Cecil Papers: June 1604, 1-15

Pages 120-135

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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June 1604, 1-15

Arthur Hall to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 1. Your lordship is not ignorant of my many years disgrace and some, not the least, since you became a Councillor. I had equity and favour offered me in her Majesty's time by eight of the Lords of the Council, which I have to show under their bonds. Hoping thereof, I spent the travail of my friends and my weak purse but nothing followed but smoke. Then I fled to the Queen, who sent to the Lord Keeper in my behalf. He, in lieu of her favour meant me, has undone me and mine and I then certifying her Highness thereof was as you know by her appointed to allege what I could against his lordship (I found impar congressus Achilli) before certain of the Lords. The fruits I reaped by the back reports to her Majesty were that she, whom I had served upon the point of forty years and never had sixpence by her directly or indirectly, refused contemptuously my petition. God forgive her, the fault was not hers.
If as a subject I have not deserved well of your house, respect for justice sake my afflictions. Sir Jo. Zouche, knight, was made known to your lordships in the Star Chamber a year and more past to be in my debt and thereupon by the said Lords, Sir Jo. Foscue and Mr. Secretary Harbert were desired to end but nothing effected. He lies now by Charing Cross within the liberties of Westminster which your lordship commands. He is outlawed after judgment at my suit. Let me have what law awards and the Bayly of Westminster be commanded to attach Sir John, that I in prison for debt may be relieved with what is my due.—Flete, 1 June 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 89.)
Sir Geoffrey Fenton to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 1. The enclosed was delivered to the Lord Deputy and Council the next day before my coming away by Sir Patrick Bamwell, all written and subscribed by his own hand. This was the ground of this writing. Sir Patrick at his return out of England gave out to the people that the King either had done or would give toleration in religion through the whole realm, upon which speeches the Papists within the English pale took occasion to insult the more, presuming to make more open profession of their popery than before. One of them being called to question before the state for countenancing certain priests, who carried up and down the idol of the Holy Cross, affirmed that nothing was done but upon assurance of the King's promise of freedom of conscience as Sir Patrick Bamwell told them. I send this writing to your lordship, for that your name being mentioned therein, Sir Patrick would draw the speeches then uttered at the table to be a ground to him to seduce the people of Ireland, upon pretence of his Majesty's promise for toleration, a matter which I hope will never fall into his Majesty's heart. It has pleased God to visit me with a very violent fever, so as I have not strength to pace my chamber. In which respect I beseech you bear with my want of attendance.—At my lodging in the Strond, 1 June 1604.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (188. 123.)
Justice Towneshend to the Same.
1604, June 2. Understands by common fame in the country that Lord Darby intends speedily to place a new deputy in his stead to serve in his office at Chester. Understanding that he was at the first chosen by Lord Darby on Cecil's advice prays him to prevent his incurring such an undeserved disgrace. If his lordship should displace him in so short space without cause given, he cannot but be sensible of some wrong and discredit done him. Writes not to complain of the Earl, being persuaded that if he has any such intention it proceeds from some ill disposed about him. Has served in that country in judicial place for thirty years and for the most part in Lord Leyster's time associated to Mr. Glasier who died in that court. His patent from the Earl is during pleasure, which in such cases relates to some special cause. Prays therefore that he may not be removed before he can come to make answer.—Saloppe, 2 June 1604.
Signed: H. Tounsehend. 1 p. (111. 28.)
Henry Constable to the Same.
1604, June 3. Having made a supplication to be exhibited to the Lords of the Council for my liberty I must beseech your lordship to signify to my cousin whether you like that it should be presented or no.—From the Tower, 3 June 1604.
Signed. 2/3 p. (188. 124.)
Lord Kinloss to Lord Cecil.
[1604], June 4. Had my indisposition of body suffered me I would have been my own messenger. It pleased your lordship out of your accustomed favour for my release to procure a privy seal to Sir Edmond Carie for 1000 marks, which sum my Lord repays at a little and sues as he says to me long time to give them satisfaction. I have no recourse but your mediation and I trust you will afford me the best furtherance you can.— "From the Rolles," 4 June.
Holograph, signed: E. Bruis. Endorsed: "1604. L. of Kynlosse." ⅓ p. (188. 125.)
