Cecil Papers: May 1604, 1-15

Pages 79-99

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


May 1604, 1-15

Captain Thomas Lovell to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 1. Whereas the Committee for his cause of draining the fens of Deepinge, &c. is appointed to be handled and proofs and circumstances touching the same to be argued this day at two of the clock afternoon in the Council Chamber and his lordship one of the principal committees, prays Cecil's countenance of the cause. This he is the rather emboldened to beseech as his lordship's brother, Lord Burghley, has been pleased to commend the cause.—Westm[inster], 1 May 1604.
Signed. 2/3 p. (188. 103.)
Sir William Browne to the Same.
1604, May 2. The boat last hired was particularly for your Honour's service and both he that then came and all other whom I send in that nature have charge to address themselves to none till they have delivered your letters. I seek no gain by hiring barks; I shall gain enough if my diligently sending away your letters win your favour. These nine or ten days the wind has blown stormy out of the west and so long ago has the bringer hereof had letters to you from Mr. Winwod and having yesterday received from him the enclosed to be sent to you, the wind being somewhat calmed though contrary, I gave my advice to the bearer to bargain with a boat laden for London to put out this day for 4l. sterling, who else would have stayed a day or two longer. I did it that you might with the first possibility receive the news of the progress of his Excellency with the army, whereof I would have written but Mr. Winwod has done it. This day Captain Woodhowse and Captain Poyntz, both shot in the arm but both without danger of death or maim, came to this town from Ostende. One of them I have spoken with, who assures me that through the great advantage the enemy has and the small courage of our soldiers, yea and commanders for the most part, the town will not hold out fourteen days, yea, and he doubts the enemy will be with them sooner. For they are already in the Polder bulwark, almost at the top of it, and this night past he assures himself they got into the West bulwark; neither does he think that a dam, which we make but is not yet finished, will work the effect expected; neither that our new entrenchment within, when they (the enemy) shall have brought cannon to the top of the bulwarks, will be able to hold out. The States will yet no doubt, if it be possible, insist to have his Excellency to venture to go to relieve it, but I see not that he can be brought unto it, neither is there any great reason, unless he were stronger.—Vlushing, 2 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 20.)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 2. Upon the 4th of May according to this style, the Count Morice began to approach the fort of Isendike. On the 9th were mounted ten pieces of cannon, 6 whole cannon on the dike where Count William had the command, and 4 where Ernestus commanded under the Count Morice [in margin, these being the sole avenues to the fort]. After the delivery of two tire, the Count Morice summoned them of the fort by his trumpet, who by some indiscreet soldier was slain. The enemy perceiving it themselves and finding that they were like to receive the worse conditions (being then almost reduced to our mercy), unless they gave some good satisfaction that it was not done neither by the appointment or allowance of any the chiefs, presently sounded a parley on the other side, where for that time I commanded the guards and their sergeant-major of the fort desired to speak with me, which I refusing, till I had order from his Excellency, he entreated then that there might be no shooting nor working till the Count's pleasure was known. The first I was content to yield to; for the latter I told the drummer, I would not hinder them, which his Excellency sought with speed to advance and that therefore they might likewise continue to do the like. I had no sooner dispatched a captain towards the quarter but he met the Count Ernestus, who did superintend over all the commanders of those guards, and he presently entertained speech with him. But the "eve" of his coming (as he seemed) was nothing else than to excuse themselves for the death of the trumpet. Ernestus made known their desire to his Excellency, who refused to give them any conditions of mercy without delivering the man that killed his messenger. This parley (by the difficulties they made of finding the man) continued and brake off three several times that day. A little dislike was conceived by the Count William against his brother Ernestus for his forwardness in entertaining the parley on that side, not having first acquainted him, considering the first summons began in his quarter. The next day the enemy sent out their pledges and the soldier prisoner that had shot the trumpet, whereupon they grew soon to an agreement, and on the 10th in the afternoon the governor called Monsr. Fardin, a Walloon, with 3 companies of Walloons and 6 of Italians marched out of their hold towards Saste. Their number was about 600. Their colours they left behind them, but had their baggage and arms.
On the 5th and 6th of this present at night, the enemy had a stratagem on the troops left in Cassant, plotted by the Captain L'Vine, who was lately before turned out of his government of a fort so called. He, through mistaking or taking ill intelligence, persuaded the Governor of Sluce there were but 300 men in the island, being indeed almost 3000. Whereupon he entreated to have 600 to defeat them, which was granted him. These men were shipped in punts and seconded by some of the galleys. But they brought such an amazement or distrust with themselves that upon the first and least resistance, they fell all presently into rout, the Captain himself crying Tournez l'teste. He is not yet heard of; divers were drowned and some 15 taken prisoners. Some say they were all landed, others otherwise, and that some few musketeers of the English (for they landed in their quarter), there being 3 companies under Captain Fryer, that went with a sergeant of Wigmor, who was then captain of the watch, seeing them and giving fire upon the troop, dismayed them; whereupon they turned to their boats in great confusion and the more because by that time (the moon shining), they might see several troops gather towards them. The Count Morice collects and argues out of this their mishap the hope that any such attempt brings with it of landing men out of boats, where an enemy is or may be attending them on shore. And no doubt if they once turn head, there can nothing but danger and loss accompany a retreat that must be so confusedly made back again into boats. There were some that by running afore with the news, thought to run themselves into the reputation of this defeat, till Captain Fryer came and verified to the Estates and the Count what I have told your lordship. And indeed in this action there was no great honour due to any of our troops, since not their virtue but the enemy's fear repelled themselves, and much less can the new Scottish regiment (though they do) arrogate anything to themselves (if Captain Fryer report truth), since the enemy was amazed and confused before their coming down, and the most and greatest part were in the stream, ere the Scots came in our quarter.
