bounty, having not at this present to maintain my poor estate. My pay was in her Majesty's time and since (besides the pays I had in the companies by virtue of my office) 64l. a year as muster master, and as controller of the works 38l. 5s. a year, which is all gone to my utter undoing. Moreover I have continued the command of this his Majesty's town these 30 weeks, by which place I was forced to keep a table for all comers and goers, besides the captains and gentlemen of this town daily frequenting my house, which cost me above 10s. by the day above my ordinary fee, as I can prove by Sir Robert Vernon's officers here and otherwise. Please it his Majesty to allow me as shall seem good to him.—Barwick, 27 Jan. 1603.
Holograph. Seal. 1½ pp. (97. 154.)
Lord Zouch, Lord President of Wales, to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 27. I have now sent up one to wait upon you to solicit this cause concerning the grant made to Stephen. The easy apprehension of this people of disgrace offered, besides the willingness of my adjuncts that such conceits may pass, make me more apt to feel than those who stand by their own work. I beseech you to have respect of me though not so far as to offend others yet so far as to defend justice. I have answered the Council's letters and send you a copy thereof.— Ludlow, 27 Jan. 1603.
PS.—I have made bold to acquaint you with another accident wherein I have endorsed my name. Let me hear as soon as you may what you think fit to be done therein.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (97. 155.)
Captain William Bowyer to the Same.
1603–4, Jan. 27. I have written to the Lords of the Privy Council, as I understand was your pleasure, and have sent the same enclosed to you. I beseech you to advertise your pleasure.
Give me leave also to recommend the last controller, who being old and unfit for travail, would intreat you to notify the manner of his consideration. His fee is 40l. yearly besides one clerk and two household servants at 24l. per annum, which places, his office dying, I thought it my duty to make known to your Honour.
Sir Ralph Gray offers to be at the cost of repairing the late Lord Governor's house, which otherwise will be a yearly charge to his Majesty, if he might have licence to dwell therein. As deputy to my Lord Lieutenant he is desirous to reside in Barwick about Border causes.—Barwick, 27 Jan. 1603.
PS.—I enclose Mr. Crane's remembrance to me, that you may discern the motive causing me to trouble you with that matter.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (97. 157.)
The Enclosure:
Mr. Crane's remembrance.—Has had the charge of this town [Berwick] these 30 weeks, in which time he has been at great charge in keeping a table for all comers and goers. Has served these 37 years and nothing to keep his house withal till the Lord Treasurer and Lord Cecil set him down something. His pay was in her Majesty's days and till Christmas last 64l. per annum as muster master, and 38l. 5s. as controller for the works, being in all 102l. 5s. per annum.
Holograph. 1 p. (102. 124.)
Sir Ralph Gray and John Crane to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, Jan. 30. By what means or how one Mr. Lancelot Shafto, pensioner at 10d. per diem, is omitted out of the book of establishment set down for this town, we know not, the gentleman having served here these thirty and odd years, always in place of credit continually staying in the town. We humbly pray he be remembered according to his long service.—Berwick, 30 Jan. 1603.
PS.—Since the examining of our book we find this omission was the only fault of our clerks.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (97. 158.)
Thomas Morgan to [Lord Zouch?]
1603–4, Jan. 31. We at the request of Mr. Moris Nicholas, mayor of the town of Newport, being sent for by you to appear before your lordship by one Mr. Madoxe, one of the King's pursuivants, for the justifying of certain slanderous and seditious words uttered by one William Wrothe, a recusant, being charged by one Mr. William Jones, gent., now present before you, thought it our duties to send for the said Moris Nicholas who confesses that he heard such words reported as he declared to the said William Jones, and justifies that one Mr. John Treherne, vicar of Newport, declared it unto him; who being examined before us confessed that he had informed the said Moris Nicholas of those words, bringing one Mr. William Jones for his author, as it may appear by his examination written with his own hand, the which we have sent to your honour, hereinclosed.—Tredegar, the last of January, 1603.
Holograph. ¾ p. (97. 159.)
William Bird, Clerk, to Lord Cecil.
1603–4, [? Jan.] Concerning one William Scott, gent., who has of late been lying in Barkway parish, Herts. On Nov. 29 last when accompanying the writer to Royston, Scott spoke of the late practices of Lord Cobham and his accomplices which he had from one William Clerke, priest, then in prison. He declared they were better subjects than Cecil, who had been the cause of their apprehension, and concluded with this jest on Cecil:
Backed like a lute case,
Bellied like a drum,
Like Jack Anapes on horseback
Sits little Robin Thumbe.