Sir G. Hervy, Lieutenant of the Tower, to the Same.
1604, June 5. I hold it more safe to be curious than careless. This morning a strange creature came to me to speak about a strange message to have been delivered to my Lord Grey, the party herself being unknown to him and he to her. She a very poor ruined gentlewoman and the subject whereon she works is my Lord's enlargement, which being matter of state I find no coherence betwixt the party and the matter. I have taken her examination, which I send herewith. The woman I have stayed till I shall receive your further direction.—The Tower, 5 June 1604.
Holograph. ¾ p. (105. 92.)
The Enclosure:
5 June 1604. The Examination of Margarett Morris of London widow.
Being asked what business she had to come into the Tower says that she came purposely to Lord Gray to inform him of a letter written on his behalf to the Earl of Southampton, which letter was delivered to one Mr. Downall late servant to the Earl of Essex, to be conveyed to the said Earl, and was written to him for the good of Lord Graye about his releasement. She will not confess who wrote the letter but says it was one who had done great service to the Queen deceased and the King; says she herself delivered the letter from the party to Downall and this morning has been with Downall to understand whether he had delivered the latter accordingly. Downall confessed that he had not delivered the letter and refused to deliver it to her again. Whereupon she replied that he had done Lord Graye open wrong. She further says that her desire is that it would please my Lord of Deavonsheire (of whom she claims kindred) to send for her and Downall that he may bring the letter with him, that his lordship and others may examine the cause.
Signed: Margerit Morris. ¾ p. (105. 91.)
F. Clifford to Thomas Bruze at Valledelid.
1604, June 5/15. I lately importuned you, upon no desert, with my troublesome business for the safe addressing of my letters. I promised to gratify your kindness in what service I may. If it please you to signify to us here that live in a solitary place by means of the far absence of the Court and farther distance of the sea-ports, whereby we are bereft of that man by nature most desires, what news is abroad in the world, what success in our country, or what hope the long distressed servants of God have, it shall be very welcome. I am bold to request this of you, because I perceive your intelligence is more than ordinary. At my departure from England I left my friends in great expectation. I fear it is great still, and merely expectation. I understand you have a copious dictionary for the Spanish and other languages. If I could by any means have the like, I would willingly and thankfully satisfy the price. My good friend Mr. Williams salutes you in the heartiest and friendliest manner and Mrs. Parsley remembers you with her kindest commendations.—Madrid, 15 June 1604.
Holograph. ¾ p. (105. 103.)
Sir Edward Hoby to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 7. I make a relation unto you of what passed in the conference between my Lord Cobham and me in presence of the Lieutenant. Three things moved him to speak with me; first, to satisfy me of some speeches which were given out that my Lady his wife should deal unkindly with him in some particularities which were spread abroad; secondly, to further the bill for my Lady which he was most desirous might receive good and speedy passage; thirdly, which indeed most troubled him, that my cousin Duke Brooke might not any way be relieved or strengthened by any bill this Parliament, fearing lest some present right might be confirmed to him, for it seemed that he pretended a present right, which might prove very prejudicial to him in case the King should pardon him and restore him to his land, of which he was not altogether in despair.—7 June 1604.
Holograph. ½ p. (105. 95.)
Sir John Ogle to the Same.