Colonel Edmundes was shot in the approach at Isendike, upon the first day of his guard. It is only a glance on the hinder part of his head and free from danger.
What resolution they will now take for the further employment of their army, I cannot yet acquaint your lordship and it is to be thought (though it be necessary) it will not be so suddenly taken by reason of distraction in counsel betwixt the Count and the Estates and some of the Estates themselves. The general projects are, first, to go on into the land and for that purpose (it is said) more troops are sent for to the Army. This the Count Morice gives no true allowance to. The second is to beleaguer Sluce and that (some think) will be most feasible and not least profitable for the state, if they get it. The third is to fortify with royal strong forts the passages we have gained and the Island of Cassant and in them to leave and disperse the body of the Army, and so to make sedem belli here in these parts. To this and the other his Excellency (I mark) is better inclined than to the former.
The exchange will not be bad if they can get Sluce though they forego Ostend, which is now ready to return to the Lord of her own country and to that end have they within sent the burgomaster and some others to know the Estates' pleasure both for the delivering of it, and upon what terms they shall yield it, or whether absolutely they will promise them to attempt their relief. Answer was not given to these demands at my address of these to your Honour. By my next I shall be better able to acquaint you. if the K. agent (who is present in the Army and a Councillor) prevent me not. Howsoever they resolve in working to their main design, they must spend some time and leave good troops for the strengthening this new regained fort of Isendike.
There is little speech of any power or head that the Duke makes against us yet, but earnestly intends Ostend. That being done I doubt not but we shall hear of him, and the Count Morice had rather attend him where he is now encamped than anywhere else.
The spoil and exaction of the Mutineers upon the inhabitants of the Duke's countries (is noised) here breedeth a great discontentment in them towards their lords and almost (as the nature of them is very subject to such contempts) a "disestimation" of his person and power.—From the camp at Isendike, May 2, stylo Angliœ, 1604.
Holograph. Seal. 3 pp. (105. 21.)
Nicholas Weston to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 2. I contracted with your Honour, my Lord Treasurer and others on behalf of our late Queen for 7121l. 11s. current money of England due to me for victualling of her Highness's garrisons in this kingdom at the rate of 3d. per meal and for captains and other servitors' entertainments as appears by the several tickets delivered to the Auditors of the Prests good and allowable. For this I was a suitor to her Majesty two whole years and could not have any satisfaction. Seeing my time lost and money spent I was content to take the aforesaid sum in copper pence, paying the coining and charge thereof, little thinking it to be decreed so as it stood me about 500l. besides 7121l. 11s., for which I had the Council's letter to Mr. Treasurer for paying in copper pence. Mr. Wattson to avoid the charge of carriage by land either to himself or the Queen sent the said pence by sea from London to Dublin, so that it was not delivered to me but a month before the Queen's death, by which means I could not issue but a very small part which I was forced to give 10 for one and upon the proclamation of his Majesty in England presently every man rejected the pence. Upon the coronation of his Majesty it was decreed so as I did not receive in the whole 500l. English which is the charge of the coining of the pence and other charges, so as I have lost the whole sum due to me besides my two years' suit. Besides these losses I brought to several towns of garrisons in victuals to the sum of 5500l. current money of England and sold the said commodities as cheap as for silver, viz. to the purveyors fish for 9s. 4d. the 100 in copper, for good double English beer 4l. per tun, for good "Dorcett biskett" 13s. 4d. the 100, for good beer malt out of Ypsych 26s. in copper the quarter. In hope of the bank according to the proclamation I was content to sell this, but the bank failed and then the copper worth but 8 for one, so as by these reckonings I have lost de claro 9000l. at least besides four ships and goods lost all upon my own adventure. So that now I thank God I am brought from the state of an alderman to be a poor beggar, myself, my wife and twelve children, except your Honour help me together with the Lord Treasurer and be a mean to his Majesty for a protection for me for four years to pay my debt which now is but 2000l., whereof one Bright of London had bargained with me for a ship load of barley malt, for which I should have paid 26s. a quarter at Galwey of such copper money as was current in Ireland. By reason of ten days' breach after the day, which was not through my default but by reason that the passage was dangerous between Athlone and Galwey, so that the party stayed for a convoy ten days or more, as was witnessed by the Lord Deputy and Council here to the Lords of the Council there and referred by you to Sir Roger Wilbraham, I do now hear that there is a judgment by my Lord Chief Justice of England for payment of 800l. in silver money for 747l. of copper, which was for 571 quarters of barley malt which I should pay contract. And so I sold the said malt to the garrisons of Gallwey upon my Lord Treasurer's licence, which was but 400 quarters and he loaded unknown to me 171 quarters more. Now there is an "axicion" of 1500l. of English money for the same suit and I think 571 quarters of malt is not worth 571 marks so as here are many "axicions" against me. If the Lord Chief Justice has not yet granted execution, I humbly pray your Honours to stop it. This is a state cause and his Majesty should not see me overthrown who have trusted my fortunes altogether to relieve his army in the heat of these wars.—At Dublin, 2 May 1604.
Signed. ½ pp. (105. 25.)
Sir George Hume to Lord Cecil.
[1604], May 2. His Majesty, remembering that you were to be this afternoon at a committee for ecclesiastical matters, has commanded me to put you in mind that a law be made for them that send their children beyond sea. His Majesty is here taking his pastime, and is exceeding well pleased with his sport; but he says he knows you are altogether idle and forget his affairs; yet he says once this night he will let you and the rest of you "sosserettes" know that if he get good sport he will remember you with venison.—Greenwich, 2 May.
Holograph, signed: G. Houme. 1 p. (189. 132.)