Bird has attempted to get a warrant for Scott's arrest from Sir Robert Chester and afterwards Sir John Brograve but has been frustrated by Thomas Clerke, vicar of Barkway, who warned Scott and has opposed the delivery of certain articles from the Council touching the apprehension of such persons. Clerke has also objected to Bird's praying for Cecil's prosperous estate as he did both on Twelfth Day and a previous occasion, and has forbidden him examining intending communicants in the chancel on a Saturday.—Undated.
Holograph. Endorsed by Cecil: "An idle information." 3 pp. (102. 160.)
Sir Anthony Standen.
[1603–4, ? Jan.]. His departure from the Court of England was in so unseasonable a time for himself as many yet living can witness and could not but marvel at by reason of his forwardness in opinion of that present prince. But so it fell out by his inwardness in that Court with the Lady Margaret Douglas and the Lord Darnley her son, the King's Majesty's father, as the King having urgent occasion to follow into the realm of Scotland Matthew, Earl of Lenox, his father about the restitution by Parliament of the earldom of Lenox to them both, he got leave to go thither. Within three months after his arrival there it pleased God to work such a liking between that Queen and young prince as not long after there fell out a happy marriage. Whereof the said Lady Margaret having had notice from her son, desirous to settle near to the person of one so near and dear unto her son one grateful to him and of trust to herself made known to the said Standen her desire, earnestly exhorting him by the love he always had borne to her son and herself that he would resolve to relinquish country, parents, Court and service and dedicate the same and his best endeavours to those two worthy princes very shortly to be united together by marriage; which by Standen was promptly effected, the rather for that by a letter out of Scotland from the King he was invited to those royal spousals. So that making few acquainted with his purpose he departed that Court and realm, conducting with him a younger brother called also Antony Standen. These two brothers upon their arrival in the Court of Scotland were by that most worthy (and never too much commended Queen) right honourably entreated and received, and, as the world knoweth, both by her Majesty placed in the King her husband's service with yearly stipends during their lives, the elder brother esquire of the King's esquires, the younger in the room of cup-bearer to the King.
Within three months after the spousals, at what time the Queen's majesty discovered to be with child, by the mischievous revolt and practice of some great ones (such made indeed by the Queen and her favour) chiefest conspirators against herself and the princely fruit she bare in her royal bowels, seeking the destruction of both and the ruin of that State; and to this end had there been many meetings and councils at St. Johnstons by those conspirators in that fatal house of the then Lord Ruythen where was contrived that ugly murder of David Riccio and consequently that of the King, Queen and unborn prince; so that three other months after, her Majesty being gone with child full six months, it seemed good to her to summon a Parliament about the redress of these disorders, as also about the indicting those rebellious lords, whom a little before (appearing rebelliously in field against her) her Majesty had driven into England. The very night before the Parliament should have begun Morton, Ruythen and Lyndsay, with above forty their followers, all armed, entered the Queen's bedchamber and so passing through it into her cabinet where she sat at supper (Standen the esquire being come up a small while before the privy way with the King) thus Ruythen was the first who entered so armed presumptuously, and without yielding any duty, laid violent hands upon the said David, whom he and they amongst them hurried out of the cabinet. By which disorder the Queen being forced with the press to come forth also herself into her bed chamber, thinking by her princely presence and royal authority to appease the tumult, did forthwith command surcease and departure. But all availed nothing, for that Morton in her presence was the first who strake David into the temple with his dagger, which seemed his mortal wound, for presently he fell without speech, and there in the antechamber they gave him after he was dead fifty one wounds more than the first. The Queen in the meantime standing in the midst of her chamber environed with these butcherly people, one among them did lean a snaphance pistol to her belly, the powder whereof in the pan took fire, but by God's admirable providence the cannon thereof not, and this was full in her view. At which instant behind her, one other called Pety Balentyne, a servant of Ruythen's, being near unto the Queen having his dagger drawn offered to strike at her left side; which offer the said Standen well advising turned aside by laying hands upon the wrist of the said Balentyne. Who falling a struggling together, Morton came between and put Balentyne out of the chamber. All which the King well seeing laid hand to his sword and drew it. This tumult somewhat assuaged, the King and Queen found themselves both prisoners to these traitorous lords under a guard of two hundred soldiers of their own trust and placing in the palace, having put out of the Court the royal guard. Which the King finding and how much he had been abused by Ruythen and the rest, how bitterly he then lamented and how many tears he shed, Standen is witness; to whom his Majesty discovered himself and the desire he had to draw the Queen and her great belly out of this eminent peril, the particularities whereof were over long to lay down. But in effect the plot was to save themselves, at what price soever, the next night after by flight; which by God Almighty's assistance was very fortunately executed, too long again to be told how. But the first who was trusted with the discovery hereof was the captain of the guard — Stewarde, Lord of Traquare, with whom the king had dealt first of any; and having tasted and found him like a gentleman willing and faithful presently the King sent Standen the esquire to the Queen (for to her the King might not then have access) to make her by him to know his Majesty's intent, and to understand her liking; which willingly she embracing (added hereunto much of her own mature judgment) the matter was, the next night after, at midnight very happily performed. So there wanted but