1604, June 7. This day is come a ship-captain with letters from Ostend to the Count Morice, who was in some longing to hear from thence in regard of a great and long continued shooting as well of muskets as cannon, which we heard yesterday. The letters specify nothing for they were dated the day before but brought out to him yesternight. The messenger certifieth the Count that those of the town discovered and blew up a mine of the enemy's in the west bulwark (the guard which the English maintain) and that they there came to push of pike and that the fight or at least the change of bullets endured an hour and half. Those that came out (as he reports) did not relate anything of any particular notice taken of any great loss of either side. There are six companies now under way (sent from hence) to put into the town, two English whereof one is Sir Charles Fairfax's who is sent to command over the fifteen companies there. If by their courage and industry they can prolong that siege still, it will give a great advancement to our proceedings here, especially considering the strength of this place is such as that merely time must be our best assurance to prevail against it. For though we prepare floats and batteries (which will yet not be ready these six days) and by that means hope to lodge men over the water, yet is the Count Morice's opinion and chief trust (as the surest mean to a discerning judgment) in taking it by famine. To this end he doth daily ordain great store of works (especially about the drowned land as otherwhere) and those of strength and to purpose in such sort as there is little or no hope left for the enemy to put in any more convoys. And for the present being of those in the town it is of this condition, whereby your lordship may judge what our hopes are. They have 10,000 souls that eat. Butter, cheese or other sort there is none or very little; cheese at 12d. sterling the pound but without great friendship not to be had. Bread and biscuit they have yet no present want of and they give out they are furnished of that for two months, which the Count Morice by his other intelligences not well believeth. This did a soldier report to the Count this day, being taken and brought in by a captain of the out-guard in the drowned land. He had great store of letters about him but none from the Governor nor aught concerning the public. This is their condition and estate within, being by all likelihood the best, for they have fired with beacons two several times already, which were wont to be tokens of some extremity presently requiring succour. For their other hopes from without, that is as it happens well or ill with the Duke at Ostend and in my poor opinion I do not see but that though the Duke get the start, yet shall not he win the prize. For Sluce is not disassieged, though he come this way with his army. For if he will come with his whole army upon any quarter of ours, he may watch us more but not lightly wear us out, so strongly is our camp and so conveniently fortified, and is yet every day increased in such sort as there is no branch of the Army, how far soever it lieth, but shall shortly receive succour and comfort upon occasion from the main root or stock here before Sluce. Bridges are made, and more in making, over the drowned land of some 200, some 100 paces, that by them we may always upon occasion give succour to each other. If he divide his troops (having no more than he now hath, and for his Mutineers though they be upon terms of agreement, they are not to serve him in Flanders) we can divide proportionably to attend him. If he will attempt by way of diversion (as some will have it) to go to the frontiers of Holland or up to Rheneberch, there is no place of importance there but will resist him longer than such an abandoned town as Sluce can do the Count Morice, especially when all hope of succour shall be removed from them. The likeliest issue (if Ostend be first lost) will be a battle, for I should think (under correction of your wisdom be it spoken), if the Duke come to take the fort at the entrance of the haven (to which he hath an open way), so must the Count (it being so near his quarter) either go and fight with him or let him take it. Methinks it is strange that it is not ere this razed and demolished. Touching the strength of our army I do not think us to be above 8000 men [margin: foot] reckoning all as we lie dispersed at Cassant, Coxie, Aerdenburch and the troops in the drowned land with those of the camp. We expect shortly a supply of 1000 Switsers and, to the same number, of soldiers of all nations out of garrisons, in whose places are new companies raised for the summer time. We expect likewise our troops of horse that were with the squadron or Mutineers.— From the Camp before Sluce, 7 June 1604, veteri.
At foot: By Capt. Mansfield.
Holograph. 2½ pp. (105. 96.)
Edward Banes to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 7/17. My good will was always bent to do all service possible to your lordship since my departure out of England and with great hope to return thither again according to my promise. But it was not my fortune, all through the bad priest's means. You gave a letter and warrant to William Stallenge to stay him in Darkemothe, for you said you doubted he would do me some harm at his coming to Spain. Which fell out true for when he was set at liberty he went to the Court of Spain and there informed the King that I was only for the Queen's service and had promised many things, so that it was not for his Majesty's service to credit me nor send me any more to redeem prisoners. Insomuch that I being appointed to go over again and obtain the liberty of the prisoners both in the galleys as in the castle, and a ship provided to carry them, upon his information there came order from the Court that in no case I should go and that the Governor, the Conde de Portalegre, should send a Spaniard. Whereupon I went to the Court to clear myself, which cost me a great deal of money. For all the expenses I was at in England in joining together the Spaniards and the great expenses and troubles I passed there as you well know, I was not recompensed by her Majesty but remitted to my return, so that I came through my good will to great loss. Whereupon I requested you, in lieu of my service and good will, to speak to his Majesty to give me the office to be consul of our nation here in Portingall, for here is want of one if God give us peace. I know well that there will not lack divers that will pretend the same but if I might request your good will, I know that no man should go before me. I have a great burden of children which causes me to request this remedy for them. I have been hindered greatly by "Skottes" men which I have trusted with my goods and have been surety here for them for freights they have got here through my means and they have left me in danger for them and have paid a great deal of money for them and yet I do not let to pleasure the nation and am well beloved among them. If his Majesty understood it, I doubt not he would grant me the office. I have a fit messenger, one Mr. Huett Stapars son to Mr. Richard Stapars of London, merchant, whom I request to do me the pleasure to deliver this to your Honour.—17 June 1604 in Lisheborne.