Mrs. Fox to the Same.
1604, May 3. Has lately come hither to be a suitor to the King, after many years' service, for some recompense towards her relief. Has no letters in her favour to Cecil nor to anyone else saving the Lord Lieutenant, who partly knows her service, from the Lord Deputy and Council. Prays Cecil's favourable allowance to her suit.—3 May 1604.
Signed: Pa. Foxe. ½ p. (105. 27.)
Ralph Winwood to the Same.
[1604], May 3. My last to your lordship being of the last of April advertised of the taking in of the fort of Isendicke. Upon May-day the States General with the Council of State did treat very earnestly with his Excellency to advance as far as Ardenbourg with his forces; who on Wednesday with 2000 foot and five companies of horse, accompanied with the States and Council, by 8 of the clock, arrived before the town with no other purpose than to see the countenance of the enemy, and to know whether from Cassand the town might be relieved by water, without impeachment from Sluce. For all the country thereabout is drowned land and at high water the sea doth rise 4 and 5 foot to the walls of the town. After his Excellency had taken view of the east side of the town he commanded Count Ernest to make a compass about with 2 companies and to understand the situation which answereth to Damme and to Bruges. Which the garrison within perceiving and fearing to be environed with our forces, quitted presently the town. The foot which were 300 fled to Sluce, the horse being not more than 40 to Damme. This town of Ardenbourg is a carcase or rather a skeleton of an ancient and populous bourg as the ruins of the churches and monasteries do declare, where hath been the staple of our English merchants and from whence Bruges hath received the first beginning. Sed filia devoravit matrem. It is strong by nature being seated in a flat plain and compassed with a double ditch, which at high water is not passable. The States do resolve to fortify there and to maintain it with a strong garrison, which the contributions of the country will defray with a large surplusage. An English mile from thence standeth Middlebourg, a poor abandoned village wherein there is a decayed castle which refused to render to the Prince of Parma until the sight of the cannon. The trumpet was sent to summon it and having sounded thrice without answer, seeing the bridge down and the gates open, took the boldness to enter in where he found the table covered and honestly furnished with provision for dinner, which the master and his family had not leisure to eat and chose rather to leave than to carry with them. His Excellency took view of the castle and left in it a squadron of a company and in Ardenbourg the rest of the forces which he brought with him under the command of Count Ernest, and so returned to the quarter before Isendike. This day the States have travailed to persuade his Excellency to the siege of the Sluce. He doth forbear to resolve until he shall have surveyed the passages between that and the Damme, but as I take it the conquest of that town will be the height of the ambition of this summer's service, which will not suffer them to admit any refusal. So Ostend will not be lost but exchanged to their great advantage.
We understand from Antwerp that the Constable of Castille, at such time as he had purpose to go into England, did bespeak many and sundry jewels of great price, which when they were brought unto him, he refused unless the jewellers would be content to receive them again at the same price, if at his return out of England, whither he did intend to carry them, he should return them upon him. The jewellers found strange this demand, but he more strange that he was refused.
The Archduke hath moved the Italian merchants for the loan of 200,000 ducats. They demand the town of Antwerp for assurance. The town doth allege many excuses, which will not be received. I received this day your lordship's of the 12 of April, which was returned me from the Haghe. I humbly acknowledge the favour of your letter to my Lord Treasurer for the payment of my entertainment, which wrought so much that my arrearages were satisfied and the advance of this month now running was disbursed. The difficulties are such in the following of this business that my private friends do utterly renounce me therein, so that I have no other recourse but to your lordship's favour, unless I should beseech his Majesty to interpose his commandment, which without your privity I may not presume. All charges in these countries are excessive but in the army infinite, whereof you will be pleased to have a favourable regard.—From the Army at Isendike, the third of May.
At foot: I have omitted that the L. of Boucloughe embarked the last week at Flushing for Scotland as is said. The States are not well contented with his departure in this time of service. I have endeavoured to make his apology. Only Colonel Edmonds in this fair war hath met with a shot in his head, but without danger.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1604." 2 pp. (105. 29.)
Sir J. Elphinston, Secretary of Scotland, to [Lord Cecil].
1604, May 4. Your letter of the 28 April came to my hands the second of May. As to the matter of the Union our business has been no less here, albeit there was nothing of it motioned directly, yet it has been so suspiciously apprehended by a great many, as if some of all estates, in whom his Majesty is thought to have a more special trust, had intended to carry the same away and conclude therein without the general assent; a matter as in itself impossible, so never thought by any here, much less directed by his Majesty, whose princely care is always that howsoever he would instantly wish the accomplishment of it, yet it should never be led but with the approbation of all such as are fit to judge what is their best. Your letter so plainly laid before me the method of your proceeding there, as if I had been an eye-witness I could not be more perfectly resolved; and no man of judgment will think but it is far less danger to continue the ceremony of the name, nor to breed by the change so perilous a doubt. This only I desire you to think if it were not expedient for the satisfaction of our people that some statutes made both in England and Ireland disgraceful and prejudicial to this country might be abrogated and repealed, for since the causes of dislike and distrust betwixt the nations are removed, it were not amiss that such marks of hatred nothing prejudicial to your estate were graciously effaced. Wherein I would your lordship were a special actor so far as it might increase the liking of this people without hatred there. The augmenting danger of the plague has moved us to adjourn our parliament to the beginning of July and our ordinary term of the session from the 15 of May to the beginning of June. I doubt not but the Duke of Lenox and Earl of Mar have written their several answers for your letters to both were safely delivered. I have understood by a letter from Sir George Hoome how far I am bound to the continuance of your favour and your remembrance of my particular.—Halyruidhouse, 4 May 1604.
Holograph. 2/3 pp. (105. 30.)