a third person to be also made acquainted with the business and this was Sir Arthur Erskyn, the Queen's esquire, whom she might have trusted with a thousand lives more, as all that noble family have been most loyal unto her in all her hardest calamities. These three being assembled together in the Queen's chamber about 8 of the clock in the evening, to say, Erskin, Traquare and Standen, the Queen used a speech unto them tending to the confidence reposed in them and the jewels committed to their trust, secrecy and fidelity, still making sign to her great belly, which then indeed was very great, to move them to commiseration as well of that as towards her own afflicted self. And so, after her sweet manner and wise directions, dismissed the three until midnight to put all things in order as herself had very excellently directed. The hour appointed of the rendezvous with the horses was near the broken tombs of the ancient Kings of Scotland, in the ruined abbey of Holyrood house, through which the King and Queen came under the earth out of the royal palace through those charnells and vaults, out of which both of them being crawled the Queen with incredible "animosity" was by us mounted in croupe behind Sir Arthur Erskyn upon a beautiful English double gelding, and the King upon a courser of Naples; six all were the number, to say, their Majesties, Erskyn, Traquare, Standen and a chamberer for the Queen; and being favoured by the moonlight in two hours after they arrived all safe at Dumbar, twenty miles from Edinburgh, where being entered into the castle their Majesties fell to rest. After which with much contentment to the servants that had attended them they gave many and most gracious comfortable speeches. The second day after, those traitorous lords seeing their prey escaped fled towards Stirling. Whereupon the people and burgesses of Edinburgh and Lowdianshire repaired to their Queen to the number of ten thousand persons all armed, accompanied their Majesties to the castle of Edinburgh, whereinto the most faithful Earl of Mar did most loyally give them entry, in which place her Majesty continued the space of other three months, until she was delivered of her most royal burthen, the King's Majesty, our now most dread sovereign lord. The third day after which deliverance the King had ordained a running at ring, and the Queen for that purpose had sent a jewel to be the reward of the best runner, which fell to the lot of Standen, the esquire. Upon the King's return to the castle, having visited the Queen and prince, her Majesty caused Standen to be called in unto her, addressing her speeches to him which in effect were these or such like. "You see here lying by me he that some day must be King of England and so yours. Yourself hath been an eye-witness of his danger and most miraculous escapes, which is a clear argument of God's providence in his preservation. And, therefore, I make no doubt but He will place him in his right. Wherefore, having yourself been an instrument to save him from that danger my lord here saw and not I; moreover, for that you have loyally accompanied him from Holyrood house to Dumbar, and from Dumbar to this castle, I do presently make you his servant." And so commanding Standen to hold up his right hand, the Queen ministered to him the oath of fidelity, adding further that, if ever Almighty God did favour her in that was her due, she would in acknowledgment of Standen's losses at home and services to herself and son abroad 'earl' him in England; and desired the King to knight Standen, which soon after he did; withal willed them all who were present to rejoice with her for that she assured them the prince would be a liberal giver and an easy forgiver. Her reason was for that as soon as he came into the world he cast his hands open.
Within two months after the King was desirous to recover some fair horses, whereunto the Queen (then enjoying her dowry in France) willingly gave consent, and accordingly the knight was sent into France to provide the horses and other furnitures which in Scotland were not to be had. Charles IX, then King there, understanding of the knight's arrival and likewise those other princes of the house of Lorraine, within eight months after, [gave the] knight together of free gift ten very choice and fair pieces; and being ready to depart for Scotland the sorrowful news of the death of the King came out of England. Whereupon all provisions were broken and designs stayed. Not very long after came also the unhappy misusage and imprisonment in Loghleven of the person of the Queen. By this means Sir Antony was forced to change course and to pass his life in exile, as well from Scotland as England; which lasted more than thirty years, the most part in want and misery, during which, as this noble-hearted princess could, she had a most honourable care as well of him as of all such as did suffer with and for her; amongst which was the knight and his younger brother yet in Scotland. The knight thus wandering in exile, the Queen unknown to him had earnestly recommended him to Francis of Medici, then Great Duke of Tuscany, this duke's brother; who, upon the knight's return from a voyage he had made to the Great Turk's court, received him to his service until such time it should please God to assuage the Queen's troubles and shorten her enemies' courses, in such sort as the poor knight was nourished by this humane prince the space of fourteen years, until he died. During which time the said Sir Antony received sundry letters from her Majesty, amongst which a commission to treat a marriage between the King's Majesty, her son, and Lady Eleonor of Medici, a princess of much worth, now Duchess of Mantona, the Great Duke's eldest daughter; to which the duke willingly hearkened, and indeed bore so true an affection to the Queen as he commanded the knight to make offer to her Majesty of anything was in his state or power. Her Majesty having need of 10,000 crowns, they were told out and by way of bank to have been made into France to the Archbishop of Glasgow, then her ambassador there. But her bitterer troubles approaching and so her death, the coin was stayed; yet before she died her Majesty took notice of this kindness by a message and some few lines; as also she acknowledged how she did feel her body declining and thereby out of doubt not to live to recompense the pains of her true honest servants, yet exhorting them all to be of good heart and not to dismay and to lean to her son whom she was to leave behind her who would largely reward all.