Holograph. 1⅓ pp. (105. 110.)
Queen Anne of Denmark to Lord Cecil.
[1604], 7 June. The Lord Darcie of the North has exercised divers oppressions upon one Edward Rye his wife and children to his great impoverishing. I have found that he sustained divers wrongs and losses even at such time as himself and his family were attending me at his own house in Yorkshire which I took in my journey towards London. As some of these matters are to be heard before your lordship this term, my desire is that you will respect the poor gentleman in expediting his cause with that honourable favour and furtherance which in justice you may grant him.—From the Court, 7 June.
Signed. Endorsed: "1604." ½ p. (147. 157.)
Sir John Haryngton to the Same.
1604, June 7. I hope now I shall honestly discharge those debts for which I have been so long troubled, being now ready to perform as much as I offered to your lordship for sale of my land in Nottinghamshire. I have found an honest gentleman that will buy it, we are agreed of the price, his money lies by him both to his hindrance and mine, and because his counsel advises him to this kind of allowance, contained in this enclosed, Mr. Attorney requires a warrant in that form, and has caused his own man to draw it for your hand. I assure your lordship the land is better by 1000l. that I pass to the King than that I pass from him, but that it lies in the country where I have dwelt all my life.—From the bailiff's house 1604, 7 June.
Signed. ½ p. (188. 126.)
The Mayor of Harwich to the Same.
1604, June 8. Your lordship's messenger came hither this present day about six of the clock in the afternoon. But Sir Frauncis was gone away the day before about two of the clock in the morning. The winds have not been very good since his departure and if he put back again for this place, I will certify him of your letter.—Harwiche, 8 June 1604.
Signed: John Hankyn, maiore. ¼ p. (105. 94.)
Sir Nicholas Curwen to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 8. Was appointed by the King a commissioner at Carlile for repressing outrages committed in those parts and gave diligent attendance during the continuance of that service as appears by a certificate under the hands of three of the commissioners with whom he was joined. These three together with all the rest in the commission except himself have received their allowance of 20s. per diem from April 8 to July 30 as may appear by a vote subscribed by Sir Vincent Skinner, knight, and sent to the Lord Treasurer. His Majesty was pleased on April 19 last to refer his suit to the Privy Council. Notwithstanding he has solicited the same for four months together at least to his great charge by letters, petitions and other means, so that the money he should receive will not amount to the sum he has already disbursed in soliciting it.—Wyrkington, 8 June 1604.
Signed. Seal. 2/3 p. (105. 98.)
Monsieur de Harlay to the Same.
1604, June 8/18. Among the complaints of several merchants who are suing at law here for their goods taken from them upon the high seas by English pirates is one of a certain Captain Morier de Montpellier in whose favour he writes. It is this poor man's ill fortune that after two years search of his plunderers he captured the captain . . . . only that the latter should since by subtilty or corruption make away. An occasion now offers to get this captain into his hands again but according to secret advice given him he cannot avail himself of it without Cecil's warrant to apprehend and bring him before the Judge of the Admiralty to whom cognizance of the case belongs and have him made prisoner by the said Judge's order. Prays Cecil to grant the said warrant.—"Ce 18 Juing 1604."
Signed. French. Endorsed: "The French Ambassador." 1 p. (105. 111.)
William Palmer to the Same.
1604, June 8/18. Laus deo in St. Jno. de Luz, 18 June 1604. My last to you was of the 6th present by the way of Rochell, enclosed in which I sent a letter received from Valadolid; since which time I have now received another for your Honour which goes here withal, the which likewise for want of other convenience I am forced to send by the way of Rochell.
Holograph. ½ p. (105. 112.)