William Stallenge to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 5. I understand it has pleased your lordship to favour my friend Mr. Alabaster concerning certain persons that were here to arrive from the Indies in a ship of his. The said ship being here arrived I have presumed to dispatch this packet to the end he might be with speed advertised thereof according to his desire.
In the ship's company there came one Captain Cleve, a Kentish gentleman, who is passed to the eastward with two Spanish ships which he took upon the coast of the Indies very richly laden with commodities, which they laded at Cyvell. In the said ships were also divers passengers of good account, which were set ashore in the Indies, where this Captain remained some time, selling and "battering" a great part of the merchandises he had taken. I have certified your lordship hereof to the end, if it shall be thought meet, some speedy course may be taken before the goods be altogether dispersed.— Plymouth, 5 May 1604.
Holograph. ½ p. (105. 32.)
Lord Cecil to Ralph Winwood.
1604, May 5. Upon receipt of Winwood's letters of 25, 27 and 30 April.
Draft in the handwriting of a secretary. 1 p.
[Printed in extenso in Sawyer's Memorials, II. pp. 19, 20.] (105. 33.)
Sir John Ogle to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 5/15. Of the rendering of the fort on Isendike on the 10th of this present (after this style) with some other of our occurrences I wrote to your Honour that day. The 12th our General took a third part of his troops with his horse to discover the passage to Ardenburch, which contrary to any expectation of him was upon sight of his forces abandoned by the enemy and left into his hand. At the same time was he likewise possessed of the Castle of Middleburch, being half a league from the other. Upon the 13 were only changed the troops that went to Aerdenburch and in place of the English and other nations, the Count Ernest desired his own regiment and the Walloons which are there with him with four companies of horse. He diligenteth the repairing of the ruins of the wall and strengtheneth himself against surprise of the enemy, against which he is reasonably assured by the double "grafte" or ditch that compasseth the town. On the 14 at night were sent out with the General of the horse 12 companies of horse and out of Count Ernest's foot troops 600 foot. Their purpose was (according to the intelligence) to defeat 9 companies of foot being Spaniards at Eclo, where it was advertised they lay that night in the passing by (beyond Middleburch, some half league). The Count Harry summoned a castle where the enemy had 40 or 50 men, who gave it presently over and themselves went towards Dam. (This Dam is a place of strength, well manned and of great avail for our army to take it, if they intend the besieging of Sluce.) Soon after that our men were possessed of that castle came a Lieutenant of horse with 10 soldiers, Italians, of his troop with him to the castle, who knowing nothing of the change gave themselves and were received of our men within as friends, till they were entered every one within the port and there taken prisoners and sent to his Excellency. The Count Harry with his horse and foot went on towards Echlo but having small store of guides, and those imperfect, in the night lost his way, so that it was well onward on the day ere he came there. A good fortune brought those ill guides to him, for if they had come thither sooner they were likely to have come home much later. The enemy was but newly gone from the quarter and are marched towards Brugghe, being 4 regiments of foot and 19 troops of horse. Some few stragglers were brought home by some of our horse. Concerning the resolute purpose of the Estates and the Count Morice, how they will proceed with their army I cannot yet give your lordship to understand, not doubting but you know those intents of theirs better from the Agent who is of the Council. Likely always it is they will endeavour to hold their footing here, which they may do by fortifying that which they have already gained, especially the fort of Isendike, which may be ever succoured with shipping or the forts which they will build in Cassand. Aerdenburch is a place where he may lodge his whole army, were it three times greater and within the wall, if he will hold 5 or 6000 men there. Great fortification, more than is already, I think will not be made. Shipping there may come to it but neither of any burden nor with good conveniency, especially when there shall be an enemy that shall intend the hindrance of it. Besides the passages from Isendike or Cassand or Coxie (which is held the nearest best) are narrow, and very easy to be stopped by the enemy, of which we shall have better light to judge upon the coming down of the Duke's army after he hath Ostend. For the present I do not see what can be resolved of, since time is spent and nothing done, not so much as the fortifying of the fort of Isendike. It is only repaired and a new plot drawn for to make it more royal, but it is not yet set in the work.—From the Camp at Isendike, May 15, 1604, novo.
PS.—Upon the shutting of these we had order to rise with the whole army to-morrow and to march towards Ardenburch, some imagine we shall give an attempt on the quarter of Don Louys de Valasco, who lieth over against Cassand. It is likewise feared the Mutineers will now come to an agreement.
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (105. 54.)
Sir Arthur Capell to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 6. Concerning a suit depending in the Court of Wards, to be heard this term before Lord Cecil, between Mr. Henry Jernegan in right of his wife late the widow of Mr. Thomas Bedingfield and their tenants of the manor of Oxburgh of the one part and Sir Arthur Capell with his tenants of his manor of Gooderston of the other, relative to certain commons. Although Mr. Jernegan and his tenants formerly exhibited to the Court an ancient agreement made between the two lords of the said manors, whereby they claim the commons to themselves, yet it seems that the tenants never consented thereto nor were ever stopped thereby, but always both before and since, in the time of Sir Henry Bedingfield and others before him, lords of the manor, have had and enjoyed the commons there. Prays compassion for the poor townsmen of Gooderston.—From my poor house at Haddham, 6 May 1604.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (105. 34.)
John Hele to the Same.
1604, May 6. I have received a letter this day from one of the principal men of the town of Ashe, co. Cornwall, that one Edward Bilton a very special shipwright is suddenly gone thence into Britaine and has carried with him twelve other shipwrights and their tools.—6 May 1604.
Signed. Endorsed: "Serjeant Hele." ¼ p. (105. 35.)
The Mayor of Dartmouth to the Same.