After the decease of the duke, the knight's honourable and kind master, he made a journey the third time into Spain whither that noble Queen now deprived of life had recommended the said Sir Antony, who after a whole year's being there the very time of the preparation of that huge sea army did discover wherefore it was (whereof the knight by way of Lyon in France did amply advertise this state); and finding also certain intents of Sir Francis Englefelde, Robert Persons, Hugh Owen and others, about the turning of the due course of this crown and succession from the King's Majesty, his most worthy mother's true and undoubted heir, as by their publishing some months after of Dolman's discourse did appear; the knight having been practised with to be won to the liking of that unjust claim, utterly renouncing that course found the Duchess of Feria (always a kind lady to the Queen) and with her some others honest-hearted English; by all their advices he left Spain and took his direct course for England, with intention after a while to have passed into Scotland to have been nearer the King's person and to have advised him of all. But finding in England Mr. Antony Bacon, whom he had experienced some years before in France to be most affectionate to his Majesty and his undoubted title, relying wholly upon him and his advice the knight (knowing his sincerity) closed with Master Bacon and there cast anchor, ever (when he was to sail) making him his lodestar and guide in all his endeavours about the King's services. And this my Lord of Kynlos and Sir David Folles can testify, as also himself most if he were living. I say as well this as much more to be true; so far forth as the knight, being in Court and elsewhere a noted person about these his affections, was forced to shroud himself in England under a cold shelter and to pass seven years as it were under water, daring to discover nothing but a breathing place until some such occasion and to fly to Jove's thunderbolts) he sailed into Ireland, where he passed three years, the most part attending to his Majesty's services and in his accustomed courses by instructing those commanders of that army of this just title of the King's (wherein most of them were as ignorant as careless) by distributing to them Peter Wentworth's books, and pedigrees of the knight's own drawing, so that they were awaked out of their sleep, but, thanks to God! of the happier success. The late Queen having left this life, the knight turned to England where by reason of his wants and his disabilities to make that show of himself to his King as behoved and not having any acquaintance in the new Court and nobility of Scotland near the King to push him forwards and thereby to make himself and these his services truly known to his Majesty, and seeing no better remedy, procured this voyage for Italy, thereby at his return to have the more commodious access to speak himself to his Majesty. Where, in the matter committed to him touching the letters be carried from his Majesty to those estates, and of his behaviour there to the King's honour and their satisfactions, he desires that all Italy may speak, and be heard; as moreover he heartily wishes were understood how during his long abode and habitation in the court of Toscany (the very heart of Italy) being thereby known to all those cardinals in Rome, each of which he had at sundry times to their satisfactions made acquainted and fully instructed, by genealogies and pedigrees written with his own fist, laid down the Queen his mother's and [his] Majesty's right to this crown. And there was no prince in Italy, spiritual or temporal, but he was thoroughly informed of all.
Now if upon the Bye and out of the matter itself (the charge committed to him performed) somewhat hath been overslipped and not so dutifully carried, it would seem extreme hard that an occasion should be sought to deface so many signal services, and so this change so long thirsted after by his own distressed self and afflicted poor brother after forty years' exiles, and suffering, now come to the period of age and things not falling out to the world's expectation, this unfortunate knight must cry to heaven that his case deserves of a princely mind (every circumstance weighed) no small consideration and regard.— Undated.
Headed: "A true relation of the course Sir Antony Standen hath held from the year 1565, the time in which he first left the Court of England and entered the service of those princes of worthy memory, Henry and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland, father and mother to our present most gracious sovereign lord, the King's Majesty, until the 22 January 1603[–4] the day of his commitment to the Tower of London."
Endorsed: "Sir Antony Standen's discourse of the murder of David Rizzio."
Copy. 20 pp.
Another copy of the foregoing (temp. 18th cent.).
Endorsed: "Sir A. Standen's account of the murder of David Rizzio in a relation of his courses from 1565 to 12 [sic] January 1603, the day of his commitment to the Tower." (138. 7.)


  • 1. The original letter is without date, but a copy in the Lansdowne MS. is endorsed by Sir Julius Cæsar "21 Januarii 1603."