Jo. Hare to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 9. What grief I received from your lordship's unlooked for speech my heart best knows. That I had any set purpose in my former writing to offend, I hope you will acquit me. For my error in proceeding of ignorance, I humbly crave pardon.—9 June 1604.
Holograph. Endorsed: "Mr. Hare of the Court of Wards." ½ p. (105. 99.)
The Mayor and Aldermen of Dartmouth to the Same.
1604, June 9. Petition for the confirmation of their charter and former liberties. As Dartmouth is one of the chief port towns in those parts of the kingdom both for the multitude of inhabitants, of shipping, and intercourse of strangers, pray that his Majesty will grant that the Mayor of the town for the time being, the Mayor of the previous year, and the Recorder may be Justices of the Peace within the town, the Mayor to be of the quorum, to deal with the outrages there which have much increased during the late troubles with Spain and since. Pray further that it may be lawful for the Mayor and his brethren, with the consent of twelve of the most sufficient burgesses, to make constitutions and ordinances for the better government of the town.—Dartmouth, 9 June 1604.
Signed: Jno. Newbye, Mayor, Nicholas Hayman, Tho. Holland, Walter Frauncis, Tho. Gourney, William Niell. ½ p. (105. 100.)
Philip Strelley to the Same.
1604, June 9. Sir Nicholas Strelley, my late grandfather, was indebted to certain merchants in divers sums amounting to 2260l., which he took up upon interest to his great loss, being only for the supporting of his great charges in the captainship in the town of Barwick. By reason of the great resort of the nobility to the said town, during the wars between England and Scotland in the reign of Edward VI and the great dearth of victuals then in those parts, he was forced (his allowance being very small) for entertainment of the nobility and relief of the soldiers to borrow the said money to the great impoverishing of himself and posterity. The said merchants being indebted to the said King passed over the debt for the King's satisfaction, whereof my grandfather paid 1240l. or thereabouts and for the residue, being 1027l. or thereabouts, mortgaged to the said King his manor of Ecclesall, co. York, being of the clear yearly value of a hundred marks. By reason of many other great debts he was not able to redeem the same at his day limited by the mortgage and the lordship was forfeited and so came to his Majesty, my grandfather having made a lease thereof for ninety years to one of his sons, whereof there is yet enduring thirty or forty years. As my grandfather nor father never received any preferment for their services, being continually employed in the wars both in France and Scotland and as the said money was spent in maintenance thereof and for that his Majesty shall receive no more for these thirty years but a hundred marks yearly, I pray you further my humble petition to his Majesty so far that, upon payment of the said debt, it would please him to reassure to me and my heirs the said manor and to grant me time for payment of the said money by 100l. by year.—Strelley, 9 June 1604.
Signed. ½ p. (188. 128.)
Sir Edward Cecil to his uncle, Lord Cecil.
[1604], June 10. I have perceived by your letter how ill my footman hath deserved his charges and I so favourable a letter. But it shall henceforth make me love a horseman the better. I understand by a friend that there is a great man about the King, that hath writ to Sir Horatio Vere to have the first advertisement of our business here. And with all that he is not much your friend, which out of my duty I cannot but let your lordship know of.
As for the present I can say no more than this bearer can tell your lordship, that is how we are making haste of our bridge to pass into the town, which may better be called an engine than a bridge. It is made upon masts of ships to suffer the tide to go backward and forward as it doth there before the town with a great force. Then is it boarded on either side proof of musket, with a gallery upon it. It is anchored fast. We look every day to put it over. There is 50 cannon mounting for the battery. Here are come many French gentlemen of account as Mounser de Termes, to see our siege. As for our nation, not one, which is much marvelled at.
I have received this day a letter out of Ostend of the 5th, whereby I understand that the enemy have made a strong court of guard upon the Pouldron bulwark, wherein it is for certain that they have minded this eight nights into it. The enemy that morning were seen marching very strong from their quarter into the trenches with flying colours, which made them in the town think they would have blown up the bulwark and give a general assault. They had two commanders, who came up to the top of the west bulwark to discover what number of men guarded within, the which our men have this two nights quitted, the mines expected hourly to be blown up. At high water they were seen [to] march back into their quarter. The new town is always guarded with divers and 17 pieces of ordnance planted therein. This week we blew up our mines in the Pouldrone and west bulwark and this Sunday his Excellency hath sent the Colonel of the Walloons, one Markett, much surpassing many of the governors before him, for Governor of Ostend, and an excellent miner with him, a German, which are now most needful. We have some three days ago sent 1000 men more into Ostend of all nations, Sir Charles Farfaxe commanding our nation. There is not one in the town that speaks not for to fight to the last man. His Excellency told me that he would fain "coute" the town twice more as he hath done already, before they should parley.