1604, May 7. By a packet of letters of 30 March last I signified your Honour that here were arrived two Irishmen, suspected to be seminaries or Jesuits, apprehended in Garnesey and sent over under conduct of a soldier of that island for Hampton, but by contrary winds were put into this port. In the said packet were enclosed their examinations taken in Garnesey and with the said packet, a bag of letters and other writings found upon them was also directed to you. The said suspected persons I detained here in safe keeping awaiting your order and direction. These I have not received but here they remain to the great charge of this town. I therefore entreat your order for the disposing of them.—Dartmouth, 7 May 1604.
Signed: Jno. Newbye Maior. ½ p. (105. 36.)
Sir Edward Cecil, to his uncle, Lord Cecil.
[1604], May 7. I have here sent my footman over to let your lordship know of our overthrow given the enemy this 6 of May being Sunday, when his Excellency (resolved to be at their quarter upon Sluse haven) was entertained with 4000 foot and 1500 horse, under the conduct of Don Lewis Veliasco, upon his passage at the River of Dame (which we are not as yet passed), whereof 2000 with some certain troops of horse were ordained to receive us of that side towards us and the rest for their retreat of the other side. After long skirmish and many offers of charging by our Walloons and Allmons that had the vanguard, who being forced to retire and the enemy still advanced, at length the honour was done to our nation, to be called up to fight and out of our main graft, were chosen, 200 musketeers and 100 pikes to give the first charge. The shot was commanded by Sir Hattone Chicke, who entertained skirmish with the enemy very close under the favour of whose shot, those 100 pikes that were commanded by Sir Charles Ferfackes advanced and together fell in pell mell with the enemy, made them quit the ground they had gotten and a great entrenchment they had made for their security. Our loss was small. Theirs 400 foot and divers horse dead in the place and 200 prisoners taken, amongst whom are 9 Spanish captains and Italians, besides other Spanish gentlemen of good sort. The fear in Flanders is very great and was, and I think this will not encourage them, for before, all that had anything fled out of Briges, with as much as they can carry, as also, out of many other places.—From the passage of the River of Dame, 7 May, our style.
At the foot: "Yr. lo. please to pardone my scribling for I have souldiers haste."
Holograph. 1 p. (188. 104.)
Sir Edward Coke to the Same.
1604, May 7. Your lordship may perceive by the enclosed what commandment I have received from his Majesty by signification from Sir Thomas Erskyn, concerning a lease in reversion to be made to Sir Richard Molineux who (and his ancestors before him) have enjoyed the same a long time as farmers to the Crown. Upon due execution I find that this enclosed bill ready for his Majesty's signature doth agree with the former leases in all respects.—7 May 1604.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (188. 105.)
Sir William Browne to the Same.
1604, May 8. I stayed yesterday from sending away this dispatch because I expected to have received particular letters of the service for your Honour by a post whom Mr. Winwod keeps there of purpose but finding messengers to the States come and not he and having some particular relations delivered me of that business by word of mouth, I took hold of the occasion to make your Honour in general know what is passed.
On Sunday last in the afternoon between 3 and 4, his Excellency marching beyond Ardenbourgh with his troops as I guess to view the passages of the water between Dam and Bruges, some of our horse in the advance-guard fell into an ambuscade of the army, strong 1500 foot and 2 cornets of horse. These foot were selected men out of every band before Ostende, 15 out of each company, which bestirred themselves bravely and kept play with a regiment or two of ours which were in the advance-guard, till our English troops came up, who fell in with that fury (I speak it out of the mouth of divers reporters) that the enemy was driven from his order and betook himself to flight in great confusion. At first no mercy was showed; 300 were left dead in the place and many of them drowned in seeking to pass the water for their safety. The most of those [who] were taken were taken stuck in the water and the mire, almost to the middle. Nine captains and men of account are taken, among which is the cousin of the Marquis of Spinola. Many other voluntary gallants are said to have lost their lives. Much booty is gotten by our English and they well deserve it. How far his Excellency followed them I cannot tell. It is said that yesterday he went with his bridges to seek to pass. We have heard great shooting all this night past. Our loss I cannot speak of, only of some 20 horse of Captain Marcellus Bax, who is himself shot in the thigh or leg. Many are hurt. Till your Honour may have more particularities, it will please you to accept of these. From Ostende it is written that the enemy hath not wrought these 6 or 7 days. Letters are gone thither with speed.—Flushing, 8 May 1604.
Holograph. 1 p. (105. 37.)
Ro. Nangle to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 9. Has procured his Majesty's reference to the lord lieutenant and Cecil. Has been much vexed and crossed in his business by false informations. The lord lieutenant will be ready whenever Cecil will appoint a time for the business. Prays Cecil's favour as he previously had his father's.—9 May 1604.
Signed. ⅓ p. (105. 38.)
Sir John Ogle to the Same.
1604, May 9. (fn. 1) On the sixth (fn. 1) of this present (stylo Angliœ) I wrote to your lordship what had passed till then. On Sunday the sixth, the General raised his army and marched to the passage near Dam, leaving in Isendike 2 companies, in Aerdenborch 5. Don Louys de Valasco attended his coming at a strait and fortified at a sluice, which he must necessarily pass to come to the two other rivers which he after passed. He awaited him with 2000 on the sluice where they were entrenched. The Count Ernestus had the advance-guard, whom the enemy entertained with long skirmish almost an English mile before the strait, where their entrenchment was. Certain troops of horse of ours were appointed to stand on the plain for the assuring the retreat of our musketeers, who in that loose fight (they standing in troop) received much loss, which the Estates have very honourably repaired, giving each company proportionably to their loss a hundred rose nobles a piece. The enemy, supposing (as they since confessed) that there were only 500 foot sent to discover, took the greater boldness to advance greater number than otherwise a discreet chief would have done, purposely meaning to defeat them all, for our main troops stood in a hollow undiscovered by them. That kind of fight endured long and many of our men came off hurt. Sir Horatius Vere, seeing the enemy to gain ground and our men to suffer much loss, entreated the Count Morice (to which also the Count William gave not only counsel but furtherance in person) that he might charge them with some troops of the English; which, being readily and willingly yielded to, he commanded me to bring down his brother's regiment, out of which were selected 100 pikes (200 of the musketeers being sent immediately before) and those pikes were led by Sir Charles Fairfax, who was appointed to give the first charge, myself to follow him close with the rest of that gross which were about 400 more. Fairfax led on with that resolution and the rest came up with such an assurance and speed, as presently put the enemy to retire where we had execution of them to their entrenchments and coming thither fell in on their own works with themselves. By which thorough-charge (as I may call it) of our nation, and the enemy seeing us come so home to them, they apprehended a general fear and quit their works making their retreat (every man his best way) some through the morass and drowned lands, others in troop, others over the fields towards the water, where their camp lay on the other side, so that our men and the horse had execution of them most part of that way. There were slain on the place 423; prisoners taken about 400. I saw a letter written from an Alferez to his captain a prisoner with us, where he mentioned 20 waggons full of hurt men of theirs brought off. So that we esteem they were weakened that day near a thousand men. The Estates (as they have just cause) give the honour and acknowledgment of it to our nation. The Italians say Valasco ran first away and betrayed them in regard of the emulation betwixt him and Spinola. Fourteen of their Captains are here prisoners who with the men that they had were all of the choicest men of his army drawn from Ostend and Bolduyne. The 7th all the day was passed in counsel and ordinary courses of war. The same, at night, the Colonel Vander Node (sometime governor of Ostend) with 30 companies, whereof were ten English, at a low water passed the first river and then fortified a plot of ground "judicially" chosen by the Count Morice within an English mile of the town of Sluce. This ground is held, for it commands both the waters betwixt Dam and Sluce. We possessed the ground without any impeachment, only a few musketeers on the further side of the second water (called "the Scote") gave us to understand that they knew of our being there. This day the Count Ernestus received a "favourable" shot in the head, and the same night came Monsieur de Termes, brother to Monsieur l'Grand in France to the camp. We had his company to this business, which we expected would have proved hotter than it fell out. On the 8, the Count Morice laid his bridges over both rivers and passed several troops into the land called the Nothfree. The fort, which we should have attempted at our being in Cassant, rendered itself having but eleven men in it. It is strong, the wall good and the counterscarp; the moat four foot deep, every way sufficient against any such attempt as that we should have given, besides the flanks of the entrenchment about it, and the disadvantageous coming to it from the water side. If we had given on upon it, we could not have escaped without great shame and greater loss. The same morning before day the enemy dislodged and marched with much haste and as much confusion (as we hear since) to Blakenburch, where they now expect our coming, being a passage that we must of necessity make our way by if we go to Ostend. The ninth was passed over the whole army and is lodged near a village called St. Anne, betwixt the town of Sluce and the fort Sta. Clara which is at the mouth of the haven. The shipping came to us in great quantity the same day and with small loss, though some ships were fain to disburden their loading to their nearest neighbour ships, being shot through by those of the fort. At Sta. Clara are said to be 150 men, in Sluce 400. The town of Sluce is now round about besieged, all passages being stopped by which any great succours should be conveyed into it. They have cut a haven into the town to receive their galleys. Only four are yet entered; the rest lie without and exposed to what may be practised against them. Deliberation is held what shall be found best to be done and at this instant no resolution taken. The Count Morice presseth much to go forward to Ostend; the Count William is of his opinion. Amongst the Estates Monsr. Barnevelt urgeth it much and so do some others. Others are of other advice, led with the hopes of gaining Sluce, which added to this we have already won and possess will be much more available and profitable for the good of the Estates. The honour of the attempting to disassiege Ostend persuades the other to that enterprise. Either courses are not without their difficulties. For in the assailing the Duke's forces or quarter they are not to promise themselves of the success they desire but must expect the chance of war, specially he being on the advantage of place. The other of winning Sluce (before the losing of Ostend) is likewise very uncertain, because there is not ground whereon to approach it, but it will ask longer time than towns artificially fortified. The hopes are because there is certain advertisement of the want of ammunition of war and no plenty of victual within.
I had sent to your lordship presently these advertisements upon the defeat of the enemy but I had neither time to write by reason of my employments upon guard and watch, neither conveniency to send from the Army so speedily to Vlissinge. Therefore I beseech you hold me excused.—From the camp before Sluce, May 9, 1604.
Holograph. 3 pp. (105. 39.)
The States General of The United Provinces to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 10/20. Have ordered Colonel Horatio Vere to make a levy with all diligence in England of 1200 Englishmen and to transport them here within a month, in order to fill up the English Companies, which at the last review, were found too small and diminished. Beg Cecil to obtain the King's permission to this and that his Majesty will assist as liberally as his affairs will permit, seeing the extraordinary costs and expenses necessary for the maintenance of the army and the support of the town of Ostende.—"Du camp devant l'Escluse le xxe de May 1604."
Signed: Aerssens. French. Seal. 1 p. (188. 114.)
The Earl of Devonshire to the Same.
1604, May 11. You may please to remember that his Majesty granted Mr. Burchenshawe, controller of the Musters in Ireland, a fee of 20s. per diem during life, which was meant to be 15s. current money of England but by reason the word Irish is added (the new harpers of the Irish coin being by Proclamation to be esteemed as sterling), except that word may be rased out or omitted, or that some available explanation may be made of his Majesty's meaning, his patent cannot be passed to the intended value. I pray you give order that he may have the full benefit of his Majesty's grant, for the dispatch whereof Mr. Watson this bearer will attend your pleasure on his behalf. —From the Court at Whytehall, 11 May 1604.