I have looked every day that the States should give me a regiment, being the oldest captain of our nation that looks for advancement. But some hindrance I find by a second letter of the King's for Sir Thomas Knowles which is very "affectually" written for him. And there is dealing that there should be made only Lieutenant-Colonels and Sergeant-Majors to keep down our nation. I desire to be with the foot to rise and I have no other patron but your lordship, and others have many. And I know you cannot assure yourself of a more true servant than I am; wherefore if you think me worthy and desire to have your name live in the wars, then you must now hold me up or never. I would be loth and ever have been to trouble you much, only that you would write your letter to Mr. Winwod to know the States' answer for me, what I shall gain by the King's letter, that I be not deferred by the policies of others to be still kept back.—From the leaguer before the Sluce, this 10 of June.
Holograph. Seal. Endorsed: "1604." 2 pp. (105. 101.)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 11. The business here remains upon the same foot it did when I wrote lately to your lordship. For our proceedings they are to secure our quarters and shut up the town from succours. In eight days we imagine to have all works in such strength as shall be requisite for both those ends. In the meantime we turn the burden of the war upon Ostend. The enemy with all speed to gain it, we with provision of men and materials to delay it and our best captains are here of opinion (having good store of men and no want of other commodities) it will be disputed till Sluce shall be driven to yield through hunger. For the better maintenance of that the Count Morice hath lately sent in troops and this day a Colonel of good reputation (called Merkett) to govern there. For our hopes of hungering them out of this place he hath his several advertisements of such as are taken and such as yield themselves, of their wants within the town, besides a strong presumption that this town not looking for a siege and being continually exhausted by the army at Ostend cannot be very long provided for, so many mouths as are (and so many of them sent in since unexpected) now in the town, considering that at a sharp allowance, yet can they have no less for each day than 4000 pound of bread. Our army is a little increased by certain companies of Switsers that are now come to the number of 1000, which I think shall be placed in the sconces and forts upon the passages, whereof about the whole army we have no less than 67. But these men shall quarter and guard in those only in the drowned land. The enemy hath slipped a great opportunity to let him work so quietly on that side, for when he will think to force it, he will be deceived and he must have great luck if he ever succour this town. If he had but 3000 men more, the Count (I believe) would with help of a little dry weather make the drowned land, that is now, by sea-dikes (which should hold out the water) his readiest and best way to approach the town. But with the men he hath it is almost impossible for him to undertake it, considering he must furnish his approaches according to the strength of those within, which are 4000 soldiers, and hold his quarter and guards manned as expecting what an enemy may do from without. Touching our floats, I think we shall make trial of them for satisfaction sake but I see no great trust that the Count reposeth in the effect that they can work. The Estates and he do not yet thoroughly understand each other well, which must needs slacken the public business the more. They sent him lately word that they much wondered that he had not yet taken the Sluce. It must be sure to gall him, for their judgments cannot but tell them better, that neither is the haven of Sluce so suddenly leapt over, neither so many men so quickly beaten out of a hold by force of hands. And this is all I can show your lordship of our present estate.
I have written to my Lord of Southampton, knowing it unfit (for many respects) to move your lordship therein, that it would please him to move his Majesty for his favourable letter in my behalf to the Estates for my advancement to that place which descends to me by right. I understand the Estates are very unwilling to do me wrong and desire much that I should have my right, but they expect his Majesty's ill acceptation of their disposal if they should advance anyone of themselves (how rightly howsoever) without giving full contentment to as many as his Majesty hath written for. To this end partly they keep the places open and, as I hear, would be glad that I could procure any recommendation from the King, that that might the better warrantise their proceedings. For Sir Ed. Ceecyll we make no doubt of his prevailing. They (sic) are only Knoles his second letters that stagger my preferment. If it please you but to favour me so much as only to let fall some speech to my L. of Southampton of your good liking of his favour to me, I doubt not but his lordship will be well inclined, and by him his Majesty, to do me good in this kind.— Camp before Sluce, 11 June 1604.