Signed. Seal. ⅓ p. (105. 42.)
Sir Horace Vere to the Same.
1604, May 11. Since the time the States' army made their entry into Flanders, his Majesty's agent hath been resident amongst us, from whom your lordship hath understood both the counsels and actions that have been, whose presence here I hope will excuse my not writing. The States desire to reinforce their troops in general that are presently employed in the field. They have written their letters to his Majesty to the same purpose concerning the English troops that 1200 might be added to the 24 companies in the field and this bearer Capt. Crumpton is chiefly employed to that end by them. The strength of the States' army is so divided for maintaining that ground they possess here that unless they provide for it in time, what hath been hitherto done may prove naught to that which is for the present expected.—From the Camp before the Sluse, 11 May 1604.
Holograph. 2 pp. (188. 106.)
Henry Constable to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 11. Referring to his letters to the Lords of the Council, beseeches Cecil in matters of double construction in them to take that sense which is most conformable to the loyal mind he has always been known to bear his Majesty.—From the Tower, 11 May 1604.
Signed. 1 p. (188. 108.)
Dr. W. Barlow to the Same.
1604, May 12. The publishing of a true copy of the Conference has been long desired and expected. His Majesty is pleased with it. The charge thereof by my Lord of London is laid upon me; it is now ready to the press; my purpose is to dedicate it to your Honour, yet not without your leave first obtained, which hereby I presume humbly to request. If by a short word from you, I shall be assured, your lordship shall much comfort that irrecoverable loss, which by my Lord Archbishop's death I received.—Westminster College, May 12, 1604.
Signed. ½ p. (188. 109.)
Sir John Ogle to the Same.
1604, May 13. I wrote lately to your lordship of our proceedings in these parts to our being come where we are now encamped. Since that time till this day there hath not any other thing been done than fortifying the quarter and viewing the passages, against the inconvenience of some of which we can not yet bethink ourselves of any remedy, for the enemy hath means left him through the drowned land, twixt Aerdenburch and the town of Sluce, to put in what troops he shall think good, whereof he made experience on Friday night last, at which time he conveyed in (as is said by one since come forth) 300 men. This day upon the placing of a battery of nine pieces (without shooting any one of them off) the Captain of the fort of Sta. Clara rendered the same and was presently dispatched away to march with colours and baggage and light match towards the Duke's army, who, as we hear, is now at Brianie near Ostend. His company was 120 heads. He left behind him seven pieces of artillery, four brass, the rest iron, none bigger than field pieces. We may now say that Sluce were besieged, could we intercept their entrance by the drowned land, which bringeth the more difficulty with it by reason it is a league in breadth where they may pass and the best means that is yet thought of or, I think, can be, is to build many redoubts upon it, which will ask long time, and yet can it not be denied but that a resolute enemy assisted with the commodity of a dark or rainy night will betwixt those redoubts (upon a need) thrust in men to succour the town. But it cannot yet be seen that they are likely to be soon driven to any such want of men, since we have much to think of and to do too, ere we can come to put for it with strength of hands. Our hopes are (as I wrote to your lordship before) their want of munition and victual, which the greater number of men will the sooner consume, for as for such as will come in this by-way, they can bring no other than what they carry on their backs and that can be but for a small time and only for themselves. The Estates are now upon their return towards Holland; the Count Morice being now planted, they leave (as in former times) the business chiefly to his care and themselves go to take order for supplies of men, money, and other necessaries, to which the Provinces (it is reported already) of themselves offer to contribute largely for the further advancement of this Flanders action.
What the after times will bring forth I will ever be ready to inform your lordship, though Vlissinge is so in the way that I shall very hardly give you the first advertisements. That which I hope must make mine acceptable is the advantage that particular and true discourses bring with them above those that are more general and have their ground from hearsay reports. —From the Camp before the Sluce May 13, stylo veteri, 1604.
Holograph. 1½ pp. (105. 48.)
Sir William Browne to Lord Sydney.
1604, May 13. His Excellency strengthens his quarters and has set up all his tents, which is a sign of the resolution taken to stay at Sluce. As yet he batters not the fort at the haven mouth. I think that (as I wrote before) he assures himself that they are ill provided and cannot hold out longer. Our men are lodged behind his Excellency's tent. They have desired them but only for twenty days. I hope they shall help to get that town in that by our men was lost for want of good union. I must now needs write every day if passage go, though I write idly.—Flushing, 13 May 1604.
Addressed: "To the right honourable the Lord Sydney, Lord Chamberlain to the Queen's Majesty and Lord Governor of Vlushinge, Ramekins, etc., at the Court or at Baynards Castell in London, give these with speed."
Holograph. 2/3 p. (105. 49.)
Monsieur de Blocq to Lord Sidney.
1604, May 13/23. Our army is in the neighbourhood of Sluys. His Excellency is entrenching himself in front of it and is determined to bombard the town. To this end he had the artillery unlimbered the day before yesterday. The fort of the Noort is eating itself there, for it cannot last long. The enemy is shaken. It is said that he is re-assembling at Breeden between Ostende and Blanquenberge but the belief is that he will come with his main army to Blanquenberge. He is 8000 strong and about equal to our forces. The ruitrez in the Ram have made a provisional agreement with the enemy but it is thought that this will not be avowed by the others nor that the enemy will be able to carry out the conditions, for he gives or promises to give everything he is asked in order to gain time. It looks as if the hand of God were raised against the Archdukes for by an unexpected change this disaster befals them. If his Majesty would succeed in understanding the procedure of the Spaniards, I think he would not be in too much of a hurry to avoid them.— "En haste de Flissingues, le batteau voulant partir. Ce 23 de May du matin, 1604."