Holograph. 2 pp. (105. 102(1).)
Sir John Haryngton to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 12. Mr. Attorney has given me dispatch upon your lordship's last warrant not only with expedition but even with bounty. If it please you to recommend these to Sir Thomas Lake to hasten his Majesty's signature I should soon be a free man, but ever acknowledge myself highly bound to you. Yet one just request I make now to you that you will be at the Star Chamber to-morrow to hear a cause that has been indeed chief cause of all this my trouble, in which I am defendant against my wife's only and natural (yet too unnatural) brother. A good fine may rise to the King out of it, for if I be guilty I deserve it (though never worse able to pay it) but if I be innocent, as my conscience tells me and I hope the evidence will tell your lordships, then a fine is due from a false and malicious and very rich accuser.—12 June 1604.
Signed. ½ p. (188. 129.)
Sir Francis Hastings to Sir George Humes, Lord Treasurer of Scotland.
1604, June 12. Having attended Sunday and Monday, the one by commandment from his Majesty's own mouth, the other by direction from Sir Roger Ashton and failing of opportunity to deliver what he stood bound to discover and finding his Majesty is to pass from Greenwich this day for his recreation, has thought good to impart some things not unfit to be made known to the King. Since his last attending on the King has bestowed his thoughts to sound out the disposition of the House to a subsidy or some other grateful contribution not unlikely to be moved. Cannot apprehend but that a motion of this nature at this time will be "fastings" to the House not out of any unwilling disposition to contribute largely out of their purses to so gracious a King but the remainder of a whole subsidy lying still on his people to be paid, the continuing of them long in payments of late years without small intermission and the poverty the country is generally grown into thereby, cause the Commons to be loth to hear of a subsidy yet and fearful to grant any at this time, lest the people generally should distaste. Their feelings are not least in matters of this nature, having promised themselves great freedom from such payments at this time, by the words of the King's proclamation, sent abroad amongst them before the Parliament. If a motion should be made for a subsidy or a charge of any kind and a refusal follow, the result would be the disgust of the King towards the Commons, to the joy of foreign enemies and hollow hearts at home who envy the greatness of his Majesty in the sound affection of his subjects. Hears that his Majesty's treasure is far spent and to let him want the best supplies were a fault not to be excused but begs leave to ask whether this first session be fit for such a trial. Yet to satisfy the King's desire to have it so, he will employ the best of his wit and judgment to sound the minds of men yet further and will truly relate what he finds. Prays that his faithfulness may answer for him against all false reports and that his plainness in delivering this or any service committed to his charge may not prejudice him in the King's judgment.—"From my lodging," 12 June 1604.
Holograph. 2 pp. (105. 102(2).)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, June 15. On Wednesday the 13 of this present (which was a day solemnized by a general fast throughout the land and here in the army) certain of our horse cut off a corps du garde and some other few troops with a convoy passing betwixt Bridges and Gent. They brought home 27 prisoners (as I hear) and 60 horse. Such petty bickerings are for a while like to be the greatest tokens of our stirring in action, till our floats and batteries be ready, which (one of the engineers told me) will be finished within six days. Then will something be attempted (as I wrote to your lordship before) but no great hope is had that we shall have any great avail by them. The Estates General and Council of Estate, after their businesses ended of levying the common subsidy, are of determination to return hither again to the Camp. It is said they will give the spurs to the slow action of the Count. But no doubt they in their wisdoms will provide him then of a better way, if they will have him amend his pace (unless they will have the best of their troops leap where it is scarce fit for themselves to look) or else we cannot yet see what speed their presence can bring for the more ready advancement of the business. The true course of gaining this place is in all probability to hunger them out and upon that ground the Count Morice proceeds and for anything that can be discerned is not likely (unless upon new accidents) to be diverted. Nevertheless I have heard that there are some of good credit with the principals of the Estates that persuade them otherwise by their letters and that he may leave Sluce blocked up and advance with his army to Ostend and unset it; that the true way is to give blow upon blow and never cease till we have left none to stand afore us. He is a great master in our art that is of that opinion and few here able to weigh with him in argument. Those that are of the Count Morice's faction make this interpretation of it. They say he writes with a spirit of opposition and that he propounds these courses full of casualty and danger that his own credit might the more be raised, his person wanted, and so again desired, if the Count Morice should receive (as they say it is more than likely) any great blow whereby the whole design might be staggered and so the hopes of this whole summer service frustrated. I cannot say as they say that his ends are such. But certain it is such a course were fittest for such a spirit as his and would promise much hope of success. But for the Count it is altogether unfit and though he go another way it is not said that he may not come to the same wood. And for the blocking of Sluce and rising with his army to do anything else of that consequence can no way appear to the best judgments here to be possible. If he had 2000 men more, much more might be done. The fort of Isendike is wrought daily upon and is well advanced. The Governor tells me it is little less than Berghen op Zome within the walls.—From the Camp before Sluce, 15 June 1604.
PS.—On the 13th I received your lordship's letters.
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (105. 104.)
Ralph Winwood to the Privy Council.
1604, June 15. Upon your commandment to solicit the States in Sir Robert Chester's cause, which it pleased his Majesty to recommend to them by his gracious letters, which were communicated by order from them to the States of Holland, to whom that matter properly appertains (for upon their province his pension is charged), I moved for their answer which I prayed might be to the gentleman's contentment, since his Majesty had vouchsafed to accompany his request with so earnest an instance. I was entreated to have patience until this week, when the States of their province should assemble, from whom by their advocate, Monsieur Barnevelt, I received this answer, that the pension of 240l. sterling was granted at the mother's supplication in the year '82, during the life of her son, rather by way of gratification for her comfort upon the unfortunate end of her husband than for any pretence of due debt which their State acknowledged to Colonel Chester. This pension for many years was paid entirely without defalcation, until the necessity of their affairs forced them for the maintenance of their wars to put a general tax through all their provinces, when it was thought necessary to defalcate the fourth part of all pensions, wages and entertainments, which is still observed. The residue of the pension has ever been paid until this last year, by reason of an arrest, which one James of London laid upon it. Now, after the receipt of 240l. for the space of twenty years, to require the sum of 1300l. at one entire payment, which sum was set down in their letters patent for their relief to be discharged of this pension, when it should be paid, they think it will not be judged a reasonable demand, no more than that a pension which is given of grace and favour, should be acquitted of that charge, to which everyone that receives the least revenue issuing out of their provinces is necessarily subject. For those arrests which are or shall be made upon this pension, if they be made by their own subjects upon just pretensions they cannot refuse all lawful means to them, if by strangers, they hold themselves not bound to take notice of their causes and therefore promise to clear this pension from any interest which any stranger may claim therein and namely from the arrest made by James of London the last year. This is the effect of their answer, which they beseech your lordships favourably to accept and to make thereof to his Majesty that favourable relation which your wisdoms best know the present necessity of their estate to require.—From the Hagh, 15 June 1604.
Signed. 1 p. (188. 130.)
Monsieur de la Fontaine to Lord Cecil.
[1604], June 15. Your favourable reply with respect to my son-in-law Harderet, which you have since been pleased to confirm, induces me to beg you to take in good part the bearing of his request. We have well judged that by reason of the estate which you have been pleased to obtain for him, his condition should be no better than that of others provided with the same. But as there are three of these for the pay, one succeeding another on death, they will be able to make opposition and delay. If one [? request] could not be obtained, application had been made for this allowance and entertainment; and this not only in consideration of the services done to his Majesty and of the estate assigned to him with the expenses of those employed by him, but also on account of the notable loss which he sustained by the voyage to the Ascorez on the service of her deceased Majesty. For that loss she had been able in my favour to promise him recompense and to this end commanded the Earl of Nottingham and the Vice-Chamberlain to make inquiry and report thereon. Their report under their signatures your Honour can see. This is the true history of these two requests.—"De vostre maisonnette à Blakfriers, 15 Juin."
Holograph. French. Seal. Endorsed: "1604." 1 p. (188. 131.)