Signed. French. 1 p. (188. 80.)
Sir Edward Hoby to Lord Cecil.
[1604, ? May 14]. I was to have waited on your lordship, but the affairs carried you not at home. The scope was to desire you to give me the warrant to speak with my Lord Cobham to-morrow, for I find he is ill dealt with (if it be true) upon some bill not so gratefully carried towards him as he thinks the King intended.
Holograph. Endorsed: "1604." ¼ p. (103. 104.)
[See Calendar of S.P. Dom. 1603—1610, p. 109.]
— to —
[1604], May 14. Since my letters of yesterday morning the fort at the mouth of the haven was surrendered to his Excellency, yet as I hear had no want of anything. He brought no cannon before it but sent to summon them with threatenings that if they resisted he would give them no composition. They came out with all their arms granted, reserving their colours, which in the end upon entreaty his Excellency also delivered to the ensign. Some 100 and odd were in the fort. There went into the Sluce through the drowned land the second night that his Excellency was come before it 100 of the enemy, which will make their strength some 1000 within. If they have munition enough in the town, it will cost his Excellency more time than he thought. Our camp is wholly entrenched and we begin our trenches from the bridges which his Excellency made for his passage over the waters between Damme and Sluce and from thence entrenched to the water side. Our trenches will be better than an hour and a half's going in length as I hear. We understand that the Archduke should be come to Bridges with all the forces he can make of Boores and others. At Osteand the enemy giveth us leave to breathe. For though they can have victuals enough yet have they not that store of materials by water from Damme, Gaunt, etc., which they were wont for the forwarding of their approaches, and besides what men they can possibly spare, they have drawn to defend the east side, if his Excellency should have purposed to go forwards and I hear that they in the town have sent to his Excellency that he shall not need to make more haste than good speed, for that they have means yet to make it good for two or three months.
The men that came into Sluce passed in between Ardenborrow and the passage by water which goeth from Dam to Sluce.
I hear that in the fort there were four pieces.
These men do comfort themselves that this accord of the Mutineers with the Archduke cannot stand effectual. For if it were so methinks the troops which were with them should before now be returned to Berghes.
Copy headed: Extract out of a letter from Flushing the 14 of May. 1½ pp. (105. 51.)
Lord Balmerinoch, Secretary of Scotland, to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 14. This present is in haste (by occasion of the bearer, a very affectionate servant to his Majesty and who during the last session of our Parliament has done very good offices, being lately advanced by his Majesty to the Archbishopric of Glasco, a glorious nomen sine re) only to show you that your last of the third of May came safe in my hands the 8 thereof, according to the desire whereof I not only acquainted the Duke and Earl of Mar with so far as was fit for them to know but sundry of the best affected in his Majesty's service and of the best sort. I doubted never but his Majesty's wisdom and humanity would in end overcome all these tempests of the Lower House. I think no man of judgment will think that the present alteration of the name, although it had carried nothing with it but the distempering of the turbulent spirits of the multitude in so "tikkill" a time so replenished with distrusts and jealousies upon so glorious and unexpected, howsoever offtimes desired, a metamorphose, was worth so long and so dangerous a dispute, which has exasperated some sores that the best physicians of both our states will be troubled to cure; and except the Commissioners on both sides be the more advisedly selected, it will breed no little business. As to the disposition of our people here, albeit evil report and very disdainful speeches have been carried from thence and the most of us all could be rather content to continue in our wonted condition nor to match with so unequal a party, strengthened by the continual presence of our Prince, to whom time and subsequent ages will make us strangers, yet such is his Majesty's sovereign commandment over them, and their confidence in his Majesty's care of their liberty, and the constant opinion of the best sort that England is a wise and a potent state, will without our harm see in that perfect unity their own benefit, that I hope the Union, being desired with willing hearts and settled œquis conditionibus, shall be gladly embraced. I have done and shall ever do my best to impede all course of contrary opinion, and the rather that I have ever found yourself, whose judgment I reverence, willing to be a fellow labourer therein.—Halyruidhouse, 14 May 1604.
Holograph. 2 pp. (105. 52.)
Sir John Harington to Lord Cecil.
1604, May 15. The great distress of imprisonment and sickness which he has endured for his uncle Thomas Markham is not unknown to Cecil and the Lords. This is now almost overblown. His son's uncle, his wife's own and only brother pursues him in the Star Chamber with a desire rather than hope utterly to disgrace him. All offers of atonement with him being rejected, he must appeal to the Justice of that Court, where he earnestly entreats Cecil's presence on the morrow. The brief of the charge and his answer are here set down.— 15 May 1604.
The Brief of the Charge and the Answer.
Edward Rogers, Esquire, Plaintiff.—That Sir John Harington in 44 Eliz. foreknowing that the Lady Rogers his wife's mother lying then at Bath, could not live about four days took the keys of her house at Cannington 30 miles distant against her will and in riotous manner rifled the said house and carried thence in plate and money 5000l. which belonged of right to Edward Rogers esquire and to his son Francis. That after the decease of the said Lady Rogers, the same Sir John Harington came in like riotous manner to the same house and there burnt and rased the evidences of the said Edward Rogers.
Sir John Harington, Defendant.—To the first the defendant answers he went with the privity of the Lady Rogers and by her appointment and the said Lady had not any plate or money, at that house to the value of 20l.
That his second coming was peaceable as executor in right of his wife, and that none of Mr. Rogers's evidence were then burned to his knowledge.
Signed. 1 p. (188. 110.)


  • 1. Sic. ? rectius fifth.